Byron Bay Schoolies Week officially kicks off on Monday but due to that pesky spicy cough, it hasn’t had the smoothest start.
A snap lockdown was the last thing the Aquarius Hostel needed as 16 flights a day full of recently graduated year 12s descend on the coastal NSW town.
With schoolies arriving in their thousands, the scene is similar in scale to the Siege of Leningrad if all the Germans were carrying goon sacks instead of military supplies.
Amidst the mass arrivals, the backpacker accommodation has been told to lockdown for 48 hours (formerly seven days but later revised by authorities) after one of its guests tested positive for COVID-19.
NSW Health authorities have stated that the guest was unvaccinated.
All 84 of the guests and staff will be monitored around the clock by NSW to ensure compliance.
Byron Bay Police Chief Inspector Matt Kehoe expressed that the lockdown was a necessary precaution measure.
“We don’t want to be naive; we don’t want to be complacent” he said.
“We do know that COVID is still within our communities, and it’s all around the country.”
Member for Ballina Tamara Smith took to Facebook to assure her constituents that food and medical support would be made available to those impacted.
“I’m closely monitoring a situation in Byron Bay where a positive COVID-19 case and 84 close contacts have been identified at Aquarius Backpackers in Byron Bay.”
The elephant in the room here is that the Byron Shire has the lowest vaccination rate in the entire state of New South Wales.
Just 80% of people aged 16 and over are fully vaxx’d compared with the entire state’s 92% average.
Pissweak tbh. I’ve seen more jabs at a Logan Paul boxing match.
The Shire is the only jurisdiction to not be allowed into South Australia after its borders opened earlier this week to NSW and Victoria.
Unfortunately for Byron Bay, the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s approved list of COVID preventative measures doesn’t include healing crystals.