Noah’s Backpackers Hostel in Bondi closes down amid coronavirus cluster scrutiny

April 8th, 2020 | | backpacker

A Sydney backpackers hostel has shut down, with its manager saying travellers have been unfairly targeted over a coronavirus outbreak in Bondi.

Key points:

  • Dylan Tenbrink says backpackers are being abused after COVID-19 outbreak
  • Mr Tenbrink says he shut his hostel after negative media coverage
  • Many backpackers are now trying to find jobs on farms

Noah’s Backpackers Hostel in Bondi faced scrutiny earlier this week after people were seen gathered on a balcony ignoring directives to practise physical distancing.

Manager Dylan Tenbrink said negative media coverage and new physical-distancing regulations made it “impossible” to continue operating.

“It’s meant losing 50 team members of what I consider my family,” Mr Tenbrink said.

On Wednesday NSW Health ordered all doctors in the Bondi area to ramp up testing and warned people to be wary of “infected backpackers”.

Many people at the tourist hot spot ignored directives to practise physical distancing, and later more restrictive stay-home measures introduced by the Federal Government.

It’s believed parties at two Sydney nightclubs in mid-March were the source of many cases amongst backpackers.

The outside of a building

PHOTO: Noah’s Backpackers in Bondi has closed down. (ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

Mr Tenbrink said the tight-knit travelling community had suffered from judgment and harassment.”[

The scrutiny] has really targeted the backpacker community which has led to people going to work and … they’ve been fired,” he said.

Backpackers had been forced onto the streets or into crammed share houses.

Hostels were preferable, he said, because they offered regular housekeeping and enforced physical distancing.

“In share houses, you can have 10 people living in a two-bedroom space,” Mr Tenbrink said.

“They’re out making different points of contact within the community, coming back and sharing it and then doing it again.

“Here, we’re able to regulate the cleanliness.”

Mr Tenbrink said many tourists were stuck in Australia and unable to get home due to flight cancellations.

Meanwhile, some backpackers have told the ABC they had given up on trying to find flights and were instead trying to find work on farms.

“They are out of work with no money and now they are just stranded here with nowhere to go,” Mr Tenbrink said.

As well as losing their income, travellers were also being abused.

“Some of them are young … and they have a grown man yelling at them for wanting to travel.”

Source: ABC

Sourced by Mike Barrow

4 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Hang on a second, that one backpackers is employing 50 team members plus a Manager going into the low season?

    The news article about this said:

    The biggest backpackers hostel in Bondi has closed due to mounting pressure from the public and unwanted media attention, with the more than 50 backpackers put up in a CBD hotel.

    So are you saying that a week ago there was one staff member on the books per guest? Now I’m no accountant but I’m not sure how that is a viable business model?

  2. Adam says:

    The owners are systematic scammers and the ATO should be all over their various businesses and if they were competent should of easily pinned them down years ago.
    Like the “manager” says. Its all about family 😉
    I can guarantee half those staff are stay at home wives, siblings etc of the owners.
    (Actually its all about the easily exploited and irresistable free $$ inviting the rorting of the jobkeeper payment)

  3. Adam says:

    Dave its all about the rorting the jobkeeper payment doh!
    Most of those “staff” will be family members -wives,siblings etc.
    The family that owns this hostel are well known systematic scammers that the ATO has been unable to pin – yet. If the ATO was competent they would be all over this.

  4. Adam says:

    Duplicate! obviously lagging issue here

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