NSW residents will be able to take a holiday anywhere in NSW from next month, with intra-state travel restrictions to be lifted from Monday 1 June 2020.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro said NSW citizens will be able take recreational trips across NSW, as long as they maintain social distancing and good hygiene.
Ms Berejiklian said lifting the holiday travel restriction 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,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“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.”
Mr Barilaro said while regional NSW will welcome visitors with open arms, holidaymakers should call their planned accommodation venues and attractions to ensure they will be open and confirm their bookings before travelling.
“COVID could not have come at a worse time for regional NSW, with towns already doing it tough due to bushfires and drought and so I encourage everyone to make plans to safely and responsibly visit their favourite regional holiday destination, or discover a new one,” Mr Barilaro said.
“I encourage holidaymakers to visit local businesses, enjoy local attractions and feast on the best food regional NSW has to offer, and for those not able to get away in June 2020, to start making plans for later in the year when even more businesses will be open.
“I’m very pleased to share that this means we will have a ski season this year, however holidaymakers should be aware that ski resorts will likely need time to put COVID plans into place and you should make contact before visiting.”
Venues are also encouraged to review their booking policies to allow travellers to easily cancel their trip if they have any symptoms.
A number of caravan parks and camping grounds will be open from 1 June 2020, but travellers should call ahead and confirm bookings, while travellers planning to visit national parks should check NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for further information. Travellers need to especially practice strong hygiene around shared facilities.
Travellers from interstate will be able to visit NSW for a holiday from 1 June 2020 but will need to comply with the rules of their home state when returning.
“The NSW announcement goes a long way towards achieving that outcome by the target date of the June long weekend," Australian Chamber - Tourism chair John Hart said.
"We urge other states to follow the NSW lead and restart their tourism sector. With 56 per cent of the $80 billion generated in domestic tourism overnight spend coming from interstate travel, any hope we have of seeing the sector revived relies on breaking down our state border restrictions."
“It is now critically important that Governments open state borders. Australian tourism cannot effectively restart until Australians can visit their favourite holiday destinations. Domestic tourism needs to fill the gap created by absent international visitors. That cannot happen in any significant way if the state borders are closed.
"750,000 Australian jobs are on the line. In Queensland alone there are 217,000 people directly employed in tourism, so to have that state shut off from the rest of the country is going to compound our country's devastating unemployment figures."
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