A Byron Bay backpacker hostel has been placed in lockdown over a COVID-19 case at the site, forcing more than 80 guests to remain at the venue for a week.
Ballina MP Tamara Smith said police are now manning Aquarius Backpackers, located on Lawson Street, 24 hours a day.
“I’m closely monitoring a situation in Byron Bay this evening where a positive COVID-19 case and 84 close contacts have been identified at Aquarius Backpackers in Byron Bay,” she said on Wednesday night.
“NSW Health have locked down the venue and all 84 people are in a 7-day lockdown in the premises and I’m told being supported with food, health and support.
“My thoughts are with everyone in that situation as it will be a tough time, and I will keep checking in to make sure that people are getting the support they need.”
NSW Health and the hostel have been contacted for comment.
The lockdown comes as thousands of teenagers prepare to arrive in Byron Bay and other north coast holiday hotspots for annual schoolies celebrations.
There were two new COVID-19 cases reported in the Northern NSW Local Health District on Wednesday. One of the cases was a household contact of an existing case in the Byron Bay local government area, while the other was recorded in Ballina and is under investigation.