Collie encourages visitors to postpone not cancel trips

Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
Visit Collie team want people to stay home and postpone travel to Collie’s beautiful sites, like Black Diamond Lake, pictured, until after the COVID-19 crisis.
Camera IconVisit Collie team want people to stay home and postpone travel to Collie’s beautiful sites, like Black Diamond Lake, pictured, until after the COVID-19 crisis. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

People travelling to Collie are being encouraged to postpone their trips rather than cancel all together, as the town would not be able to cope with a spread of COVID-19 from visitors.

Collie Visitor Centre manager Janine Page asked those thinking of travelling over Easter to follow the government’s instructions to remain at home.

Postponing trips was encouraged rather than cancelling, as once everything was reopened there would be “fantastic opportunities” in Collie for visitors.

“Fingers crossed it’ll be in time for the spring-summer period which is one of the best times in Collie anyway,” Ms Page said.

“As a small community, we’re lucky enough that we do have a fairly decent hospital, but the hospitals aren’t set up to cope with those sorts of emergencies,” Ms Page said.

“If we ended up with a large spread of the virus down here, it would put a tremendous strain on our emergency services personnel.

Collie also has a fairly large percentage of elderly people, so it’s about protecting our community members and frontline workers.

Janine Page

The Visit Collie team urged people on social media to do the opposite of their name and “Don’t visit Collie right now”.

“Our health workers, our educators, our supermarket, our pharmacies — their staff and stocks are stretched to the limit and exhausted,” they wrote.

“Our regional hospital can't cope with an influx of visitors on top of supporting our local community.”

Please do the right thing and don't visit us right now.

Visit Collie team

Ms Page said businesses would take a hit without visitors, but it was the right stance to take.

“Most of the businesses, as much as it’s hurting them, they want people to do the right thing,” she said.

WA Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said during these unprecedented times, the tourism industry understood public health should be everyone’s top priority.

“The tourism industry is determined to survive the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Hall said.

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