Repco Beach Hop postponed to later in the year 16 March 2020 After careful consideration, Repco Beach Hop organiser Noddy Watts and his team have decided to postpone the Repco Beach Hop 20 until 25-29 November, as a precaution and in the interests of minimising the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Video: Click to watch the official announcement from Repco Beach Hop organiser, Noddy Watts. "We have taken our time to evaluate the options and considered what is best for our community to make the right decision," says Noddy. "Thank you to the fabulous people who have supported us in making this important decision including our sponsors, Thames-Coromandel District Council, Ministry of Health (MoH), Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) and volunteers. Your response has been incredible, which many people would never be aware of - you all rock." "On behalf of the Repco Beach Hop 20 Committee, I wish you all the very best and hope you look after your health, your family, friends and your community through this," says Noddy. “My heart goes out to everyone involved - Noddy, his crew, volunteers, retailers and beach hoppers. It’s such a big decision and I take my hat off to everyone involved,” says Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie. “We will recover and can appreciate even more what we have, when we are able to have it.” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says gatherings of 500 or more people should be cancelled and detailed guidelines will be available later in the week about how to host smaller events safely. Our Council's Emergency Management Unit met with the MoH and the WDHB this morning. "It was made clear that COVID-19 is likely to be an issue for up to six months," says our Council’s Emergency Management spokesperson Garry Towler. "That’s why we’re contacting all event organisers in the Coromandel to advise them to reconsider holding events by either cancelling or postponing." Given the announcement requiring nearly all travellers (excluding those from the Pacific) to self-isolate when arriving in New Zealand, the Coromandel tourism industry is receiving an increasing number of cancellations. "Destination Coromandel staff and trustees would like to acknowledge the challenging time the visitor industry is facing due to the coronavirus," says Destination Coromandel Marketing Manager Hadley Dryden. "We currently have a domestic campaign encouraging referrals to operators and shoulder season travel." To read the full industry update from Destination Coromandel click here. Stuff Travel has launched a new project to offer Kiwis inspiration and ideas for indulging their love of travel closer to home. Back Your Backyard aims to show Kiwis that we don't need to travel too far to have some unique experiences. Click here for more information. You can take some simple steps in keeping you and your whānau safe, as outlined in the poster below, or click here to see the latest updates, information and advice on COVID-19.