Alpine communities urged to stay safe and stay open

AS COVID-19 outbreaks continue to worsen in Melbourne and interstate, Alpine Shire Council is urging local communities to do their bit to limit the spread and prevent a future lockdown.

18 August 2021

Alpine Shire Mayor John Forsyth said anecdotal reports and personal experience has shown that some people are simply not doing the right thing.

“I understand the fatigue that our businesses and residents are feeling as we negotiate even more uncertainty, rules and regulations,” he said.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve seen our communities band together and work through some of the hardest months we’ve ever experienced.

“We’re a strong community. We might be tired, but we can do this.”

Cr Forsyth said it is imperative people make COVIDSafe choices to keep the vulnerable in our communities safe.

“You may think we’ll never have a positive case, or that even if we have an outbreak, you’ll be fine,” he said.

“But what about those people in our community who are aged, have compromised immune systems or pre-existing conditions?

“If we have an outbreak, they may not be fine.

“If you don’t want to wear a mask for yourself, wear it for them.

“Or, failing that, wear it so none of us have to go back into lockdown again. Wear it so businesses can keep operating.”

One of the key tools for combatting COVID, and slowing outbreaks as they occur, is contact tracing.

Cr Forsyth said it is vital that all businesses have their Service Victoria QR codes visible, and ensure customers check in.

“It doesn’t matter if someone is there for five minutes grabbing a coffee, dropping in to pick up takeaway, browsing a store or there for a seated meal - everyone has the same obligation to ensure their customer checks in,” he said.

“If someone doesn’t have a smart phone, business need to provide a sign-in kiosk to ensure that contact tracers can do their job if there’s an outbreak.”

Cr Forsyth said an unwillingness to follow the rules puts the whole community at risk of future lockdowns, even if an outbreak doesn’t occur.

“Melbourne has just been locked down for a further two weeks and a curfew put in place,” he said.

“In comparison to that, we’re extremely lucky. We can still trade, still take our kids and grandkids to the park, still sit down to eat in a restaurant, still play sport.

“Our kids can still learn from school rather from home, we can still exercise and we can still sit outside in the sunshine with a takeaway coffee and catch up with friends.

“To keep enjoying the relative freedoms that regional Victoria has at the moment, it’s essential that we follow the rules.

“None of us wants to go back into lockdown. No-one wants to be the reason we’re forced back into lockdown because of a local outbreak.”

Staying COVIDSafe:

  • Wear a mask at all times, indoors and out, unless exempt
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Practise good hygiene
  • Stay at home when unwell, and get tested for COVID-19
  • Check in to all sites using the Service Victoria App
  • Businesses, know your obligations to keep your customers and staff safe

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