Communities across the Hunter are being urged to stay home over the Easter weekend to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
The NSW Government Public Health Order on Gathering and Movement makes it illegal to congregate in groups of more than two and states people must remain in their home unless they have a reasonable excuse to be out.
City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the upcoming Easter long weekend was not the time to slip up on social distancing.
“Novocastrians have embraced the need for social distancing and are staying home to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19,” she said.
“With forecast warm and sunny weather over the Easter long weekend, we are stressing how important it is at this critical point of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic for people to continue to stay home.”
Cr Nelmes echoed the message from NSW Police that unless people were going to the supermarket or pharmacy, going to or from work if they cannot work from home, going to medical appointments, or getting some exercise in their own neighbourhood, they should be at home.
“To help contain and slow the spread of COVID-19, we all have to work together and that means staying in our homes and our neighbourhoods for the time being,” she said.
“By working together as a community, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 to protect each other and be back enjoying ourselves with friends and family as soon as possible.”
NSW Police Force Corporate Sponsor for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell, said being apart now will give us our best chance of being together in the future.
“The hardest thing for many of us will be that at this time we cannot as a family, visit loved ones and friends and we are unable to celebrate in each other’s homes,” Assistant Commissioner Thurtell said.
“It is a time where changing our behaviour is not about breaking tradition but rather ensuring that we have a future for traditions that have transformed through this experience.”
City of Newcastle has installed signage at beaches, parks and playgrounds across the local government area advising that the spaces are closed.
Outdoor facilities like BBQs, shelters and picnic tables are also closed, while NSW Police have the power to issue on-the-spot fines to people not complying with social distancing rules.
For the latest on City of Newcastle’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic visit Council’s website.