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Aquarius Backpackers: 84 guests, staff at popular Byron Bay hostel forced into snap seven-day lockdown

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All guests and staff at a popular Byron Bay hostel have been forced into a snap seven-day lockdown while police patrol the entrance after a positive case of Covid-19 was detected at the venue.

Police are assisting NSW Health officers in monitoring the Aquarius Backpackers hostel after the positive case and 84 close contacts including guests, staff and visitors were identified.

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The affected 84 people are set to spend the next seven days locked into the backpacker complex, which is located on a busy Byron Bay St, a short walk from Main Beach.

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Police are assisting NSW Health officers in monitoring the Aquarius Backpackers hostel after the positive case and 84 close contacts comprising of guests, staff and visitors were identified.
Camera IconPolice are assisting NSW Health officers in monitoring the Aquarius Backpackers hostel after the positive case and 84 close contacts comprising of guests, staff and visitors were identified. Credit: News Regional Media

Ballina MP Tamara Smith took to Facebook late on Wednesday confirming the Aquarius backpackers had become a venue of concern.

“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,” Ms Smith wrote.

“NSW Health have locked down the venue and all 84 people are in a seven day lockdown in the premises and I’m told being supported with food, health and support.”

Ms Smith said police are monitoring the situation.

“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,” she wrote.

The news comes as thousands of HSC students are set to descend on the coastal town for schoolies.

Up to 16 flights per day will be landing in the region with Ms Smith saying any further spread of the virus would be “catastrophic”.

Byron Bay has one of the lowest vaccination rates in NSW with businesses still picking up after two lockdowns in August and September.

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