Regional travel ban lifted in NSW

Free to roam - NSW Government lifts regional travel ban

Coronavirus
NSW is a garden of Eden once again open to everybody where nobody is banned, after the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian lifted coronavirus restrictions on regional travel from June 1.

NSW is a garden of Eden once again open to everybody where nobody is banned, after the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian lifted coronavirus restrictions on regional travel from June 1.

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Take a holiday in NSW, urges Premier

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Struggling NSW regional businesses were given a lifeline today when the NSW Premier announced the regional travel ban would be lifted from June 1.

But travellers were warned to keep in mind social distancing and plan ahead by booking holidays online.

"Go on a holiday with your family and your friends," the NSW Premier said.

The announcement will come as a huge relief for many regional businesses hurt by the catastrophic bushfires along the NSW coastal and mountain areas, and those inland hurt by the drought.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was time to end the travel restrictions. The decision comes as the state's coronavirus crisis appeared to be coming under control with only minimal positive cases in the last few weeks, with almost all of those from returned travellers.

The NSW Premier warned the virus was still as contagious and dangerous as ever. She said it was important people observed social distancing rules and gathering rules when on holidays.

Coronavirus travel restrictions brought in in late March, has decimated regional jobs in many coastal areas.

NSW and Victoria are the only states not to close their borders. Queensland has indicated it will keep its border closed until September.

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.

Ski season is on! And it looks like it's going to be a good one at this stage. Snow at Thredbo a few weeks ago with another big dump expected in the next two days.

Ski season is on! And it looks like it's going to be a good one at this stage. Snow at Thredbo a few weeks ago with another big dump expected in the next two days.

"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."

Deputy Premier John 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, 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, he said.

A number of caravan parks and camping grounds will be open from June, but travellers should call ahead and confirm bookings, while travellers planning to visit national parks should check www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au 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 June but will need to comply with the rules of their home state when returning.

NSW is also moving to reopen art galleries and museums soon as well.

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