Stay in your community and if you can, stay home
‘Stay in your community and if you can, stay home.’
That is a key message Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt is hoping will enter every remote community around Australia.
He is hoping it will prevent Coronavirus (COVID-19) from entering those same communities.
Speaking through prepared messages for radio on the subjects of Health and Safety, Travel Restrictions and Funerals, Minister Wyatt has urged remote community members to follow the new rules.
‘We are making a number of big changes to everyday life to help people living in remote areas stay safe, including travel restrictions and changes to programs,’ the Minister said.
He outlined the threat that coronavirus is to Community Elders and those already sick.
‘Our number one priority is to save lives by slowing the spread of coronavirus and stop people bringing the virus into remote communities.’
‘Travelling to other towns and cities could increase the chance of you and your family getting sick,’ the Minister said.
‘If you leave your community now, you might need to isolate yourself before you can return. This means waiting for 14 days before you can go home, to make sure you don’t take the virus into your community.’
Minister Wyatt also spoke about rules around funerals, that no more than 10 people can attend and they must be 1.5 metres apart from each other.
‘This is a very difficult change as Sorry Business is such an important cultural practice for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,’ Minister Wyatt said.
‘But the new rule has been adopted to stop the spread of coronavirus and protect communities. Cultural funeral practices can still continue so long as they follow this rule.’
‘We need everyone’s help to follow the rules and stop people getting sick, to protect our Elders, protect our culture and protect our communities.’