the Breeze

BLUE BUS TOURS

BLUE BUS TOURS STARTING UP AGAIN AFTER CRUSHING LOCKDOWN

Geoff and Sandra Jacob of Blue Bus Tours are relieved that Covid 19 restrictions have been lifted so their coach tours can soon restart.

The popular bus operation took a huge ‘hit’ thanks to the Coronavirus and the social distancing regulations and complete business shutdowns.

Businesses like tour operators were among the worst affected by the Government-applied restrictions.

“We totally had to shut down our charter and tour operation, “ Sandra Jacob told The Friendly Bay Islander.

“It was a double whammy for us because it involved social distancing restrictions and many of our passengers are seniors; both high on the Coronavirus radar.”

The coach and tour operators found they were generally ‘lumped in’ together with cafes and restaurants.

When restrictions were eventually lifted for the airline industry; the bus industry was overlooked.

The generally prescribed social-distancing rules could not be implemented in any practical way to the bus and tour industry and were also inconsistent with other business settings.

The industry had to appeal to the chief health officer, with Sandra and Geoff Jacob playing a role of helping to lobby politicians and the health department sectors.

The result was that a better solution was able to be negotiated with the Chief Health Officer who has approved a re-start, with some more manageable conditions.

These include a checklist that tour transport operators can follow that now allows up to 50 passengers onto coaches and boats, with eased social distancing requirements.

The irony was that whilst severe restrictions were applied to coach touring; they did not apply to school student transport.

Sandra Jacob said this element of the Blue Bus operations had literally ‘saved’ them during the lockdown.

Blue Bus Tours are starting up again, with the first to head off in August on an Outback Adventure that had already been in the system.

“Unfortunately the winter months are the peak coach touring season in Australia with the summer months less so,” Sandra said.

“We will be announcing some additional tours in the coming days and we invite people interested in going touring again, to get in touch with us.”

You may contact Blue Bus Ph: 07 3820 7815; Mob: 0419 712 786; Email: info@bluebus.com.au or www.bluebustours.com.au

• Geoff and Sandra Jacob

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