I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! worker in Byron Bay charged with COVID health order breaches

Police have charged a crew member attached to the production of television program I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! for multiple breaches of public health orders.

The 31-year-old from Rushcutters Bay in Sydney flew into Ballina on Saturday morning carrying an exemption to travel for work-related purposes only and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

NSW Health this morning released a list of venues visited by the woman, including shops, cafes and restaurants in Byron Bay and on the Tweed Coast at Kingscliff and Casuarina Beach.

A seven-day lockdown was imposed on the Tweed and Byron shires at 5:00pm yesterday after the Kingscliff Beach Hotel was listed as a close contact venue for a period of five hours on Sunday evening.

Queensland reintroduced strict border restrictions at 1:00am today in response to the northern New South Wales lockdowns.

The ABC understands the venue was the location for an unofficial crew get-together after final filming on the ITV Studios Australia production. 

Multiple breaches alleged 

Police allege the woman was in breach of the conditions of her exemption to travel by visiting several businesses and venues in the Byron Bay and Kingscliff areas, and that she failed to check in using the QR codes.

ITV issued a statement on Tuesday and is yet to respond to further questions from the ABC.

“We can confirm that one of our crew members has tested positive to COVID-19,” it said.

“This discovery was made through the rigorous testing regime implemented by our CovidSAFE plan.

“The crew member is fully vaccinated and was wearing PPE while at work.

“All close contacts of the crew member from within the ITV production have been identified.

“They are being tested and will isolate in accordance with NSW Health’s requirements.”

System deeply flawed, mayor says

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon said he would now be looking to rescind his council’s approval for Love Island, another ITV production filming in the Byron Bay hinterland.

“It is so devastating to be in lockdown again, and it is clear the honour system relied on by the state government is deeply flawed,” he posted on Facebook.

Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry said the NSW government needed to protect the regions by clamping down on exemptions allowing people to travel from areas affected by COVID-19.

“We now have 35,000 people in lockdown due to the [alleged] actions of one person and one company, and I think that needs to be called to account,” Cr Cherry said.

The woman was this morning issued with a court attendance notice for five counts of fail to comply with electronic registration directive.

She is due to appear before Tweed Heads Local Court in November.

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