Byron Bay Schoolies getting help to walk home in 2017. Photo: Darren Leigh Roberts.
Byron Bay Schoolies getting help to walk home in 2017. Photo: Darren Leigh Roberts.

Should Schoolies go ahead this year in Byron Bay?

SCHOOLIES 2020 is scheduled to go ahead from November 21 in Byron Bay and the official website for bookings states it's "business as usual" for festivities.

Schoolies.com is the main website booking accommodation and parties for school-leavers celebrating the end of high school.

The site offers weekly rates for accommodation bookings from November 21.

It also offers bookings of passes to clubs and pool parties, but for this year in Byron Bay, the website explains that "restrictions some of the optional events (...) may be need to be withdrawn or adjusted to fit in with restrictions".

The Schoolies.com COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page explained that the celebrations are still on in all the areas they cover.

"At this stage it's 'business as usual' for 2020 Schoolies as there are currently no restrictions that have been put in place by government over the dates of your holiday that will restrict you from celebrating Schoolies with your friends," the page stated.

NSW Police confirmed it has been involved in "early discussions" about Schoolies but would not confirm any further details.

Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson disagreed with the 'business as usual' statement, but said young people have the right to celebrate within the current restrictions.

"An 18 year-old has as much right to work within what is compliant, appropriate and Covid-safe as anybody else," he said.

"Most schoolies that come to Byron want to sink into the 'adulthood in Byron' experience." he said.

"(Business as usual) clearly it is not, but it is an opportunity for them to have as much fun as they want within the same expectations we have of everyone else."

 

Byron Bay Schoolies 2017. Fun times at Wategos Beach Byron Bay. Alli Whitmore 17 and Amie Thomas 17. Photo: Darren Leigh Roberts
Byron Bay Schoolies 2017. Fun times at Wategos Beach Byron Bay. Alli Whitmore 17 and Amie Thomas 17. Photo: Darren Leigh Roberts

 

Ballina MP Tamara Smith agreed schoolies could go ahead although not as 'business as usual'.

"There is nothing business as usual about a coronavirus world pandemic, and there are multiple layers of guidelines and health orders in place that mandate how many people can be in a room, and the distance between them," she said.

"The Premier said you should stay in your bubble as much as possible, and I think it's only a matter of time before we go back to Level 1 restrictions.

"If people are coming from a hotspot, like Sydney, don't come. If you have no symptoms and you are not from a hotspot, people can come here, however once you are here you must do exactly what's expected from everybody."

Schoolies.com did not reply to requests for comment.



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