Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

For information on COVID-19 in WA please call the State Government Hotline 13 26 843 or 13 COVID.

For a full list of reliable information sources please click here.

Disclaimer - This information is considered valid as at the date of publication (shown below). Updates will be provided only as, and when, relevant information becomes available.

9:00am, Wednesday 24 June, 2020

State and Federal Government Information and Actions

Q. Are COVID-19 restrictions changing?

A. On Friday 8 May, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a 3 Stage relaxation of the current COVID-19 restrictions, as a result of decreasing positive cases.

Each State Government is individually responsible for activating the ease in restrictions according to their State needs.

There will be no changes to National Border Restrictions. Australian's returning home from overseas will continue to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Australia.

Progressing between stages will only occur if the following three requirements are adhered to:

  1. The relevant medical advice
  2. Wide-scale testing
  3. Tracing through the COVID SAFE App

This infographic shows the three stages announced by the Prime Minister:

You can also view an exhaustive list of changes here.

Q. What is WA Roadmap to Recovery Phase 3?

Commencing 6 June 2020, phase 3 will see an increase in the number of people at non-work gatherings and additional businesses will be permitted to reopen.

The 4 square metre rule will be revised to 2 square metres per person for all WA venues.

Physical distancing, good hygiene and the 2 square metre rule will apply to all activities permitted in Phase 3.

Public gatherings

  • non-work indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people per single undivided space, up to 300 people in total per venue over multiple spaces (100/300 rule)
  • weddings and funerals up to 100 people

Food and beverage

  • food businesses and licensed premises may operate but only with seated service
  • alcohol may be served without a meal at licensed premises (patrons must be seated)
  • food courts can reopen with a seated service 

Wellbeing and health services

  • all beauty services including nail, tanning and waxing salons can resume
  • saunas, bath houses, wellness centres, float centres, spa and massage may reopen (100/300 rule) 

Leisure and recreation

  • gyms, health clubs, indoor sports centres will be able to offer the normal range of activities, including use of all gym equipment (gyms must be staffed at all times and undertake regular cleaning)
  • contact sport and training
  • playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment are permitted to be used
  • galleries, museums, theatres, auditoriums, cinemas and concert venues can reopen (during any performance, the patrons must be seated. (100/300 rule)
  • arcades (including pool/snooker, ten pin bowling, Timezone), skate rinks and indoor play centres (100/300 rule)

Education

Parents/guardians will be able to enter school grounds to drop off or pick up their children.

Community facilities

Facilities may increase capacity to 100 patrons in each room, up to 300 per venue.

Regional travel

Travel will be permitted throughout Western Australia, including into the Kimberley region, from Friday 5 June 2020. Access into remote Aboriginal communities will remain prohibited.

If going on holidays, continue to practice physical distancing and good hygiene, do not go on holiday if feeling unwell.

Gaming venues

  • TABs and Pub TABs may reopen for the purpose of betting and watching events and racing.
  • Crown Casino gaming floor for the purpose of gambling to remain closed during phase 3. 

Advice for business

WA businesses are reminded that they must submit a COVID Safety Plan, prior to reopening, to ensure they mitigate the risk of COVID-19, in line with health advice.

Premises that opened during Phase 2 should update their COVID Safety Plans accordingly.

More information

For more information on Phase 3 easing of restrictions, please read WA Government frequently asked questions.

Download the COVID-19 WA roadmap.

Q. What is WA Roadmap to Recovery Phase 4?

A. Phase 4 will be introduced from Saturday 27 June 2020 and includes:

  • all existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule removed
  • gathering limits now only determined by WA’s reduced 2sqm rule
  • the 2sqm rule will only include staff at venues that hold more than 500 patrons
  • removal of seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed premises
  • alcohol can be served as part of unseated service arrangements
  • major events permitted except for large-scale multi-stage music festivals
  • unseated performances permitted at venues such as concert halls, live music venues, bars, pubs and nightclubs
  • gyms operating unstaffed, but regular cleaning must be maintained

For further information on the WA Roadmap to Recovery Phase 4 please visit the WA State Government FAQ page.

Q. What is WA Roadmap to Recovery Phase 5?

A. Phase 5 of easing restrictions is expected to take effect on Saturday 18 July, pending expert health advice. It will include removing ALL State restrictions except for the hard border with the eastern states and travel restrictions for remote Aboriginal communities. That will include the removal of the 2sqm rule and the 50% capacity rule for our major venues.

Q. What is WA Roadmap to Recovery Phase 6?

Phase 6 will remove the remaining State restrictions, with only Federal restrictions, such as the ban on international travel, remaining in place at that point.

An indicative date for Phase 6 will be set in the future, when it’s safe to do so. That date will take into account locally acquired infection rates in the eastern states.

The WA hard border will only be removed when the WA Chief Health Officer is confident the spread of infection is controlled in the eastern states.

Q. What Government support is available for me?

There is a lot of support available from State and Federal Government, please click the link for a list of Government Support Measures.

 Travel

Q. What travel restrictions are in place in the Kimberley?

A. From Friday, 5 June, the biosecurity areas declared under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015 will be removed.

Access to remote communities will remain restricted under the State Government’s Emergency Management Act.

Removing regional travel restrictions in WA, including the restrictions in the Kimberley, has been part of a staged and carefully planned roadmap for Western Australia.

The State Government is continuing to engage with Aboriginal leaders on the future of the travel restrictions into remote communities and additional ways to keep remote communities free from COVID-19.

Please click the links below for information about restrictions on:

Q. What are the Biosecurity Act restrictions?

The State and Federal Governments have partnered to implement restrictions for access to designated areas in Western Australia to protect the health and wellbeing of residents in the Kimberley and remote Aboriginal communities.

From Friday 5 June 2020, the biosecurity areas declared under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015 will be removed and the Kimberley region will reopen to the rest of Western Australia. Access to remote communities will remain restricted under the State Government’s Emergency Management Act.

Q.Do I qualify for a travel exemption to enter Western Australia?

A. To find out whether you qualify for a travel exemption please click here.

Q. How do I apply for a travel exemption to enter Western Australia?

A. If you believe you fall under an approval to travel category you can complete the paper-based Entry into Designated Biosecurity Areas form prior to travel and submit to WABiosecurityEntryRequest@police.wa.gov.au with supporting documentation. 

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 the new State Government Hotline, which is open 7:00am - 10:00pm, on 13-COVID (13-26843), or click here.

Local Government Information and Actions

Q. What is happening within the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley?

A. The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley continues to take direction and advice from relevant State and Federal Government agencies during the ongoing global development of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Shire are currently reviewing the Western Australian Government ease in restrictions Roadmap and are finalising a plan to make the appropriate changes safely and effectively. All updates will be applied to this page, as they become apparent.

Q. Is SWEK Administration open?

A. Yes. Both Kununurra and Wyndham Administration buildings are now open and accessible as normal.

If you are unsure whether you should visit in person, please phone 9168 4100 to discuss other options.

Q. Are SWEK Facilities, such as the Leisure Centre, open?

A. From Saturday 27 June, several Shire facilities will adjust their opening restrictions, as part of Phase 4 of WA’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’.

Gym memberships remain on hold until further notice.

Kununurra Leisure Centre Gym

  • Open
  • 20 person limit at all times
  • Gym users required to have their own towel
  • All equipment regularly cleaned by staff
  • Personal Training NOT permitted
  • 2 square metre rule

Swimming Pools – Kununurra Leisure Centre and Wyndham

  • Recreational swimming permitted
  • Lane space bookings no longer required
  • 100 patrons at a time
  • Change rooms open
  • Opening times remain

Squash Courts – Kununurra Leisure Centre

  • Squash games permitted

Playgrounds, skate-park and outdoor gym equipment

  • Available at all times

Ovals

  • Full contact sport and training to recommence

Basketball, Tennis and Netball Multipurpose Courts

  • Basketball Courts will be open during daylight hours for free community use
  • All courts able to be utilised as normal

Wyndham Youth Programs

  • Resumed as normal
  • Further information contact Wyndham Youth Officer 9168 4100

Clubs and community organisations that wish to book or use Shire facilities will require a COVID Safety Plan to be completed and lodged with all booking forms.

Q. Are the Libraries re-openeing?

The Kununurra School and Community Library have opened for its usual hours from 6 June with the following restrictions:

  • A maximum of 100 patrons at any one time;
  • 4 PC s will be available for use from 8 am until closing. Keyboards mouse will be sanitised between use. Bookings can be made;
  • WiFi vouchers will be available for use outside the library. 
  •  Drive through takeaway book orders will continue
  • Rhymetime face to face sessions will resume from Tuesday 9 June at 8.30 am, and Friday at 9 am. Storytime will resume on Thursday 11 June at 8.30 am. Rhymetime and Storytime will take place on the veranda. 

All hygiene practices and requirements have been prepared and will be strictly monitored for the benefit of everyone, including physical distancing.

The Wyndham Library will reopen from Monday 25 May 2020 with a limit of 10 patrons at a time.

As part of the State Government plan to minimise the risk of spreading Coronavirus, patrons who visit the Shire Administration Building, Library, Local Food Businesses, and any Sport and Recreational facilities, will be required to sign in upon entry. This is to ensure contact tracing can occur. 

Aboriginal communities

The Shire have collated some excellent resources for remote communities and Aboriginal people which can be found here.

Q. Can I travel to Aboriginal communities in the East 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 Wyndham East Kimberley would like to reiterate that travel to Aboriginal communities should not be undertaken.

Businesses

The Shire have collated some great resources for Businesses, Employees and Employers, during Coronavirus, these can be accessed here.

Q. Should my business be open or closed?

A. Businesses seeking to reopen, including hospitality, sports and recreation, community and cultural venues, will need to complete an official COVID Safety Plan. You may also find the COVID Safety Guidelines helpful.

Q. What can I do to keep myself, employees and customers safe?

The Shire have created a dedicated page of information for local businesses, simply click here.

Q. I am a small business owner, what support is available?

To help manage business disruption associated with COVID-19, the Small Business Development Corporation has put together a range of support information focused on the needs of small business owners. 

 Hospitality and Tourism Training

Q. Is there mandatory training for hospitality and tourism workers before venues can reopen?

A. Yes. On Wednesday 29 April the State Government announced that hospitality workers need to undertake specific COVID-19 training before returning to work in the future. For more information, or to register, please click here.

 Elderly people and aged care

Q. Can I visit friends and family in aged-care facilities?

A. Rules around visiting aged care facilities are in line with the updated AHPPC recommendations. 

Visits to aged care facilities can occur within the following guidelines:  

  • visits with a maximum of 2 visitors at a time per resident 
  • spouses or other close relatives or social supports are not limited in the number of hours they spend with their spouse/relative 
  • children of all ages will be permitted, however, all visitors must adhere to restriction numbers, physical distancing and good personal hygiene practices 
  • visits should be conducted in a resident’s room, outdoors or a specified area in the facility — rather than communal areas with other residents 
  • visitors providing goods or services for the effective operation of the facility including services such as hairdressing, diversional therapists and allied health professionals where services cannot be provided via telehealth or other models of care. 

You should not enter a facility if you have: 

  • returned from overseas in the last 14 days 
  • been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days 
  • a fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath) 
  • not had an up-to-date influenza vaccination. 

While the provision of Aged Care is a Commonwealth Government responsibility, both the WA State and Commonwealth Governments have strongly urged aged care facilities to follow National Cabinet recommendations regarding visitation. 

Q. Do I need to have a flu vaccination to visit an aged care facility? 

Yes. People are allowed to visit relatives in aged care facilities as long as they can demonstrate receipt of this year’s flu vaccination. 

This restriction has been put in place to protect older Australians who are at most risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19. 

Q. Can my elderly relatives leave the house and socialise? 

A. Yes. There is no prohibition on elderly relatives leaving the house. However, it is recommended they follow current health advice. 

Q. Can I visit a friend or relative in hospital? 

A. The number of people permitted to visit a friend or relative in hospital during visiting hours has increased to 2 people at one time. 

Children are able to return as visitors, and maternity patients can now be accompanied by 2 birthing partners. 

Visitor restrictions to confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients remain in place at all public hospitals. 

As always, people should not visit patients in hospitals if they are unwell, and the guidelines still stipulate that visitors should not enter a hospital if they: 

  • have tested positive for COVID-19
  • have a fever or a cold or a flu-like illness, including symptoms such as, sore throat, cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing
  • have travelled outside Australia and are therefore required to self-isolate for 14 days
    or
  • have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus and are therefore required to self-isolate for 14 days.

 Events and programs

Q. Are major events continuing? I want to hold an event – can I?

A. The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley have made contact with event organisers, who are advising the Shire whether they intend to continue with their events for 2020. Event updates can be found in the Shire event calendar.

If you are uncertain about your event, please contact the Shire Community Development Officer on 9168 4100.

Parks, playgrounds and reserves

Q. Can I take my children to parks and public spaces?

A. Yes. Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment were all permitted to be used as part of phase 3.

Q. Are National Parks open in the Kimberley?

A. On Thursday 30 April, 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 Geiki Gorge National Park remain open. All remaining remote national parks in the Kimberley, which were due to open in April at the end of the wet season, will remain closed until changes are made to the Kimberley Intra-regional Travel Arrangements. For the full media release, please click here.

Please ensure you are practicing good hygiene and adhering to social distancing, as this remains important, to keep our community safe from COVID-19.

 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 prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 Rent

Q. I'm struggling to pay my rent - now what?

A. The Federal Government stated on Sunday, 29 March that evictions will be put on hold for six months and that landlords and renters are encouraged to take about short-term agreements.

 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 Wyndham and Kununurra Landfill are open. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

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 Government in relation to social distancing. The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley reiterates the Government sentiments that unnecessary travel and meetings should be avoided.

Cleaning is critical during the coronavirus (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.  Please click this link for further information on cleaning.  

SWEK have also collated some useful information for businesses, employees and employers during COVID-19, please click here to view these.

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. 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.

Q. Where can I get up-to-date information on COVID-19?

A. The Shire has collated a list of trusted information resources, simply click here.

Q. I’ve heard about the Coronavirus app, should I download it?

A. There are 2 different apps that have been developed by the Federal Government, to remain well informed and to help stop the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Coronavirus Australia – Official Government Info:

Stay up to date with the official information and advice. This application provides you with important health advice, daily snapshots of the current status of Coronavirus within Australia and relevant contact information.

  1. COVIDSafe – Health and Fitness

Using Bluetooth Technology, this tracing app looks for other devices with the COVIDSafe app installed. Your app will take a note of contact you’ve had with other users.
If you or someone you’ve been in contact with is diagnosed with COVID-19, the close contact information securely stored in your phone can be uploaded and used, with your consent, by State and Territory Health Officials to quickly trace and warn people who’ve been exposed to the virus.

Q. Is there a specific COVID-19 clinic in the Kimberley?

A. Yes. There is currently a COVID-19 Clinic operating at Broome Hospital.

Given the current travel restrictions, it is important that if you show signs of COVID-19, please stay at home and call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

Q. What is the right way to wash my hands?

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19

How long can COVID-19 live on everyday surfaces?

Common household cleaners and disinfectants, including soap, or a diluted bleach solution, can deactivate Coronviruses on indoor surfaces.