The mayor of popular NSW holiday spot Byron Bay has made a bombshell claim about a man who brought Covid to the region, accusing him of not believing in the virus, and reporting his two children have since tested positive.
Mayor Michael Lyon said the Covid-positive man travelled to Byron Bay with his two teenaged children to stay at a property in the beachside town.
Lyon said he understood the two children had also tested positive to Covid-19 and were isolating in Byron Bay.
The mayor claimed the man did not use QR codes to check into any businesses in the area and had not co-operated with health authorities. He described the situation as a "nightmare".
"We're going through trying to list all exposure sites and work out where he's been, and he hasn't been signing in and using QR codes, any of that … doesn't believe in it, it's a nightmare," he told the ABC on Monday night.
"It's been very difficult for police and health authorities to track down where he's been, it's ridiculous.
"You have to wonder what people are thinking when it comes to a situation like this."
The infected man is now being treated at the local hospital.
His infection has triggered a week-long lockdown for the region, which includes Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina local government areas.
The region joins other rural areas, including Tamworth and Armidale, which have been plunged into lockdowns of their own.
Byron Bay's lockdown is due to end at 12.01am on Tuesday, August 17.
Everyone who lives in the area or anyone who has been there since July 31 will be subject to the same rules as those living in Greater Sydney and the other locked down areas in regional NSW.
"We understand this is a difficult time for the community and appreciate their ongoing patience and co-operation," NSW Health said.
"We are asking people not to seek exceptions to the rules, but to ensure they comply with them so we do not see further cases of Covid-19 in the community."
Ballina Shire Council mayor David Wright said on Monday residents had been expecting the lockdown after the NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant made the announcement about the infectious man on Monday morning.
"Before the [lockdown] was announced, already at the local supermarket there was no bread or meat or anything left," he said.
Wright said locals had "always feared" someone visiting the region – a popular holiday destination known for its laid-back lifestyle – while infectious with Covid-19.
"We'll just have to change what we're doing and we've been very lucky so far. There are a lot of elderly people here and I just hope we can cope with that."
NSW recorded 356 new local cases of Covid-19 today - a grim record for the state.
Four Covid-related deaths were also reported.