THURSDAY, 1 OCTOBER 2020
Labor is urging the Government to consider relaxing COVID-19 restrictions in rural and regional NSW to kick-start economic recovery in communities hit hard by the drought, bushfires and recession.
The Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said the current ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t make sense anymore.
“It has been months since locally acquired cases were reported in some parts of the State. In these areas, we should be looking at easing the square metre rule and booking caps in cafés, restaurants and pubs as well as caps on functions and gatherings,” Mr Park said.
“As a State, we need to be prioritising jobs and economic recovery. Our regional and rural communities have been through a lot, they need a roadmap to reopen to give them some hope and certainty.
“How come 40 thousand people can go to a stadium in Sydney but residents in regional NSW can’t stand up at their local pub? If we can do it safely at the footy, why not Forster or Forbes?
“The Acting Deputy Premier has said this is something we need to look at, well get on with it and make it a priority, these communities deserve nothing less.”
Mr Park added high-testing rates and COVID-safe support must remain a priority as we move into the next phase of the pandemic.
“We are still in the midst of a global pandemic and the reality is, we are still living with this virus. We can’t afford to become complacent but we also have to look at the way forward while following the health advice.”
COVID-19 CASES IN RURAL & REGIONAL NSW
The latest NSW Health COVID-19 Weekly Surveillance report shows it’s been months since locally acquired cases were reported in some parts of regional NSW, including:
- 170 days in the Far West
- 151 days on the Mid-North Coast
- 56 days in Northern NSW
- 40 days in Southern NSW
- 18 days in Western NSW