Anger and confusion has raged in the State’s South West at the weekend over the McGowan Government decision to allow metropolitan travellers into the region despite the snap coronavirus lockdown. The region’s hospitality industry in particular was left with no advice and even less idea how to deal with the hoards of Perth tourists who flocking into venues after escaping the strict city restrictions. Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said members had been left in an “impossible position” because of the lack of Government advice and the fact the establishments are not charged with policing coronavirus-related policy. “I’ve been getting questions about what they are supposed to do and the answer has been, ‘You can’t do much without the police’,” Mr Woods said. “It’s put them in an impossible position because their role is not to police lockdown orders. There has been no advice to us from the Government as to what they are expecting from hotels or accommodation providers.” The manager of a prominent Margaret River winery, who did not want to be identified, said the venue had hosted a wedding on Saturday night where staff were forced to wear masks because guests visiting from Perth were not. “We did ask a few people where they were from and everyone was from Dunsborough, apparently,” the man said. “I’m amazed that this scenario had not previously been modelled by the Government. The public has been left in absolute dismay as to what they should and shouldn’t be doing and it’s the same for businesses as well, having to react to that situation. “We’re in an incredibly compromised position when it comes to guest services, offerings, who should be where and acts of privacy. It’s created a very awkward environment for us to be able to run a business.” Many businesses were left unsure whether to stay open or close, with Dunsborough’s Milc Homewares choosing the latter following updated Government advice, even though the South West was not subject to the same restrictions as the Perth and Peel regions. “Due to a better understanding of this lockdown, we have decided to close our store,” the business said in a Facebook post. The Naturaliste-based Eagle Bay Brewing Co closed online booking requests and told metropolitan visitors to stay away and abide by isolation restrictions. The company said it was only taking “walk-ins” from locals. Wilyabrup’s Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co followed a similar path, also demanding city and Peel visitors not attend. A Facebook post on the situation by shadow health minister Libby Mettam trigged a wave of online outrage in relation to the pouring into the South West of city visitors. Many of them were highly critical of people who chose to travel rather than stay at home in isolation. “They’re telling people in Perth to stay indoors because of the COVID outbreak risk, but they’re free to roam and do whatever they like down south,” Ms Mettam said. “Didn’t they work this out a year ago? It’s logic we just don’t understand.” Shire of Augusta-Margaret River president Ian Earl said residents had a right to be angry, but not at the Government. “I feel for the Government in this,” he said. “I think they’re working damned hard to fix things. “Residents are right to be unhappy about it (the Perth influx). There were a lot of people who were not from Margaret River and they weren’t wearing masks.” Visitors and residents had to do a much better job checking in with the SafeWA app, he said, which had been lax in recent weeks. Cr Earl said he had no time for “selfish and self-entitled people who don’t want the Government to know where they are, but they are all on Facebook”. He noted the Government was already stretched thin with the emergency response to Cyclone Seroja and the Anzac Day long weekend was bad timing. Anzac Day was considered the last hurrah for South West tourism before winter, with traders facing uncertain fortunes due to WA’s hard border and lack of international visitors. Anzac Day ceremonies in the region went off without a hitch this morning and it was believed many Perth tourists were heading home rather than risk costly longer-term quarantine in local hotels.