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Regional communities reject ‘grey nomads’ fleeing COVID-19

Communities in regional Queensland and northern NSW are outraged by ‘grey nomads’ travelling north to “wait out” the pandemic.

Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton says heading to isolated rural and regional communities is “exactly the wrong to do”, as it puts both travellers and locals at risk.

“We have a limited number of hospital beds and services. It’s much better these folks stay at home, where they’ve got the support of their family and friends.”

Mr Coulton encouraged retirees to remain in the cities and larger centres, where there are more resources to look after them should they fall ill, and says it’s “highly irresponsible” for hotels and resorts to be bringing in holidaymakers against the wishes of the community.

“This is a very, very serious situation, and it’s not a time to be taking a holiday,” he tells Deborah Knight.

“This is a time for doing the right thing, to protect yourself [and] your family, but more importantly the wider population as a whole.”

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Image: Getty/alexsl