Many thanks to all our Long Termers and Annuals through this recent COVID-19 period who have helped keep us operational.
Hello all, I guess by now most would be aware that the South Australian Government has eased some COVID-19 related restrictions. As part of that they have said that Non-Essential Travel can start again and Caravan Parks can re-open as long as they maintain Social Distancing of 1.5m, the 1 person to 4 square metres and extra cleaning in public area requirements.
What does that mean for Cobdogla Station Caravan Park?
It means that to re-open our communal public areas we have to follow the 1.5m distancing and strict cleaning guidelines outlined by the COVID-19 directions. For example, the SafeWork Australia website has created a document to assist with cleaning during COVID-19, this indicates for cleaning showers in shared facilities it must be done after every use. If we break that down further it means if we have 30 (male/female) couples staying in the park that is at least 30 times the Men’s need cleaning and at least 30 times the Women’s need cleaning during the day, and that’s just showers, we will have to be cleaning all day in different areas to keep ourselves compliant. Quite simply we are not equipped to deal with that. We do not have the time or staff available to carry out this task properly and we definitely do not have the money at this point to employ the extra cleaners required. With the COVID-19 restrictions that are still in place, we are limited to what we are able to provide.
We have heard and read different opinions of how and what we should do and how other Caravan Parks are reacting. We have also read that cleaning the public areas should be able to be done because supermarkets and shopping centres have to clean their public areas and amenities regularly, so people expect that to happen everywhere. All we can say to that is – we ask people to compare situations fairly, supermarkets or shopping centres have tens of staff which allow them to have the ability to clean more frequently, they could permanently have someone assigned to monitor the cleaning of each area, and they don’t have showers that require cleaning. Other Caravan Parks will be
different to ours, they too may have extra staff and facilities that allow them to operate in a different manner to us. All we can do at the Cobdogla Station Caravan Park is to follow the laws and guidelines provided to us by Government and Industry and adapt that to suit the facilities and staff we have available to us here.
We understand that still means we need to make compromises as we will also ask our guests to make compromises, this will continue until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted totally. That will be a long time coming. Even though the restrictions have been eased, we are still in a unique time and we must react accordingly.
This means we will only be able to partially open the park back up. We will have a reduced capacity level which will need to be strictly booked and monitored. Our guests will have to sign COVID-19 related documents to do with operational restrictions in the park.
We will keep most of our communal public areas closed – including the camp kitchen, playgrounds, BBQ and laundry and we will only open the toilets and showers on a restricted basis. We will be open to all guests but in a very limited way, if you are self-contained you will not form part of the reduced capacity and are welcome anytime. First off, we have to recognise that we have only survived due to our Long-Term Residents and our Annuals, they have kept money turning over even though Non-Essential travel was banned, and this provided us to keep operating which we appreciate. So the first option of guests returning to the park will be focussed on our Annuals to provide them with a chance to get away as our way of saying thank you.
To break it down – we will have a limited capacity of 10 sites available at any time, this is due to us allocating a toilet and shower to each site and we only have 10 available. As part of the COVID-19 restrictions mentioned above we do not have the ability to open our amenities fully, so our solution is to limit interaction with other people in these areas by having your own site shower and toilet. In the amenities there will be 4 toilets and 4 showers each allocated
to a site number, you must use the one assigned to your site and no one else’s during your stay. The other 6 toilets and showers allocated will be provided by our cabins, the same rules apply for these as well. We will sacrifice the booking out of cabins to make the toilets and showers in them to be available, as we want to look after the people that looked after us. We understand this is not the most convenient option for our guests, or us, but we feel it is better than remaining closed. We all need to make compromises at this time.
The next 3 weeks will be used to focus on our Annuals to give them the first option of coming to visit us in a new limited capacity Caravan Park. We will divide our Annuals into 3 lots and each will have an allocated week to visit if it suitable for them. If the 10 sites aren’t taken up by annuals, we will offer it to holiday tourists under the same conditions as mentioned above. After the 3 weeks of focusing on Annuals we will open the park to anybody but will still have the limited capacity of 10 sites, but hopefully by then the COVID-19 restrictions have been reduced further and we will be operating closer to normal operations and reinstate the booking out of our cabins once more.
In summary, we have to open the park in baby steps to allow a gradual process of returning to normal and the above is our first step. Yes, it is a pain in the butt with all the extra actions in place but at least it’s a start and we hope you can understand that and play your part to help keep us all safe.