COVID-19 / Coronavirus updates
Frequently Asked Questions
Tuesday, June 2 - 9am
Disclaimer - This information is considered valid as at the date of publication (shown above). Updates will be provided only as, and when, relevant information becomes available. All updated/new information will be included in red.
Q. When will the Kimberley border reopen?
A. WA Premier Mark McGowan announced that the State is making an application to the Commonwealth to lift the Biosecurity Zone in Western Australia, with the expectation that will come into effect on June 5.
This means that parts of the Kimberley may be opened, with the likely exception of remote Aboriginal communities. For more information, click here.
***Relaxation of restrictions***
Q. When will the State Government's Phase 3 of COVID-19 restrictions happen? What does it involve?
A. Premier Mark McGowan has announced Stage 3 of Western Australia's COVID-19 restrictions. This will come into effect from June 6. It includes the following:
- Non-work indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed, a five-fold increase from the current 20-person limit.
- Up to 300 people will be allowed in some settings, including for indoor or outdoor venues with multiple, divided spaces, with up to 100 people in each space.
- All food businesses and licensed premises can now operate with seated service only, and alcohol may now be served without a meal at licensed premises.
- All beauty therapy and personal care services can reopen, including saunas and wellness centres.
- Galleries, museums, theatres, auditoriums, cinemas and concert venues can reopen – with the 100/300 rule followed.
- Perth Zoo will open, as can wildlife parks, amusement parks, arcades and indoor play centres.
- Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment can reopen.
- Gyms, health clubs, indoor sports centres will be able to offer the normal range of activities, including use of all gym equipment. However, Gyms will need to be staffed at all times and undertake regular cleaning.
- Full contact sport and training will now be permitted in Western Australia. This will mean from next weekend, people of all ages will be able to start competitive contact sports.
- Parents and guardians will be able to enter school grounds to drop off or pick up their children as part of Phase 3.
- TABs are permitted to reopen.
More information is available here.
Q. What did the Premier say in his press conference on Sunday, May 10 in relation to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions?
A. WA Premier Mark McGowan unveiled a four-phase plan to remove COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, May 10. Phase one is currently underway and phase two will be activated on Monday, May 18. A summary of changes are here:
In phase 2, Kimberley internal local government boundaries will be removed, but the external Kimberley border will remain.
Regional boundaries across WA reduce from 13 to 4.
Indoor and outdoor meetings to increase from 10 to 20.
People encouraged to return to work.
Cafes, pubs and restaurants allowed to dine-in for up to 20 patrons, but must include the 4sqm social distancing rules.
Libraries and public swimming pools allowed to open.
Non-contact sport allowed up to 20 people.
Beauty businesses allowed to open for retail, but not services.
Weddings/funerals - increase to 20 people. Can be 30 people if held outdoors.
An official COVID-19 safety plan will need to be completed before facilities can reopen.
The Premier will be writing to local governments to ask them to provide flexibility in relation to alfresco dining from a planning perspective.
Q. What did the Prime Minister say in his press conference on Friday, May 8 in relation to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions?
A. There are three stages to the recovery plan, which the individual states will make the decision over when to activate. There will be no national border changes and the quarantine of Australians returning from overseas will continue. The movement between stages will only be progressed should three things be in place - 1) the relevant medical advice, 2) widescale testing, 3) tracing through the COVIDSAFE app.
Stage 1 includes allowing five visitors to a person's home and 10 people to be in public places. Stage 1 will involve the opening of restaurants, cafes, shops, libraries, community centres, playgrounds and boot camps. Local and regional travel will be permitted.
For more information, click here.
**Confirmed cases in the Kimberley**
Q. Have there been confirmed cases in the Kimberley?
A. Yes. The WA Health Minister Roger Cook stated at a press conference on Tuesday, March 24, that there were confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Kimberley. On Sunday, April 26, Premier Mark McGowan confirmed that there were no active COVID-19 cases in the Kimberley, with all those to have been infected now recovered.
Q. What specific locations in the Kimberley have confirmed cases of COVID-19? How many cases are there locally and in WA?
A. On Wednesday, April 1, the State Government released a statistics/locality map for confirmed COVID-19 cases, which will now be updated daily. For more information, click here.
The WA Department of Health update the number of confirmed cases on a daily basis here.
Q. What travel restrictions are in place in the Kimberley?
A. The State Government has announced that travel into, or out of, all regions of WA, including the Kimberley, is prohibited for non-essential movement. On Thursday, April 2, travel between the four local government districts in the Kimberley was prohibited for non-essential movement. There are exemptions in place. You can find more information here.
Q. What is essential and non-essential travel?
A. WA Premier Mark McGowan has stated that essential travel includes the provision of services or supplies, freight, medical reasons and compassionate grounds. For more information on this, you can call a new police hotline, which is open 7am-10pm, on 13-COVID (13-26843).
Q. How do I apply for a travel exemption?
A. The WA Police Force's G2G Pass website will walk you through the process - click here to apply.
Q. I'm returning home to the Kimberley from elsewhere - what are the self-isolation rules?
A. On Monday, April 13, the Kimberley District of the WA Police Force confirmed that all residents returning to the region must self-isolate for 14 days before coming to the Kimberley. Previously people could self-isolate when they arrived here. For more on this topic, click here.
Q. Can the Shire prevent access to Broome to tourists and visitors?
A. The State Government, not the Shire of Broome, has the ability to enforce travel restrictions. The State Government announced on the morning of Thursday, March 26 that there are restrictions on travelling to the Kimberley. These came into effect at 9pm on March 26 and means non-essential travel to the Kimberley is now prohibited. For more information, contact the Kimberley District of the WA Police Force.
Q. What should I do to prevent contracting COVID-19?
A. It is now very important to adhere to advice from the State and Federal Governments in relation to social distancing. The Shire of Broome reiterates the Governments’ sentiments that unnecessary travel and meetings should be avoided.
Q. I am displaying COVID-19 symptoms, what should I do?
A. If you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, do not present to the hospital or go out into the community. You should start a self-isolation period at home for 14 days and contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
Q. Where can I get up-to-date information on COVID-19?
A. If you want more information on COVID-19, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or visit the WA Health Department or Federal Health Department websites. The Federal Government has also released a COVID-19 app, which can be accessed/downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
The State Government has established a Hotline to help answer questions West Australians have on the current COVID state of emergency. It operates between 7am and 10pm every day - simply call 13 26 843 or 13 CORONA.
The State Government has provided a rundown of contact details for essential services here(PDF, 382KB).
Q. Can I travel to Aboriginal communities in the West Kimberley?
A. WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt has stated that access to all remote indigenous communities is prohibited - for more information, click here. The Shire of Broome would like to reiterate that travel to Aboriginal communities should not be undertaken.
Q. Are there specific resources available for Aboriginal communities?
A. Yes. The WA Department of Health website has a number of posters and a radio resource. The Aboriginal Health Council of WA website has a dedicated COVID-19 page and is providing regular updates. The Commonwealth Department of Health website has radio resources in a variety of languages and a video. The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation's website also has a video. Information for remote communities is available on the Department of Communities website - it includes details about travel restrictions and assistance for Aboriginal people to return to their communities.
Aged care facilities
Q. Can I visit friends and family in aged-care facilities?
A. A person must not enter, or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility in WA if they have not had an up-to-date vaccination against influenza. There are exemptions for emergency workers and persons from a public authority. Further information can be found on the WA Government website here.
Airports and air travel
Q. Are there restrictions on travel? Can I fly to and from Broome?
A. The Shire of Broome has no jurisdiction over domestic or international travel to or from Broome. However, the State Government announced on the morning of Thursday, March 26 that there are restrictions on travelling to the Kimberley. These came into effect at 9pm on March 26 and means non-essential travel is now prohibited. For more information, contact the Kimberley District of the WA Police Force.
Q. Are there limits on how much alcohol I can buy due to COVID?
A. No. The State Government relaxed previous alcohol purchase restrictions on Monday, April 20.
Q. Are Broome's beaches still open?
A. Yes. The WA Police Force is actively monitoring public places, like beaches, to ensure that social distancing advice is being adhered to. Cable Beach and Broome's other beaches are currently open, but should social distancing not be maintained, the possibility of beaches closing is real.
Q. Can I still go out on my boat?
A. Yes. On Sunday, April 26, Premier Mark McGowan stated that from Monday, April 27, the two-person limit on non-work indoor and outdoor gatherings would be adjusted to ten people. This is also relevant for boating or fishing. For more information, click here.
Broome Civic Centre
Q. Are scheduled events at the Broome Civic Centre progressing? If they are cancelled, will I get a refund?
A. The Shire of Broome has cancelled all events at the Broome Civic Centre until June 30. This decision has been made after Federal and State Government recommendations and rulings.
The Shire of Broome will not be taking any new bookings during this period and the venue is not available for hire. We will keep the community updated with any relevant changes as they occur.
The Shire of Broome is currently exploring the potential for offering refunds to customers who have concerns in relation to COVID-19 and want to cancel their bookings or memberships at our facilities. The final decision, legally, is to be made by Council; the Shire will provide further information to the public when available.
Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre
Q. Is BRAC reopening?
A. The Shire of Broome is delighted to announce that BRAC will re-open on Monday, albeit in a limited capacity as the State Government’s relaxations around COVID-19 restrictions come into play.
The stipulations mean a maximum of 20 people will be permitted in the aquatic space, 20 in the indoor stadium and 10 in the squash courts.
Opening hours of both the aquatic area and the recreation centre will be 6am – 6pm. For the aquatic area, customers are advised to book a 45-minute slot before arriving to avoid disappointment.
From Monday morning you can book a spot by calling 9191 8720 or online here.
Please exercise patience as new measures are put in place – we’re looking forward to seeing you next week!
For the latest information, visit the BRAC Facebook page or revisit this FAQ page.
Q. I've paid for programs, services or events at BRAC but now they can't happen - will I get a refund?
A. Please be assured that the Shire of Broome is working through the process of refunds while BRAC is unable to provide events or programs that customers have already paid for.
Q. Can I book a place in a caravan park? Will caravan parks be closed down?
A. Before booking at a caravan park, contact the facility directly to get the latest information. With permanent residents living in some of Broome's caravan parks, they are unlikely to be closed down.
Q. Can I still get access to childcare services? How much will it cost?
A. On Thursday, April 2, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Federal Government would cover the cost of any childcare needs of parents or guardians across Australia. For more information, click here.
Q. How important is cleaning?
Cleaning is critical during the COVID-19 outbreak, not just for hospitals but also in non-healthcare settings such as homes, offices, workplaces, public areas, government buildings, reception areas, hotels, schools, childcares, shops, buses, trains, taxis and cars. Information has been prepared to help everybody to better understand how to ensure the most effective methods are used.
Q. Is there a specific COVID-19 clinic in Broome?
A. Yes. WA Health Minister Roger Cook has announced that from Wednesday, April 8, a new COVID-19 clinic will operate from Broome Hospital. It will operate from 8.30am-4pm, seven days a week, and will be staffed by clinicians and administrative teams. Anyone with either a fever of or above 38C or an acute respiratory infection should present for testing as soon as possible.
Q. Are there restrictions for elderly people?
A. The Federal Government announced on Sunday, March 29 that people aged over 70, or over 60 with pre-existing conditions, should stay at home wherever possible for their own protection.
Q. Is elective surgery still occurring in Western Australia?
A. Elective surgery was initially cancelled but the Premier announced on Wednesday, April 22 that a number of procedures would be resuming. For more information, click here.
Events and programs
Q. Are Broome’s major events continuing? I want to hold an event – can I?
A. The Shire of Broome has cancelled all of its events from now until June 30, including the Chinatown Discovery Festival, which was scheduled for May 8-10. Shire-run community picnics in the park have been cancelled.
The Shire of Broome, as per the Federal Government recommendations, is deterring community groups and members from holding additional events and reiterates the message of the importance of social distancing.
For information on the Broome Races, contact the Broome Turf Club. For information on proposed events at non Shire-run venues, contact the individual venue directly.
Q. Will I receive financial assistance due to COVID-19?
A. The State Government has stated that financial relief will be available for businesses and households across WA. For more information, contact the State Government directly. On March 30, the Federal Government announced a $130 billion package of wage subsidies to help people keep their jobs - for more information contact the Federal Government.
The Shire of Broome has also compiled a list of economic opportunities available through State and Federal bodies - for access, click here.(PDF, 708KB)
On Thursday, April 9, the Shire of Broome held a Special Council Meeting and councillors voted to accept a new COVID-19 community support package. Details of the measures the Shire is taking to help the community can be found here.
Q. Are funerals still being held? How many people can attend?
A. The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday, March 24 that funerals can still be held, but attendance numbers are now limited. New rules were implemented on Monday, May 18 stipulating that up to 20 people can attend a funeral held indoors and up to 30 people can attend if it is held outdoors. For more information on funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
Hospitality / tourism training
Q. I've heard there is mandatory training for hospitality and tourism workers before venues reopen - is this true?
A. Yes. On Wednesday, April 29 the State Government announced that hospitality workers need to undertake specific COVID-19 training before returning to work in the future. For more information, click here.
Q. Where can I get the latest information on COVID-19?
A. The State and Federal Departments of Health are the lead agencies in relation to a COVID-19 response. For more information, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or visit the WA Health Department or Federal Health Department websites. The Federal Government has also released a COVID-19 app, which can be accessed/downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Q. Is the Library reopening?
A. The Shire of Broome is delighted to announce that the Broome Public Library will re-open on Monday, as the State Government’s relaxations around COVID-19 restrictions come into play.
The stipulations mean that a maximum of 20 members of the public will be permitted in the library at one time.
Opening hours will be 10am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, and people are advised to book a 30-minute slot before arriving to avoid disappointment. Please bring ID.
From Monday morning you can book a spot by calling 9191 3477.
Please exercise patience as our new system is put in place – we’re looking forward to seeing you next week!
Q. What programs are available and what does running remotely mean?
A. To maintain social distancing and reduce the potential for viruses to be spread, new methods of delivery will occur. Programs like Toddler Rhyme Time, Story-time, and Baby Rhyme Time will continue at their normal times, but will be run over a Facebook Live format that is open to all to attend remotely. LEGO Club will continue but instead of young people gathering at the library, a weekly video challenge will be posted on Facebook.
Q. Can I still borrow and return books?
A. Yes, but you need to visit the Library website or contact the team on email@example.com or on 9191 3477.
Q. What online library resources are still available?
Electronic resources like e-books, e-audiobooks, digital magazines and the streaming of international films are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Click here to enjoy these resources.
Q. I am having difficulty accessing these Apps, can someone help me?
A. Our library staff members remain on call between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 9191 3477.
Q. Will I be fined for overdue items while the library is closed?
A. There will be no fines incurred for late items while the library is closed due to COVID-19 health concerns.
Q. Are the Shire of Broome’s major projects still progressing?
A. Yes, at this stage, the Shire of Broome’s major projects are progressing. Work at the Town Beach groyne is continuing. Plans for Stage 2 of the Chinatown Revitalisation Project are also continuing.
Q. Are the Courthouse and Town Beach night markets still running?
A. The Broome Markets group have confirmed that all markets have been cancelled until June 30. For more information, click here.
Q. Are the Kimberley's National Parks open?
A. On Thursday, April 30, the State Government announced some relaxation of rulings around National Parks. Mirima National Park and surrounds in Kununurra, Minyirr Park and surrounding conservation reserves in Broome and Geikie Gorge National Park remain open. For the latest information on national parks, click here.
Parks, playgrounds and reserves
Q. Can I still take my children to parks and public spaces?
A. The Federal Government announced on Sunday, March 29 that access to public playgrounds, outside gyms and skate parks is no longer available to the public.
Public conveniences (toilets)
Q. Are public toilets still open?
A. Yes, public toilets remain open. The Shire has increased cleaning services at public toilets to enhance sanitisation and the prevent the potential spread of the virus.
Q. Do I still have to pay my rates?
A. Yes, the Shire of Broome remains committed to providing the community services that are delivered through ratepayer money.
Q. Can I get a refund on a booking or for tickets I’ve purchased from the Shire of Broome?
A. The Shire of Broome is currently exploring the potential for offering refunds to customers who have concerns in relation to COVID-19 and want to cancel their bookings or memberships at our facilities. The final decision, legally, is to be made by Council; the Shire will provide further information to the public when available.
Q. I'm struggling to pay my rent - now what?
A. The Federal Government stated on Sunday, March 29 that evictions will be put on hold for six months and that landlords and renters are encouraged to take about short-term agreements.
Q. Are there roadblocks in place?
A. Yes. The WA Police Force have roadblocks at all locations where people can drive into Broome/the Kimberley. Police are monitoring these roadblocks and turning away those people that present with non-essential reasons for entering the region. The closest roadblock to Broome is at Sandfire Roadhouse.
Q. Are roads to the Dampier Peninsula and other Kimberley destinations still open?
A. Yes, all roads are currently open. The Shire will advise the community should this change. For more information, visit the Shire of Broome website.
WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt has stated that access to all remote Indigenous communities is prohibited - for more information, click here.
Q. Are Broome's schools still open? I'm worried about my child going to school, what should I do?
A. Schools are set to reopen for Term 2 on April 29, Premier Mark McGowan has confirmed.
Shire Administration Building
Q. Is the Shire administration building still open?
A. Yes, the Shire Administration Building is still open. However, where people can access services online or phone for information, they are strongly requested to do so. For more information, visit the Shire of Broome website.
If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms reflective of COVID-19, do not come to the Shire Administration Building and seek medical advice immediately.
Shipping and port activity
Q. Are cruise ships still coming to Broome?
A. The Shire of Broome has no jurisdiction over cruise ships and whether they dock or not. Please contact the relevant authorities – the Kimberley Port Authority. However, the Federal Government has prohibited all cruise ships from docking at Australian ports.
Q. Can I get the supermarkets to deliver food to me at home?
A. This service is not currently available, but contact Coles or Woolworths to find out more.
Q. Where can I get support?
A. For financial support, click here for a link to the treasury website. For financial counselling and crisis assistance, click here. For a mental wellbeing support service, click here.
Q. Can I leave the Kimberley to visit other regions of Western Australia?
A. If your reason for leaving the Kimberley is essential, yes. However, if you do not have essential reasons for leaving the region, your travel will not be permitted. These measures have been implemented by the State Government.
Q. Can I travel from one Kimberley local government area to another?
A. The WA State Government have announced that as of Monday, May 18, travel between the Kimberley's four local government areas will be permitted again.
Q. Can I get tested to see if I have COVID-19?
A. Anyone in the Kimberley with a temperature of more than 38C or with flu symptoms can receive a coronavirus test in the latest measures announced to try to stop the virus from reaching remote communities. For more on testing, contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook has announced that from Wednesday, April 8, a new COVID-19 clinic will operate from Broome Hospital. It will operate from 8.30am-4pm, seven days a week, and will be staffed by clinicians and administrative teams. Anyone with either a fever of or above 38C or an acute respiratory infection should present for testing as soon as possible.
Q. Is the Broome Visitor Centre still open?
A. Visit Broome have announced that the centre is now closed to ensure social distancing regulations are maintained. For more information, click here.
Q. Will my bins still get picked up? Is the tip still open?
A. Yes, your bins will still get picked up as scheduled and the tip is open. The Shire of Broome has a thorough Business Continuity Plan to engage should staff have to self-isolate or people become quarantined. The Broome landfill site remains open from Monday to Saturday, 7.30am - 3.30pm, and Sundays, 8am - 2pm. However, the site's op-shop has been closed. Any updates will be communicated though the Shire website and Facebook page.
Chief Executive Officer