Customers go back to ‘ground zero’ of COVID scare in Byron
After a deep cleaning process, tourists went back to the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay on Wednesday, despite revelations the first case of community transmission in the areas happened there on the weekend.
A man in his 20s was at the Byron Beach Hotel on the evening of Friday, March 26, while a hen's party from Queensland - associated with a nine-case cluster north of the border - was also at the hotel.
As his diagnosis was reported after 8pm, it will be included in the official figures released on Thursday.
The venue opened normally at noon for lunch, with around 50 customers enjoying drinks and food at around 1pm.
The hotel's management thanked the community and customers for their support via social media.
"We would like to say a huge thank you for the kindness and support we have received in response to (Monday's) news," they posted on social media.
"We have and continue to work closely with NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of our staff, customers and our community.
"Our affected Beach Hotel staff are following NSW Health directives to be tested immediately and isolate until further notice. "
Management confirmed they were supporting staff during their isolation period.
"With our precautionary expert deep clean now complete, and with the support of NSW Health and local police, we feel confident to safely reopen our doors," the statement read.
"For the time being we will be amending our trading hours, menu and venue capacity in order to deliver a great customer experience.
"As a community leader we are determined to be a contributor to Byron to moving forward through this challenging time."