Covid Australia Byron Bay hell for school kids locked up in hostel after infected woman triggers lockdown

Police have placed an armed guard outside a backpacker hostel in Byron Bay to detain 81 guests and staff after an unvaccinated worker tested positive for Covid.

The woman may have contaminated every room in the Aquarius hostel on the north coast of NSW before raising the alarm.

Now police have closed the building with no one allowed out after all guests and staff were considered close contacts by NSW Health, escalating the crisis.

Everyone in the hostel can now be in isolation there for at least 14 days if they have not been vaccinated, and will be tested repeatedly during the lockdown.

Police have deployed an armed guard at a backpacker hostel in Byron Bay (pictured) to detain 81 guests after an employee tested positive for Covid

Police have locked the building and no one is allowed in or out while testing continues (Photo: A guest on the property's grounds)

Police have locked the building and no one is allowed in or out while testing continues (Photo: A guest on the property’s grounds)

Even double-shot guests and staff have to stay in the hostel for the next seven days without leaving while they’re being monitored and tested, before they can walk free if they test negative on day six.

The unvaccinated worker who caused the alert is said to have come to Byron from Victoria to work at the hostel.

A guest from North Queensland told the ABC: ‘She’s probably been in every room, so yeah…’

“I don’t want it, it’s pretty scary, pretty serious,” one Melbourne man shouted from his hostel balcony.

Guests and staff with double jabs must stay in the hostel (pictured) for the next seven days without leaving, while they are checked and tested

Guests and staff with double jabs must stay in the hostel (pictured) for the next seven days without leaving, while they are checked and tested

Staff will continue to work at the hostel under the lockdown conditions (photo)

Staff will continue to work at the hostel under the lockdown conditions (photo)

The closure comes as thousands of celebrating school leavers will arrive in Byron Bay and other parts of northern NSW over the next month from this weekend.

Guests were served pizza for dinner from the local Dominos on Wednesday night before a truck delivered breakfast packages — including apple juice, cornflakes, milk, fruit cups and water — to the incarcerated guests on Thursday morning.

NSW Health confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that the lockdown initially lasted 48 hours but has since been upgraded after investigations found the infection may have been serious.

“NNSWLHD is working with other agencies such as NSW Police to support guests and staff with food supplies and other essential items,” said Wayne Jones, Chief Executive Northern NSW Local Health District.

More than 80 backpackers at a hostel in Byron Bay on NSW’s north coast have been locked up for a week after a guest tested positive for Covid-19

NSW Health has locked up the Aquarius Backpackers (pictured) in Byron Bay for up to 14 days, affecting 81 guests

NSW Health has locked up the Aquarius Backpackers (pictured) in Byron Bay for up to 14 days, affecting 81 guests

Police will continue to maintain surveillance on the property for as long as they believe it is necessary, NSW Health said.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith posted on Facebook on Wednesday evening about the situation at the Aquarius Backpackers.

“I am closely monitoring a situation in Byron Bay tonight where a positive Covid-19 case and 84 close contacts have been identified at Aquarius Backpackers in Byron Bay,” she said.

“I’m told (they are) supported with food, health and support,” said Ms. Smith.

Guests were served pizza for dinner Wednesday night from the local Dominos (pictured a guest at the Byron Bay hostel)

Guests were served pizza for dinner Wednesday night from the local Dominos (pictured a guest at the Byron Bay hostel)

The NSW Police Department has placed a 24-hour security guard at the hostel to ensure compliance.

“My thoughts are with anyone who is in that situation because it will be a difficult time,” said Ms. Smith.

Thousands of HSC students are about to descend to the seaside town for school parties.

About 80.9 percent of Byron Bay residents are fully vaccinated. While high, the coverage ratio lags the state average of 92 percent.

Officers will hold a press conference on Thursday about the launch of police’s school actions in the Tweed/Byron precinct.

Police say they will be conducting a highly visible operation during the school term, targeting drug and alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

Food deliveries are allowed inside the hostel (pictured), but none of the guests or staff will be allowed outside for at least seven days or 14 days if they are not vaccinated

Food deliveries are allowed inside the hostel (pictured), but none of the guests or staff will be allowed outside for at least seven days or 14 days if they are not vaccinated

NSW Police have placed a 24-hour security guard at the hostel to ensure compliance (pictured)

NSW Police have placed a 24-hour security guard at the hostel to ensure compliance (pictured)

Thousands of HSC students are about to descend to the seaside town for school parties (photo, leavers celebrate in Queensland)

Thousands of HSC students are about to descend to the seaside town for school parties (photo, leavers celebrate in Queensland)

A total of 84 guests and staff at the Aquarius Backpackers hostel in Byron Bay have been locked up after coming into close contact with a positive Covid case

Meanwhile, unvaccinated 12th-year students have been granted exemptions from attending school dances, dinners or graduations.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the 2021 cohort had “an incredibly tough 18 months.”

“They deserve to be able to party with their friends and enjoy one of the biggest parties of their lives,” he said on Thursday.

Police say they will conduct a visibility operation for the duration of the school term (photo, the Aquarius Backpacker hostel)

Police say they will conduct a visibility operation for the duration of the school term (photo, the Aquarius Backpacker hostel)

The local health district in northern NSW confirmed that two new cases of the virus had been reported in the area on Wednesday (Byron Bay test clinic photo)

The local health district in northern NSW confirmed that two new cases of the virus had been reported in the area on Wednesday (Byron Bay test clinic photo)

The waiver means 12th-year students who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 can celebrate with their friends if they adhere to the public health requirements of the location they are going to.

Meanwhile, the NSW government’s Covid-19 cabinet subcommittee will meet on Thursday to consider extending a mask mandate beyond December 15.

The government’s roadmap to get out of lockdown says restrictions will ease when NSW reaches 95 percent double vaccination or on December 15 – whichever comes first.

Then there will be an end to the exclusion of unvaccinated people and masks will only be mandatory on public transport, on airplanes and at airports and for catering staff indoors.

However, there are reports that NSW Health bureaucrats are pushing for masks to be mandatory in stores throughout the holiday season.

.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button