Re-opening of Island - Repeal of Lord Howe Island COVID-19 – Public Health Order

The Chair of the Board was advised last night that Minister Hazzard has signed the Public Health (COVID-19 Lord Howe Island) Order (No 4) Repeal Order 2020, which repeals the current Public Health (COVID-19 Lord Howe Island) Order as requested by the Board, with effect on and from Friday 2 October.

This means that visitors will be able to access Lord Howe from the morning of Friday 2 October.

From that date, certain businesses on Lord Howe Island will be subject to certain requirements under the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 5) (which, aside from the Lord Howe Island provisions, commences on 28 September).

In addition to the requirements under the Order which apply to certain businesses and premises in all of NSW (including hospitality venues such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs; places of worship; function centres and commercial vessels), the requirements that are specific to Lord Howe Island businesses include:

  • owners or operators of short-term rental, or of tourist and visitor accommodation on Lord Howe Island must develop and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan that addresses the matters in the “Hotels and accommodation on Lord Howe Island” COVID-19 safety checklist approved on 24 September 2020, keep a copy on the premises and register as a COVID-19 safe business, and  
  • occupiers of community centres and vessels used for hosting functions or commercial tours must also register as a COVID-19 safe business.

The approved COVID safety checklist (as provided by NSW Health 26/09/2020) for accommodation providers on Lord Howe Island will be published on the nsw.gov.au website shortly, and should assist Lord Howe Island accommodation providers to develop their COVID safety plans in preparation for commencement of the Orders.

In the letter Minister Hazzard made the following comment. “I appreciate that the Order has placed a strain and burden on the residents of Lord Howe Island and the Island's businesses that rely on tourism. However, the Order was put in place to minimise the risk to the Lord Howe Island community as a result of the COVI D-19 pandemic. Based on advice from NSW Health and the implementation of risk management strategies, I have made the decision to repeal the Order from 2 October 2020.”