“The borders are opening, the borders are opening”: are you prepared?

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The reopening of Australia will be really great news when it actually happens, but for us in Village Land there will be some unexpected challenges.

The Prime Minister wants all restrictions lifted by Christmas (and Christmas Eve is just three months from today!). We expect many residents will want to travel and many friends and families will want to visit.

We do know that we will have to be on our guard, so it is best to be thinking about it now.

For instance, COVID is likely to still be lurking, with ongoing low infections regarded as an acceptable risk for letting the country get up and going again.

Here are some things we brainstormed that we all should be thinking – and preparing for.

  1. Will you see an increase in interstate visitors in the village?
    • Will they be allowed to stay in the village?
    • How will your existing residents react to more visitors?
    • How will your staff feel with the likely increase in visitors in and around the village?
  2. Will the extra visitors impact your current screening and contact tracing activities?
  3. Will your staff be wanting annual leave now they are able to have a holiday or visit family?
  4. How will you deal with the difference of opinion between residents?
    • Some may be OK with interstate visitors filling the village; some may not be OK with this?
    • Do you need to consider any new processes?
  5. What about the extra caravans?
    • They are likely to be parked around the village for more regular loading and unloading
    • Are you likely to have more caravans new to the village if residents who used to travel overseas are now considering more local travel plans?
  6. Are residents likely to want to become part of the house swap community and if so, do you have a policy to deal with that?
  7. What if a visitor staying in the village is found to be positive?
    • What is your organisation’s response and business continuity plan for this?
    • Will you allow them to remain in the village or will you rehouse them?
    • What extra resources/approvals might you require?
  8. Are you likely to have residents asking you for advice as to whether or not they should travel?
    • What will be your organisation’s response?
    • Could you develop a guide to help them navigate the new local travel era –connect them easily with local trip options, travel advice, cancellation policy norms insurances, government health advice, etc?
    • What to do if the borders start closing?

As this situation changes and evolves so too does the need for our policy & procedures to evolve with the changing environment that might impact the way our communities once operated.

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