Accommodation providers put state safety before profit
THE reintroduction of a compulsory 14 day quarantine period for cross-border travellers is causing fresh concern among Southern Downs accommodation providers, who are determined to keep their businesses and communities safe from coronavirus.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state borders would close at 1am, Saturday August 8 following the rapid spread of Covid cases across Victoria and into New South Wales.
“It is my duty to protect Queenslanders,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Co-owner of Accommodation Creek Cottages Jayne Dawes feels the same responsibility toward her community.
“We want to make sure we protect our staff, and our management, and our region,” Mrs Dawes said.
“We don’t want coronavirus here, and we don’t want to subject anyone around us to that.”
Mrs Dawes said it was for this reason she was hesitant to offer quarantine accommodation to travellers from hotspots, despite her proximity to the border.
“We send all of our guests a declaration they need to complete before their arrival, to tell us if they’ve been in any Covid hot spots or had any symptoms, and if they have we ask them to cancel,” she said.
To encourage those travellers to reconsider, Mrs Dawes has introduced a 100 per cent refund policy for any Covid-related cancellation.
Owner of the Ballandean Tavern and Motel Steve Day is equally sceptical about allowing cross-border travellers into his premises once the border closes.
“We haven’t talked about it properly yet but I don’t think (we’d take them),” Mr Day said.
“It might scare away other people.”
Retaining their Queensland customer base is vital to these business owners, who both said the vast majority of their recent guests came from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
“Queenslanders are really discovering Queensland for the first time and it’s great,” Mrs Dawes said.
“We need to contain Covid and stop it from travelling because we’ve been thriving since the first of June and it’s been fantastic for all of the businesses here, we’re pumped.”