News, Culture & Society

Easter crackdown: Police to target popular holiday destinations

BY KAREN RUIZ FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA 

For most Australians the Easter long weekend is typically a time to travel, with many families opting for a mini getaway at popular holiday destinations.  

But this year, measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 through the community mean the holiday will have to be celebrated differently.  

Public gatherings of more than two people have been banned under coronavirus restrictions, meaning Easter traditions such as egg hunts, Easter mass and family parties cannot go ahead.

Holidaymakers have also been urged to cancel their travel plans and spend the weekend at home.

So what can you do this Easter? Daily Mail Australia’s guide shows you what you can do to celebrate safely. 

Families can no longer take part in large Easter egg hunts, but are safe to have them within their home or backyards

CAN I RENT A PROPERTY OR AIRBNB AND ISOLATE THERE? 

No. While most Australians are already hunkered down at home with their families, travelling to isolate at a rental property, such as an Airbnb, is still forbidden. 

Non-essential travel has been banned under the government’s tight new measures, meaning you should only leave your home if it’s absolutely necessary.   

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson on Monday said there was no reason for people to be staying at property other than their own residence during this time. 

‘It isn’t illegal for them to advertise the [rental] property but guests couldn’t get there without breaking the law,’ he said. 

‘It just goes back to whether or not the travel is essential. If it doesn’t fit under any of those [essential] categories, then it’s not essential travel,’ a NSW Police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia. 

On Monday afternoon, Mr Anderson repeated that any suggestions staying in short-term rentals was ‘illegal’ were incorrect. 

‘The NSW Government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been very clear. As per the public health orders, people must stay home with the exception of a number of circumstances including work and to provide care,’ he said. 

‘The NSW Government acknowledges that in these circumstances the provision of short-term accommodation is often critical, particularly for our frontline health workers.’

WHAT ABOUT GOING TO THE PARK OR THE BUSH? 

You can go to the park if you’re going for your daily dose of fresh air or exercise and remember to practice social distancing.

Outdoor Easter celebrations such as egg hunts and picnics however, will not be allowed, no matter how small. 

Most parks will remain open, but all campgrounds visitor centres, high-visitation areas and historic sites in NSW have been closed as of March 26.      

CAN I HAVE AN EASTER EGG HUNT AT THE PARK? 

No. Outdoor gatherings, no matter how small, are not allowed under COVID-19 restrictions. 

Families are safe to have an Easter egg hunt at their own homes or backyards.  

A spokesperson for NSW Premier’s office told Daily Mail Australia you must have a reasonable excuse to leave your home. 

WHAT ABOUT CHURCH? 

For many people who are not particularly religious, Easter may be the only time they physically attend a church during the year.

Those people will not able to attend Easter mass this year due to new social distancing rules, but churches and are encouraged to hold services online if possible. 

In states, including NSW, live-streaming and broadcasting of religious services in places of worship that are closed to the public can still go ahead.  

Catholic and Anglican congregations have been using technology to overcome not being able to physically gather in churches and will do so over Easter. The Munday family of Sydney are pictured watching a live-stream service from St Paul of the Cross in Dulwich Hill

Catholic and Anglican congregations have been using technology to overcome not being able to physically gather in churches and will do so over Easter. The Munday family of Sydney are pictured watching a live-stream service from St Paul of the Cross in Dulwich Hill

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk