Byron mayor: “I am looking to rescind council approval for Love Island”
Upcoming season hangs in the balance after local mayor blames crew member for bringing COVID to Byron.
The upcoming season of Love Island hangs in the balance following a crew member from I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here allegedly breaching exemptions in Byron Bay.
Filming is due to begin this weekend in Federal and is schedule to premiere on Monday October 11.
Local mayor Michael Lyon wrote in a Facebook post, “I am looking into our options this morning to rescind council approval for the Love Island production, from the same studios that brought I’m A Celebrity, and Covid, to the region.
“As part of that approval issued recently, which allows them to film for longer than 30 days in Federal, I insisted on a 14-day isolation period whereby any cast or crew coming from an area with cases would not come into contact with people from our region.
“It is clear that this is not possible to implement given what has happened in the last few days. Council approval was only one part of the process, it hasn’t yet had ministerial approval so I’d say it is unlikely to proceed.”
An ITV Studios Australia crew member had been granted an exemption to travel to the Tweed-Byron Bay area for work-related reasons only.
Police allege a 31-year-old woman visited several businesses and venues in Byron Bay and Kingscliff over the weekend, breaching her exemption. She allegedly also failed to check in at those locations with QR codes.
The woman was issued with a court attendance notice on five counts of failing to comply with an electronic registration device.
Mayor Michael Lyon has already been through his own break-up and make-up with producers in relation to Love Island, first admonishing production for beginning a build without local permits, before then praising a comprehensive COVID-safe plan put in place by producers -including the 14 day isolation for cast and crew.
“It is so devastating to be in lockdown again and it is clear the ‘honour’ system relied on by the state government is deeply flawed,” he said of the alleged breach.
“It is worth noting that people coming here for work don’t actually have to show a negative Covid test, this was thankfully part of the filming protocol that allowed this early detection.
“Perhaps our calls for a tightening of restrictions will now finally be heeded.”
A Nine spokesperson said, “We are working with production and authorities to deliver the show for our audience.”
ITV Studios Australia has been contacted for comment.
This post updates.