Lifesavers ‘prepared’ but ‘hoping for the best’
Surf Lifesavers will be preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best, this Easter.
Surf Life Saving Far North Coast duty officer Chris Samuels said despite concerns around COVID-19 cases linked to the region, clubs were preparing for full patrols this long weekend.
He said it was possible some local club members attended a Surf Life Saving carnival at Tugun on the Gold Coast at the weekend - named as a COVID-19 contact location by Queensland Health - he was confident Northern Rivers' beaches would be adequately protected.
"I don't know first hand if anyone did (attend the carnival)," Mr Samuels said.
"If they did, they would be following the NSW Health advice."
He said there were good numbers available at local surf clubs and any rostering gaps could be filled.
"It wouldn't be a massive number of our branch that did attend, it is possible that some did," he said.
The Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club has meanwhile become home to one of Byron's two new COVID testing clinics to help meet demand.
He said Surf Life Savers would follow guidelines set out by NSW Health.
"Obviously we are following, a little bit more closely now, the social distancing and personal PPE we wear and the way we interact with people," he said.
As the last warm holiday period before winter hits, he said they were expecting a busy Easter.
"We're prepared, our support operations and response team are geared up and prepare for the last onslaught," he said.
While visitors from outside the region are not barred from entering the Northern Rivers, they will be expected to adhere to restrictions in place for the Tweed, Byron, Ballina and Lismore shires.