MOUNT Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin has urged residents and tourists to heed the national messaging and stay at home this Easter to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Mount Gambier traditionally becomes a tourist hub over the Easter weekend as holiday-makers flock to the region, with the now-cancelled Easter Sprintcar Trail and Mount Gambier Showjumping Festival usually serving as drawcards
However, Ms Martin said this Easter would not be the same and urged everyone to adhere to government restrictions over the long weekend.
“Traditionally Easter is a time when families come together, but this year is not going to be a time for that to take place,” Ms Martin said.
“We are reinforcing that message to potential visitors to the city to stay at home, stay informed and most importantly stay safe.
“We will welcome you back with open arms at a later date.”
She said the messaging extended to Mount Gambier’s own residents, who should only leave their home for work, exercise, medical needs or essential shopping.
“Although council has closed playgrounds and skate parks, there are still a number of reserves and walking trails for people to conduct exercise,” Ms Martin said.
“However, people need to ensure they observe the social-distancing rules – council really does not want people congregating at these locations.”
Council infrastructure general manager Nick Serle said council would support police to ensure large gatherings in public spaces do not take place.
“Obviously we cannot enforce like police do, but we will be conducting some general surveillance of those areas to make sure there are no large gathering and asking people to move on,” he said.
“We have been really pleased with the general public’s behaviour over the last week or two, which has generally resulted in people doing the right thing.”
Ms Martin thanked the city’s residents in difficult circumstances.
“I really want to thank the residents who are being responsible, I have particularly noticed the respectful behaviour when I have been out shopping,” she said.
“Elected members are very mindful of the constraints the pandemic is placing on residents at this point in time, but by observing the protocols we can slow the spread of the virus and by working together we will all get through this.”