One tourist hotspot is booked out until Easter next year, leaving thousands of travellers disappointed.
Byron Bay is preparing for more than a million visitors between now and Christmas with accommodation completely booked out until Easter 2022.
The famous northern NSW beach town is a favourite of celebrities, social media stars, and everyday Aussies.
But Byron has also become known for its comparatively low vaccination rate over recent months.
Nearly 88 per cent of NSW residents have now received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. In Byron, this figure is significantly lower with just 63.5 per cent of the shire’s population fully vaccinated.
Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon confirmed the local hospital system was bracing for the onslaught of tourists over the Christmas period and the potential outbreak of Covid-19 this could bring.
“We’re in a pandemic, and we know how quickly Delta spreads so it is a concern,” Mr Lyon told NCA NewsWire.
“I understand that there have been extra resources dedicated to our hospital system, so that we can prepare for that.”
Despite the concern of a potential Covid-19 cluster, Mr Lyon said he was confident that Byron’s double-dose rate would catch up to the rest of NSW soon.
“We had a very low supply of Pfizer up until about six weeks ago. Since we‘ve had the supply of Pfizer, our vaccination rates have increased very rapidly,” he said.
“I think that issue is kind of gone away. When you look at our first dose rates, we know we’re on a par now.”
With accommodation fully booked across the shire, Mr Lyon said Byron was looking forward to hosting visitors from across Australia as life gradually goes back to normal.
“We‘re looking forward to welcoming people here … it’s been a hard year for everyone, I’m sure a lot of people need a holiday,” he said.
“At some point, you have to strike the balance you have to start beginning to live with Covid and I think a good balance has been struck.”