Apartment residents need to stay vigilant if they don’t want to see high-rise lockdowns of the type that recently shut down nine unit blocks in Victoria, say strata managers.
“We’re in a ‘perfect-storm’ of risk which has the potential to impact the lives of tens of thousands of people in NSW,” warns Chris Duggan, the state president of Strata Community Association (SCA).
“On one end of the spectrum, we have members of strata communities travelling to newly opened states and embracing relaxed lockdown restrictions; and on the other, we have more people than ever before locked away in their apartments, units and townhouses.”
In a press release issued at the weekend, SCA urged the state’s two million strata residents to stay on high alert to avoid lockdowns of the type that shuttered public housing high rise apartment blocks in Victoria.
The peak industry body for strata managers and service providers in Australia, SCA claims high density living in apartment blocks poses an enormous threat of a second wave of Covid-19.
And it warns that signs were emerging that the two million apartment, unit and townhouse residents in New South Wales were becoming complacent about the Covid-19 risks.
The danger, it says, stems from strata communities struggling with social distancing rules, living in close proximity and sharing facilities as basic as lifts and doors.
The risks are exacerbated by residents keen to travel interstate now that restrictions are being lifted.
“As an industry, strata [schemes] have adapted … extraordinarily well to mitigate … the transmission of Covid-19,” says Chris Duggan. “Strata [schemes] have gone above and beyond in their response to the outbreak, and we need to ensure our efforts have not been in vain.
“I hope that what has happened in Victoria sends a clear message to people in NSW living in strata property to stay vigilant and alert in relation to social distancing.
“However, we are seeing the first signs of complacency. We’re urging all residents to heed Public Health Order recommendations and if they do not, they should suffer consequences and any fines that will follow.
“While we strongly support the actions of the NSW Government in the manner in which they have handle the COVID-19 crisis, we don’t want people thinking now is the time to lower their guards.
“The last thing we want to see is another wave of outbreaks forcing people back into lockdown,” Mr Duggan said.