BOOKED OUT: Granite Belt motel owners say it would be too difficult to accommodate those needing to quarantine due to the high demand from local tourists.
BOOKED OUT: Granite Belt motel owners say it would be too difficult to accommodate those needing to quarantine due to the high demand from local tourists.

Motel owners pledge to keep COVID out

THE responsibility of accommodating border crossers requiring COVID quarantine has been enough to deter Granite Belt businesses from saying yes.

It is believed businesses would be required to isolate bookings to only allow those requiring the mandatory two-week quarantine.

Stannum Lodge owner Maurice Kennedy said the implications of becoming a COVID motel would have been detrimental to business.

"It would be very off putting for our regular guests and other guests if there was possibly a positive person staying here," Mr Kennedy said.

"It would adversely affect (business) because it's really busy at the moment."

With the motel seeing a high volume of tourists in the region, Mr Kennedy said it was impossible to house anyone for two weeks straight.

"We've got too many forward bookings," he said.

"We're certainly not going to turn away repeat customers to accommodate people having to go into quarantine."

It's a sentiment echoed by Granite Belt Motel owner Michael Jensen, who said occupancy at the 19-room motel was running at 93 per cent in July.

"We wouldn't be able to take them because we're booked most weekends and we don't have any rooms available," Mr Jensen said.

"You're not going to turn people away but if we were to take on one (quarantine) room, it would affect our reputation because people would be concerned about contracting COVID."

With most guests hailing from Queensland, Mr Jensen said all had been willing to cooperate with the motel's strict heath policies.

"I haven't noticed anyone who's turned up to the motel in the past three months who has been ill," he said.

"We've been blown away with the level of support the community has received since Queensland opened up."

Stanthorpe Border Post

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