Sunreef Mooloolaba is looking forward to welcoming guests back to diving tours and also launching our Whale Watching season on 13th June.
We also wanted to provide some clarification around diving operations and our decision to cease dive tours until Phase 2 of the COVID019 restrictions. Until last Friday (22nd May) dive boats Boats had not been specifically identified in the government guidelines, so we based decisions around the premise of our operations being an “Outdoor Sporting Activity” and being able to maintain “Social Distancing”.
That said, on the 22nd, the information update on health.qld.gov.au website, contained the following update in the ‘Non-Essential Business Activity and Undertaking Closure Activity Direction (No. 10)’ – on page 8 of the Q&A:
“I am a tour operator, when can I operate my tours again?
Tourism experiences start up again in Stage 2, June 12. You cannot operate a tour or tourism experience in Stage 1. This includes tour operators and attractions such as dive boats and fishing charters, and ferry operators which operate day-trips for example, Cairns to Green Island or Fitzroy Island and Yeppoon to Great Keppel Island.”
While this statement clearly identified “dive boats” some customers have asked why we are not running dives, when other operators are. While guidelines are open to interpretation, Sunreef has carefully considered its decision.
Sunreef Mooloolaba has decided not to operate until 13th June, based on the following:
If you investigate the directives of the ‘Non-Essential Business Activity and Undertaking Closure Activity Direction (No. 10)’, you will find the following excerpt:
|Social sporting-based activities
||Limited to 10 people for outdoor sporting-based activities, with no more than one person per 4 square metres and social distancing observed. Social sporting-based activities must comply with the conditions provided in paragraph 12 below. Note – Social sporting-based activities do not include competitions or fixtures.
Additional requirements for social sporting-based activities are as follows:
a. limited to non-contact skills training. Accidental contact may occur but no deliberate body contact drills. No wrestling, holding, tackling or binding unless with a member of your household;
b. 10 people includes all players, coaches, spectators and any other person that attends the sporting-based activity;
c. communal showers and change rooms must be closed. Toilets may remain open.
d. minimise use of communal facilities; e. maintain social distancing, hand hygiene and frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection.
Notes: shower with soap before and after training or activity at home; no unnecessary co-mingling, especially outside of the sporting facility – “Get in, train, get out”.
Some operators have determined that they fall under the category of Social Sporting based activity or Outdoor Recreation. Sunreef has decided that while this may be true, that under the Government definitions, and the definitions that we as tourism operators normally use, this would be a false claim and possibly be in direct conflict of government guidelines.
To further support this statement the following is an excerpt from ‘Tourism Noosa COVID-19 Q&A for Operators’. It is a clear definition of these terms:
“QUESTION: Re tourism and recreation experiences
What is the difference between tourism and recreation experience? Why are recreational experiences allowed and tourism experiences not allowed in Stage 1?
A recreational experience is an activity that is engaged in for pleasure or for mental or physical health benefits such as motorcycle riding, jet skiing, boating, driving a motor vehicle, going for a picnic. It is an activity that forms part of your regular routine and that you do in your local region. For example if before restrictions were implemented if you used to go swimming at your local pool, that would be considered a recreational activity.
A tourism experience on the other hand is a paid or organised activity traditionally aimed at the tourism market. While locals may partake in tourism activities the primary audience for these are predominantly people who live outside of the region. Tourism experiences do not form part of your regular routine. Examples of tourism activities include charter fishing boats, 4WD experiences.
Sunreef has been working diligently to put into place essential COVID Plans and procedures for the safety of both clients and staff. We are prepared for launching full operations within the restriction guidelines offstage 2 on June 12th.”
Keep in touch through our online media channels for updates and information about upcoming trips. Stay Safe, and we will see you soon on a Sunreef Experience.