Whitsunday Regional Council mayor Andrew Willcox has said the Easter long weekend is not the time to let down their guard about coronavirus. Picture: JORDAN GILLILAND
Whitsunday Regional Council mayor Andrew Willcox has said the Easter long weekend is not the time to let down their guard about coronavirus. Picture: JORDAN GILLILAND

‘Don’t let your guard down’: Mayor gives COVID-19 update

THE Whitsunday mayor has complimented the region’s residents on their social distancing measures, as the Mackay health region enters another day with no more confirmed COVID-19 cases.

However, Whitsunday Regional Council mayor Andrew Willcox has said the Easter long weekend is “not the time to let your guard down” for fears more strict social distancing measures would be needed if measures were ignored.

“There’s some really great news coming out about the virus in the Whitsundays, with our 13 cases in the Mackay health region from people returning overseas, or people close to them,” he said.

“No community transfer is great news, and it’s proving that our measures are working and we’re keeping on the right track.”

With some beaches across Australia closing to help enforce social distancing, Cr Willcox said there was no need to shut residents off from the sand in the Whitsundays.

He said he was in constant contact with police across the Whitsundays who were doing a “fantastic job” to make sure measures were enforced.

Although travellers into the state were forced to self-isolate, Cr Willcox said special permission had been granted by him for the Easter bunny.

“‘What we’re hoping is if everyone keeps doing what we’re doing, we won’t need any further restrictions,” he said.

“Our beaches are still open for the purposes of exercise. So go for a run or a swim for exercise, take your dog for a walk, but make sure you’re practising social distancing.

“Those that do the wrong thing will face the long arm of the law, but from what I’ve been informed by police, it seems most people are doing the right thing.

“The good news is I have declared the Easter bunny an essential service. So he has been granted special permission to deliver chocolates to all the families.”

Cr Willcox was disappointed by the move to postpone the 2020 Show Whitsunday, but supported the decision and said it “was the right thing to do”.

“They’re doing the right thing by the community and they’re all volunteers out there doing their best,” he said.

“I have heard that they want to do it bigger and better next year, and I don’t doubt that.

“I think there will be a lot of events that will be ready to come back stronger than ever when we’re on the other side of this.”