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Coronavirus and the Impact on the Caravan and Camping Industry

Coronavirus and the Impact on the Caravan and Camping Industry

Federal Government Covid-19 Requirements

The Prime Minister and Chief Medical Officer of Australia announced on February 18 information that will have some far-reaching ramifications to the Australia Caravan and Camping Industry.  The announcements are:

  • Update: 30/03/2020 Banning of non-essential gathering of 2 or more people indoors or outdoors (excluding family members).
  • Update: 30/03/2020 All incoming international travellers will be placed in  government-provided accommodation for a period of 14 days for quarantining
  • Banning non-essential gatherings of 100 people or more indoors.
  • Banning non-essential gatherings of 500 people or more outdoors.
  • Level 4 travel warnings on all international travel.

The government has indicated that all Australians should refrain from non-essential travel. In recent days, we have seen the travel restrictions implemented states of the NT, QLD, SA and TAS and WA, with the ACT, NSW and VIC implementing measures to shut down all non-essential businesses and services.  This will majorly affect pubs, clubs, cafes restaurants and businesses associated with them.  Businesses with enclosed spaces must observe the 4sq metre guidelines and social distancing.

For now, places like caravan parks and campgrounds fall within the ambit of essential services and shall remain open.  

Closure of all Non-Essential Services

As each day passes, this list continues to grow.  As of the time of publication, below is the list of Non-Essential services and will be required to close as instructed by the Australian Government.

– Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons tattoo parlours. Hairdressers/barbers, 30min appts only.
– Cafes. restaurants, food courts (except for takeaways). Food markets continue to operate.
– Spas, massage parlours
– Amusement parks, play centres, arcades
– Auctions and open houses (real estate related)
– Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, recreation centres, saunas, wellness centres
– Sporting events and swimming pools
– Libraries, community centres, museums, galleries and other public community facilities

A full and comprehensive list can be found HERE

What About People Already On The Road?

Caravan Parks
An estimate of over 75,000 people in Australia right now call their RV their home or permanent place of residence.  Couple that with the existing number of residents that already use Caravan Parks as permanent places of residence, the Australian Government has deemed that Caravan Parks and the like to remain to operate.  The individual operators have the choice if they wish to remain open or not. The recommendations were passed on to operators of parks to maintain a register of visitors and limiting patron access to amenity or ablution blocks. It includes any other publicly provided amenities with a view of limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

Update:
Caravan Park Owners have been instructed by the Australian Government to not to take in non-essential travellers:

“The Government has seen that workers, people who live within caravan parks, and also people who are travelling around Australia and cannot get back to their place of residence, are classed as essential travellers and are welcome at caravan parks.”

Campgrounds
Campgrounds appear to be in a similar position.  Locations managed by respective State National Parks have their Alerts and updates pages that highlight the status of campgrounds within their control.  Those links are below.  Private campgrounds find themselves in a similar position to caravan parks. It will be their decision if they will continue to operate unless their local council orders the cease of operation.  

The Australian Government has made it abundantly clear that they want to limit short term visitors and travellers using caravan parks and campgrounds.  The Government are also aware that they are deemed essential, especially if the people are in transit towards their primary place of residence.

For travellers in need of a campground or caravan for a temporary or prolonged port of call, it is recommended to phone ahead to know the status of the location. Please note. If you are in a remote destination, please be mindful of the small towns and surrounding areas limited services.  If any person on the road in their RV or Van gets sick, it places unnecessary strain on the local areas essential services.  These remote areas require their essential services for the locals.  

Please, if you are in a position to return home, please do as quickly and safely as possible.

australia-border-closures

Interstate Travel

There is so much confusion at the moment for people on the road who are in another state.  The Australian Government has issued a blanket warning.

Australians must avoid all non-essential domestic travel.

Moving within the states of NT, QLD, SA and TAS if you find yourself crossing those borders, you must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Northern Territory:
* Borders shut  from 4pm Tuesday 24th March
* NT Border Controls Guideline
* All Non-Essential travellers will then need to self-quarantine for 14 days in approved accommodation
* People entering must fill a border arrival form
* Approved Accommodation:
    -If you are staying in the Northern Territory, you must self-quarantine at the nearest available suitable accommodation.
    -Accommodation options are available throughout the Territory, with a number of roadhouses and wayside inns offering rooms suitable for self-quarantine purposes.
    -For two full weeks, you will need to stay in accommodation with a bathroom and not leave the room.
    – Accommodation providing shared bathroom facilities and/ or communal kitchens are not available for the purpose of self-isolating.

* Potential $62,00 fine who break the quarantine
NT GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS PAGE

UPDATE 26 March, 2020:
* Caravan Parks will remain open. All campgrounds in national parks and reserves remain closed.  


Queensland:
* Borders shut from Midnight 25th March.
* People wanting to enter will need to get a permit.
* All Non-Essential people will then need to self-quarantine for 14 days
* Campgrounds in National Parks and State Managed recreation areas, closed from 26/03/20
* Failure to compy of self-quarantining rules makes you liable of $13,345 fines.
QLD GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS PAGE

Update 26 March, 2020:
* Caravan Parks will remain open for all guests. All camping areas in national parks, state forests, and recreational facilities on state-owned land must close. 


South Australia:
* Borders shut from 4pm Tuesday 24th March
* All Non-Essential travellers will need to self-quarantine for 14 days
* Cross Border Travel Directive
   – View Part 4. Direction
* SA Police have released information on travel restrictions
SA GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS PAGE


Tasmania:
* The borders will shut from Midnight 20th March
* Residents of Tasmania and Essential Workers allow only (transit by ferry)
* All other Non-Essential travellers will need to self-quarantine for 14 days
Update: FERRY WILL NOT ALLOW ALL CARAVANS, RVS, AND CAMPERVANS TO GET ONBOARD.  Breaching any of these stipulations may result in a $16,800 fine or 6 months jail.
TAS GOVERNMENT CORONAVIRUS PAGE

Update 26 March, 2020:
* Caravan Parks are to remain closed except to serve residents and site tenants and those who either do not have a permanent place of residence.  All interstate and international tourists must leave Tasmania by Sunday the 29th of March.  


Western Australia:
* Borders shut from 1:30pm Tuesday 24th March
* All Non-Essential travellers will need to self-quarantine for 14 days
* Caravan Parks will remain open and will be a place to self-quarantine (note, you will be confined to your RV if you nominate a caravan park)
* Rottnest Island to be a possible quarantining location for self-isolation (more details coming soon)

NSW VIC, ACT

At the time of this article, NSW and VIC have not released any information with respect to shutting down their interstate borders and quarantining of travellers. This situation will change in the coming days. The Australian government is increasing its restrictions on international and interstate movement to limit the spread of the coronavirus.   A 14-day self-quarantining period is mandatory for international travellers.

New South Wales:

Update 26th March, 2020:
Caravan parks and camping grounds in New South Wales are to remain closed except to permanent residents and their visitors and people who have no other place of permanent residence. 


Victoria:

Update 26 March, 2020:
* Caravan and Camping parks are to remain closed except to people who live their permanently or if they are providing interim abode where the primary residence is not available. 
* Closing of all non-commercial caravan parks and camping grounds in national parks and state-owned land. 

 

Conclusion

If you have the capacity, please start your journey home.  If you are interstate, there is every chance you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Undertaking this self-isolation will be much easier on you, society, and essential services if you are at home.

Stay safe, and be kind to your fellow human in these worrying times.

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