Destinations

Lord Howe Island’s reopening delayed until late November

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

A new public health order has been issued for Lord Howe Island, keeping the NSW holiday haven off limits for wider travel until at least 28 November.

As of 31 August, Lord Howe Island has been declared a ‘public health risk area’ with existing restrictions extended for at least the next 90 days, and arrivals to remain subject to strict quarantine requirements, which have been in place since March.

An extended NSW public health order noted the 14-square-kilometre island has “limited capacity to provide critical medical care to patients with severe COVID-19 infections” and will remain restricted to residents, non-residents leaving the island, essential services and support services.

Approval by NSW Health will continue to be required for arrivals, who will also need to complete 14 days of quarantine on the island.

Failure to comply with the order carries a maximum penalty for an individual of six months behind bars or a fine of up to $11,000, or both, plus a further $5,500 fine for each day the offence continues. Corporations face fines of $55,000 and $27,500 each day the offence continues.

However, while the order will be repealed on 28 November, according to Visit Lord Howe Island, many businesses are planning to reopen in early October in the hope of being able to restart tourism on the island “as soon as possible”.

For the time being, Qantas has cancelled flights to Lord Howe for September; however, flights are still loaded in the system for October and November.

Qantas and Eastern Air Services, which operate flights to the island, are reportedly working with visitors who had booked flights during September.


Featured image source: iStock/wallix



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