COVID-19 Quarantine, Gatherings and Movement 7 April 2020

Quarantine, Gatherings and Movement

Significant concern has been expressed regarding exposure to the island from those returning from the mainland especially during their quarantine period. I want to thank our Police officer Heath for his constant work communicating with people, briefing returning residents and checking on those in quarantine. He has also been stressing to all those on island to abide by the social distancing requirements. Earlier on much of the requirements were in the form of advice. It is noted that stiff penalties now apply. The Public Health Order for LHI (22 March) combined with stricter NSW wide requirements which were made law on 30 March through an Order by the Minister for Health, mean that you must take these requirements seriously.

It is recognised that it is difficult to change habits, and it is tempting to think that rules apply to others and not ourselves. However, it is very disappointing that some people seem to think that it is OK to gather or walk in groups larger than two, to visit someone in quarantine, or to “bend” the rules. It does not matter if you can be seen or not. You are putting people at risk if you do not abide by the requirements, both to the letter and to the spirit of the law. We have vulnerable people on island as well as people doing it very tough because their businesses are impacted by the restrictions. Let’s not waste their efforts to keep Lord Howe safe.

You may have noticed that as of last Friday evening (3 April) all people on Norfolk Island have been required to stay on their property with very few exceptions. I understand that this was because some did not comply and led to the application of very strict new rules for everyone, not just those in quarantine.

As of 22nd March all arrivals to Lord Howe Island returning from COVID-19 positive areas have entered into a mandatory 14 day quarantine period before resuming regular social-distancing regulations.

As we better understand where our vulnerabilities lie with relation to COVID-19, we continue to review practices and quarantine directions ensuring they are in line with both the health risk posed by COVID-19 and NSW regulations.

The quarantine information sheet, How to Quarantine on Lord Howe Island, provided to arrivals has been updated to stress the importance of the restrictions and use some examples to assist in making the message clearer.

Permanent Park Preserve (PPP) Access

The PPP remains open for exercise only. North Bay picnic area and campgrounds are closed for public use. Again, it is stressed that going there to gather is not legally allowed.

Applications for travel available online

The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gatherings and Movement) Order 2020 commenced on 31 March 2020. In accordance with this order a person must not, without reasonable excuse, leave the person’s place of residence.

If you plan to travel off island, it is important you discuss your plans with Constable Heath Roberts (phone 02 65632199) to ensure your proposed movements are not in breach of this order.

Once you have confirmed your travel is permissible please complete the appropriate Request to Access Lord Howe Island form, available on the homepage of the Board’s website and submit it to administration@lhib.nsw.gov.au for approval.

Yours Sincerely,

Peter Adams
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
DATE: 7th April 2020