Wednesday, April 1, 2020

With some of the most picturesque holiday spots along the Murray River, the Mid Murray district is a popular destination for campers and holidaymakers. But this year, the Mid Murray Council is calling on visitors to delay their holiday – and for a very good reason. The State and Federal Governments are urging people to avoid all non-essential travel to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19. Mid Murray Council Mayor Dave Burgess said it was difficult for the district to turn away tourists – but staying home would mean that people, their families and the Mid Murray community stay safe. “We know that for many families and groups of friends, Easter and the school holidays mean getting away to camp by the Murray River, relaxing on a houseboat or in a shack, or catching up at a local caravan park,” Mayor Burgess says. “For many, it’s a long-lived family tradition and ordinarily we’d be welcoming everyone with open arms. But the situation we’re finding ourselves in is far from ordinary, and we need to be thinking of the health and safety of everyone. “For this reason, we’re urging everyone to listen to the State and Federal Government’s advice to avoid all non-essential travel. “Stay safe, stay at home. “We know you’re probably desperate to get out of the house, but it really is the safest place to be right now. So don’t be a bunny this Easter by putting yourself and others at risk of catching this virus and spreading it in our community. “If we all do the right thing and stay home, we’ll be helping to fight the virus together – and therefore hopefully returning to normal, sooner. “Of course once things are back to normal, you can bet we’ll be rolling out the welcome mat once again and encouraging everyone to come and enjoy a much-needed break in our beautiful area.” Many services and businesses in the district have closed, with the SA Government already closing all accommodation and campgrounds inside the State’s national parks for the foreseeable future. Following on from this, the decision has been made that all Council-operated campgrounds will also close to the public from 9am Wednesday, 1 April. In addition, some public toilets are already closed (and more closures are likely in coming weeks), along with shops, pubs, cafes, visitor information hubs and tourist attractions. The latest round of Mid Murray closures, effective from Monday, 30 March under new restrictions imposed by the Federal Government, includes all playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment. Council has also made the decision to close all public barbecue facilities. While local parks and reserves are still open for exercise, people are reminded that the Federal Government’s two-person limit applies on all social gatherings (with exceptions for members of the same household). Council will be working with SA Police to ensure the current restrictions in place to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19 are enforced.