North QLD island issues travel ban for visitors

QUEENSLAND'S largest indigenous community has asked non-essential travellers to stay away in a bid to protect residents from coronavirus.

Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council has advised that until further notice due to coronavirus, travel to the offshore community is limited to those involved in the provision of "essential services", including doctors, nurses, police, teachers and specialists needed for repairs if required, until further notice.

People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are feeling unwell or had close contact with someone who is feeling unwell, or has travelled overseas in the last 14 days are advised not to travel to Palm Island, regardless if they are a resident or not.

"These restrictions have been applied in the interest of the ongoing health and safety of our residents."

 

Palm Island's notice to the community.
Palm Island's notice to the community.

 

There has been no overarching national decree saying people should no longer travel to indigenous communities, whose residents are considered more vulnerable should they contract COVID-19.

 

 

The Northern Land Council in the Northern Territory last week said all existing permits to Top End Aboriginal communities for non-essential travel will be suspended and no new permits will be granted until further notice.

Chief executive officer Marion Scrymgour said the move was to protect Aboriginal people in the communities who already faced issues like chronic health conditions, lack of resources and overcrowded housing.