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Visitors should, if they can, head home

News Article Date: 
Monday, 30 March 2020

Amid the escalating Coronavirus situation, local councils have joined calls by local healthcare providers to urge any visitors still in the area to return home.
The calls echo national sentiment around a potential shortage of ICU facilities and easing strain on local medical facilities and personnel.
Moyne Shire Mayor, Cr Daniel Meade said a number of visitors were still in the area, staying in private accommodation.
“Moyne moved early to shut Council-run caravan parks to all visitors, and are enforcing closures of camp areas,” Cr Meade said.
“However, we are aware visitors are remaining in the area, either in hotels or in private holiday rentals.
“Regional hospitals do not have the capacity to provide care for additional people in our Shire.
“While we know we know we are lucky to live in a part of Australia that many people want to holiday in, this is not the time to visit.
“We strongly urge any visitors to return to their place of residence to ensure our health system can prioritise the residents of the South West.
“There is also an onus on local accommodation providers to stop taking bookings to discourage visitors in the near future.”
Warrnambool City Council Mayor Cr Tony Herbert said it made sense for all Australians to return home if they could.
“If you’re at home you’re closer to your support networks, your GP and your health service,” Cr Herbert said.
“Every health service has been established to serve a particular catchment and we need to ensure that no health service is over-burdened unnecessarily.

“And while over the next few months we will all be observing social distancing and hand hygiene protocols there will come a time when we will be welcoming
everyone back with open arms.”

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