Easing up on coronavirus restrictions raises concerns
AN easing of coronavirus public restrictions in time for the May Day long weekend has sparked alarm from Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson.
"To be frank, I am concerned the Queensland Government's decision to relax some restrictions prior to the long weekend may contribute to an increased risk of transmission in our community.
"However, that decision does create expectations about access to public areas and council and the Local Disaster Management Group have taken that into account.
Sunshine Coast Council began reopening boat ramps and pontoons, public car parks at beaches and picnic shelters from last week.
Council-managed walking trails did not close and remain available to use.
Playgrounds, barbecues, skate parks, exercise equipment will remain closed however, as it is difficult to maintain compliance with social distancing rules and satisfactory hygiene measures at these facilities.
Surf Life Saving Queensland will also continue to operate a surveillance model with flags remaining down on beaches.
reminded the community that all other rules relating to social distancing and limits on visitors remained in place during this time.
"Now is not the time to undo all the great work that we have done in partnership with our community," Mayor Jamieson said.
"It's good news that we're able to reopen some Sunshine Coast facilities as I know our residents want to be using our parks, waterways and other open spaces during this time.
"But we must heed the important directives for the safety of our community," Mayor Jamieson said.
He said the actions taken to reopen beach carparks, boat ramps and pontoons recognises that "by and large, our community has done a great job in acting in a responsible manner during the pandemic".
"But if there is evidence of large scale non-compliance emerging over the weekend or beyond, council will move quickly to reinstate the closure of these facilities," he said.
"The Queensland Police Service will continue to be monitoring closely how people are complying with the national public health directions and those who are not doing the right thing run the very real risk of a $1334 fine.
Cr Jamieson also reminded Sunshine Coast residents not to encourage friends and relatives to travel from Brisbane and elsewhere to the Sunshine Coast this weekend.
The State Government has applied three conditions to the eased restrictions:
• social distancing and hygiene must be maintained
• you have to stay within 50km of home and
• outings are limited to members of the same household or an individual and one friend.
For information about other council facilities and services during this time, visit council's website at www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/coronavirus.