COVID-19 / Coronavirus updates

 Frequently Asked Questions

Wednesday, April 1 - 3pm 

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.

**Confirmed cases in the Kimberley**

Q. Are there confirmed cases in the Kimberley?

A. Yes. The WA Health Minister Roger Cook stated at a press conference on Tuesday, March 24, that there are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Kimberley.

Q. What specific locations in the Kimberley have confirmed cases of COVID-19?

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.

Q. What is the Shire doing to stop the spread of COVID-19?

A. The Shire has closed the physical sites at the Broome Public Library and Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre to assure social distancing is maintained. The State and Federal Governments are the lead agencies in relation to COVID-19 and the relevant Shire of Broome staff are liaising with these organisations, along with relevant local and state agencies, to enforce regulations that will keep the community safe.

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 is essential and non-essential travel?

A. The Shire of Broome is not the lead agency in determining this - 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.

Aboriginal communities

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.

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.

Alcohol

Q. Are there limits on how much alcohol I can buy due to COVID?

A. Yes. The State Government announced the restrictions on Wednesday, March 25. For more information, click here.

Beaches

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.

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 still open? What is the Shire doing to ensure my safety? Are BRAC events still on?

A. The Shire of Broome has made the difficult but sensible decision to alter our delivery methods at the Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre for the foreseeable future. As such, the BRAC facility has been closed to public access as of Friday March 20.

However, Father McMahon and Joseph Nipper Roe Ovals are still open to the public to use for recreation. The Shire is also looking at other ways to make resources and programs available to the community and will communicate this when on offer.

In relation to events, the Beach 2 Bay Virtual Swim 2020 and Dash and Splash, scheduled for later this month, have been cancelled. Usual programs such as swim lessons and fitness classes have also been cancelled.

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.

Businesses

Q. What businesses are staying open and which are closed?

A. The direction of business closures is being dictated by the Prime Minister, not the Shire of Broome. Cafes, pubs, restaurants, gyms, amusement parks, swimming pools, galleries, auction houses, real estate auctions and homes open, beauty salons and massage therapies are all closed. Takeaway food can still be purchased and hairdressers are open - the Shire of Broome would encourage residents to support local businesses that remain open at this time. More information is available here.

Caravan Parks

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.

Elderly people

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.

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.

Financial assistance

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)

Funerals

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 are limited to 10 people attending. For more information, click here.

Latest information

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.

Library

Q. Is the Library still open? Are the Library programs still running?

A. The Shire of Broome has made the sensible decision to alter our delivery methods at the Broome Public Library for the foreseeable future. As such, the physical library site has been closed to public access from Friday March 20 – but programs will run remotely as previously scheduled.

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. No. Due to social distancing rulings, this is now unavailable.

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 library@broome.wa.gov.au 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.

Major projects

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.

Markets

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.

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.

Rates

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.

Refunds

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.

Rent

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.

Restaurants / pubs

Q. Why are Broome's restaurants and pubs closed? 

A. The Prime Minister made a determination that all restaurants, pubs, clubs, gyms and churches are to be closed to curtail the potential spread of COVID-19. For more information, click here.

Roads

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.

Schools

Q. Are Broome's schools still open? I'm worried about my child going to school, what should I do?

A. Schools across Western Australia remain open, at the State Government's direction. However, parents/guardians have the right to remove their child/children from school if they see fit. On Thursday, March 26, Premier Mark McGowan encouraged parents to remove children from schools if they had the capacity to.

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.

Shopping delivery

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.

Travel

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.

Visitor Centre

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.

Waste management

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.

Weddings

Q. Are weddings still be held? How many people can attend?

A. The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday, March 24 that weddings can continue, but only with the couple, the celebrant and witnesses - totalling a maximum of five people. For more information, click here.

Sam Mastrolembo

Chief Executive Officer