Police warn holidayers will cop fines this Easter
EASTER 2020 is one year tourists will not be welcome in coastal towns across the Mid North Coast.
Recreational travel is not on the list of exemptions in the Public Health Order, and Coffs-Clarence Police will be conducting proactive patrols in the area over the Easter break to ensure compliance.
Those found in breach of the Public Health Order can face a $1,000 on-the-spot fine, court fines of up to $11,000 or six months jail time.
"We have to do this to protect our smaller communities - an influx of visitors could put our health systems under pressure while potentially transferring the virus from one part of the state to another," Superintendent Steve Clarke said.
"We're not stopping people from going to the supermarket and pharmacy, going to and from work if you cannot work from home, going to medical appointments, or leaving for some brief exercise in your own neighbourhood.
"We understand this is difficult - families want to come together and celebrate during Easter and the school holidays. Unfortunately, this just cannot happen this year. We need to help stop the spread."
Local politicians, Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh, urged metropolitan Australians to stay at home in order to protect the region's elderly and vulnerable residents.
"We love our tourists, but this year we are telling them to stay away for the protection of all of our residents," Mr Conaghan said.
"The Public Health Order specifically states travelling to take a holiday in a regional area is not a reasonable excuse for people to leave their residence and it's just not on."
Mr Singh acknowledged the region has a large tourism sector, but said safety was paramount.
"Lives depend on every single one of us doing our part by staying at home this long weekend," Mr Singh said.
To view the NSW Public Health Order currently in place click here.