Coastal caravan parks that blacklisted residents from six Victorian coronavirus hotspots have reversed their decision and will now welcome all guests.
Locals in the Melbourne areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin were initially banned from a caravan park chain, as health authorities advised against regional travel.
The Anglesea Family Caravan Park, the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park and the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park managed by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, had cancelled all bookings from guests living in those hotspots, but on Wednesday afternoon reversed the call.
“We made the decision based on what we thought was best for our staff, guests and local communities,” the caravan parks said on their websites.
“We have now updated our decision based on advice from the Chief Health Officer and will welcome all guests, including our 12-month permit holders back into our parks.”
The parks reiterated Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton’s mandate that if anyone feels unwell they must undergo testing and stay home.
“If you feel unwell you should stay at home. If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested. It’s up to all of us to make this work,” the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee website said.
The parks said they would contact guests with cancelled bookings in the coming days.
The decision followed the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee urging residents in the hotspots not to leave their suburbs until community transmission was curbed.
But Prof Sutton said the message was not aimed at forcing residents to stay home.
“In Victoria, we’ve got transmission across metro Melbourne, so for all of those areas it’s not about saying you can’t leave there,” he said.
“It is a message for those areas, you have to be particularly aware of people with symptoms … because transmission is higher in those areas.”
He recommended people consider whether they should mix with people they don’t normally see.