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.

Friday 3:00pm, 29 May 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

Stage 1 of the ease in restrictions includes allowing 5 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.

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

You can also view an exhaustive list of changes here.

Q. WA is currently in phase 2 of restrictions. What is WA Roadmap phase 2?

A. In place from Monday 18 April is phase 2 of the WA Roadmap. Social distancing, good hygiene and the 4sqm rule apply to all activities.

Public gatherings

  • indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings of up to 20 people
  • weddings and funerals up to 20 people inside or 30 outside.

Dining out

  • cafés and restaurants with meal service, including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and casino
  • up to 20 patrons.

Return to work

Western Australians are encouraged to return to work, unless they are unwell or vulnerable.

Regional travel

Restrictions relaxed, with travel allowed between:

  • South West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Perth-Peel regions
  • Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions (excluding the biosecurity zone)
  • Goldfields-Esperance region (excluding the biosecurity zone)
  • within Kimberley Local Government areas (the Commonwealth’s biosecurity zone remains in place).

Travel exemptions will be required to travel between these regions.

Q. What is WA Roadmap 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, pending the Commonwealth’s approval to remove the Biosecurity Area on June 5. 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 Phase 4?

A. Phase 4 is yet to be confirmed and will be assessed and finalised in due course. Western Australia’s interstate border closure will remain in place. This is  expected to be the final restriction lifted.

For further information on WA State Government roadmap please click here.

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 9.00pm Thursday, 26 March 2020, access was restricted into the following regions:

  • Kimberley (comprising all four local government areas)
  • Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku
  • Parts of the Shire of East Pilbara that encompass the communities of Jigalong, Martu homeland communities and Kiwirrkurra.

Under these arrangements, any person who is outside a designated area can only enter that region if that person has self-isolated for 14 days prior to entering the designated biosecurity areas. Exceptions apply where there is an urgent need to perform an essential activity, or other exceptional circumstances.

Q. What 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 18 May, some travel restrictions have been relaxed as part of WA’s COVID-19 roadmap

People who live in the Kimberley region are now able to travel between local government areas of:

  • Broome
  • Derby-West Kimberley
  • Wyndham-East Kimberley
  • Halls Creek

Restrictions are still in place for access to the Kimberley, to protect the health and wellbeing of residents in the Kimberley and remote Aboriginal communities.

This means:

  • The Kimberley is closed to tourists and visitors.
  • People are unable to travel outside of the Kimberley region and return, unless it’s for an essential purpose.

Travel exemptions are required to travel to these areas.

The WA Police Commissioner and WA Government are working with the Australian Government to remove restrictions on access to biosecurity zones from 5 June, including the Kimberley region, parts of the Shire of East Pilbara and the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

Restrictions on entering 274 remote Aboriginal communities will remain in place, while consultation continues with the communities to ensure they’re provided with ongoing support after 5 June.

Please click the links below for information about restrictions on:

Q. When will the Kimberley reopen?

A. The WA Police Commissioner and WA Government are working with the Australian Government to remove restrictions on access to biosecurity zones from 5 June, including the Kimberley region, parts of the Shire of East Pilbara and the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

Restrictions on entering 274 remote Aboriginal communities will remain in place, while consultation continues with the communities to ensure they’re provided with ongoing support after 5 June.

For further information please click here.

Q.Do I qualify for a travel exemption?

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

Q. How do I apply for a travel exemption?

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.

Q. I am returning home to the Kimberley from elsewhere what are the self-isolation rules?

A. On Monday 13 April, 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 information, please 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 re-opening?

A. Both Kununurra and Wyndham Administration buildings are currently accessible by appointment only.

From Monday 25 May, both buildings will partially reopen to the public with strict social distancing measures and sanitisation stations provided.

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, re-opening?

A. Several Shire sporting facilities will re-open from Monday 25 May 2020.

This includes:

  • Kununurra Leisure centre
  • Wyndham Swimming Pool
  • Shire ovals
  • Peter Reid Memorial Hall
  • Ted Birch Memorial Youth and Recreation Centre.

Capacity Restrictions will include:

  • 20 patrons in the aquatic space,
  • 20 patrons in the indoor hall and
  • 10 patrons within the squash court foyer and courts
  • A limit to one person per squash court for training purposes only

The Kununurra Leisure Centre Gym will remain closed until further relaxation of restrictions is announced.  

Kununurra and Wyndham Swimming Pools

The Shire will trial opening hours and a booking system at both the Kununurra and Wyndham Swimming Pools.

Members and guests will be required to book a 45-minute slot to secure lane space before arriving to avoid disappointment.

To book a lane space, please contact the Kununurra Leisure Centre on 91682120 or Wyndham Swimming Pool on 91611293.

Shire Facility Bookings

Clubs and organisations that wish to book any Shire facilities will be required to provide the following within 24 hours of the booking:

  • Number of participants
  • A hygiene safety plan
  • A record/log of all participants

For additional information regarding facilities, please contact the Kununurra Leisure Centre on 91682120. 

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.

Q. Are the Libraries re-openeing?

The Kununurra Library has partially reopened. As part of the COVID Safety Guidelines and Plan provided by the State Government, the library will implement the following restrictions:

  • A Maximum of 20 patrons within the premises
  • 4 PC’s will be available to use from 8 am – 2 pm with a one-hour limit. The mouse and keyboard will be sanitised between use. Booking a PC is required.
  • WiFi vouchers will be available to use outside of the library.
  • Browse and Borrow’ will be limited to 30 minutes per person.
  • ‘Drive through Takeaway’ book order will continue.
  • Rhymetime face to face session will resume on Tuesday from 8:30 am, and Friday from 9 am. Storytime will commence on Thursday from 8:30 am. Booking is required. Both Ryhmetime and Storytime will also stream via Zoom.
  • Children under 12 years will require a parent/carer to enter the premises.

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. 

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.

 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.

Airports and air travel

Q. Are there restrictions on travel? Can I fly to and from Kununurra?

A. The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley has no jurisdiction over domestic or international travel to or from Kununurra. However, the State Government announced on the morning of Thursday, 26 March that there are restrictions on travelling to the Kimberley. These came into effect at 9:00pm on 26 March and mean non-essential travel is now prohibited. For more information, contact the Kimberley District of the WA Police Force.

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. From 18 May the following businesses can reopen, with a maximum of 20 patrons and the 4sqm rule applied: 

  • cafés and restaurants with meal service, including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and the casino. 
    • alcohol can only be served with food
    • social distancing and good hygiene practices must be followed 
  • outdoor or indoor fitness classes with minimal shared equipment
  • public pools (1 indoor and 1 outdoor) with strict rules and up to 20 patrons per pool
  • non-contact community sports
  • places of worship, community facilities and libraries
  • weddings and funerals (up to 20 people inside and 30 outside) 

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  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.

 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 the Shire's caravan parks, they are unlikely to be closed down.

Kununurra:

Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park 08 9168 1280

Discovery Holiday Park 08 9168 1031

Ivanhoe Caravan Park 08 9169 1995

Hidden Valley Caravan Park 08 9168 1790

Town Caravan Park 08 9168 1763

Lakeside Caravan Park 08 9169 1092

Lake Argyle:

Lake Argyle Resort 08 9168 777

Wyndham:

Wyndham Caravan Park 08 9161 1064

Parry Creek Farm Caravan Park 08 9161 1139

 Childcare

Q. Can I still get access to childcare services? How much will it cost?

A. On Thursday, 2 April, 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.

Elderly people and aged care

Q. Are there restrictions for elderly people?

A. The Federal Government announced on Sunday, 29 March that people aged over 70, or over 60 with pre-existing conditions, should stay at home wherever possible for their own protection.

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.

 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.

 Funerals

Q. Are funerals still being held? How many people can attend?

A. Starting Monday 18 May, Funerals and Weddings of up to 20 people inside or 30 people outside are acceptable.

 Parks, playgrounds and reserves

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

A. The Federal Government announced on Sunday, 29 March that access to public playgrounds, outside gyms and skate parks is no longer available to the public.

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.

 Roads

Q. Are there roadblocks in place?

A. Yes. The WA Police Force have roadblocks at all locations where people can drive into the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley and the Kimberley. Police are monitoring these roadblocks and turning away those people that present with non-essential reasons for entering the region.

If you would like to apply for a travel exemption, please complete the WA Entry - Request for Approval as an Exempt Traveller form and email it to WA Police at WAEntryRequest@police.wa.gov.au.

Shire Administration Building

Q. Is the Shire administration building still open?

A. No.

Kununurra and Wyndham Administration Office are accessible by appointment only until further notice. Whilst Customer Service is still open, walk-ins will not be permitted and enquiries must be made by phone on 9168 4100 in the first instance.

 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.