South Australia's tourism operators affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The state's regional tourism operators have reportedly been dealt a cruel blow as visitor cancellations emerge less than 48 hours since the new coronavirus outbreak was announced on Sunday.

The state government had since enacted statewide restrictions after a new cluster was confirmed in the northern suburbs, which has since grown to 18 SA Health known cases.

On the Eyre Peninsula, popular seafood frontier Port Lincoln is sadly seeing a flow-on effect with tourism cancellations recorded over the next two weeks and leading into December.

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Port Lincoln City Council tourism development officer Naomi Blacker said she had already received reports of visitors leaving Port Lincoln early and cancelling bookings for accommodation.

"There's been a lot of cancellations in a 24-hour period for the next fortnight and even dates in December," she said.

"A lot of corporate travellers have cancelled their trips for 2020," she said.

Undoubtedly, the blow to accommodation would also affect tour cancellations Ms Blacker added.

These measures are tough, and they will no doubt create a lot of anxiety for operators across our industry.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex, meanwhile issued a statement to the communities in response to restrictions in place for the next two weeks.

"These measures are tough, and they will no doubt create a lot of anxiety for operators across our industry," he shared.

"As the premier and SA Health's chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said, we must act swiftly and decisively to stop the potential of this outbreak becoming SA's second wave."

The changes also impact the events sector.

SATC has since placed COVID-19 management plans on hold or cancelled events for the next two weeks.

"As we have throughout the pandemic, the SATC is constantly evolving and adapting our plans as circumstances change, and that is what we are doing now," he said.

"I remind operators of the importance of prevention and control of the spread of COVID-19, and encourage you to re-familiarise yourselves with your COVID Safe Plans and the responsibilities of the COVID-19 marshal/s in your business."

Mr Harrex further encourages the public and operators to stay up-to-date on the latest information and advice from SA Health.

For updates, visit www.covid-19.sa.gov.au.