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Easing of travel restrictions to boost local economy

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The Hunter’s tourism sector is set to receive a boost as COVID-19 travel restrictions begin to ease.

The NSW Government announced on Wednesday that residents will be able to take trips across the state, if they maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene from Monday 1 June.

Hunter Business Chamber Chief Executive Bob Hawes says the easing of these restrictions will boost the local economy.

“Our regional business communities have been doing it tough for some time due to drought, bushfire and the pandemic,” he says.

“The opening of the region will help kick-start our economic recovery and be a huge boost for the tourism and hospitality sectors in particular.

“People will be eager to travel after a long period of isolation and our region is perfectly placed for weekender visits from Sydney and other major centres.”

He adds the tourism and hospitality sectors are among the worst hit industries.

“Business NSW estimates that about 20,000 jobs have been lost across the Hunter, many of them in those hard-hit sectors, so the relaxation of travelling restrictions will help boost business confidence and encourage businesses to start employing people again.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says lifting the holiday travel restrictions will give everyone a much-needed break and help get small businesses and the tourism industry moving again.

“This is the day we’ve all been looking forward to since the COVID-19 travel restrictions were put in place earlier this year and I would like to thank everyone for their patience during the past few months of being cooped up at home,” she says.

“I must stress to everyone that, while we want people to enjoy a well-earned holiday, we must do this responsibly and continue to abide by physical distancing measures, as the last thing we want is further outbreaks that will force us to reintroduce restrictions.”

Venues are also encouraged to review their booking policies to allow travellers to easily cancel their trip if they have any symptoms.

Go to the NSW Government’s website for more information about the COVID-19 restrictions.

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