COVID-19 UPDATES FOR THE CITY OF ALBANY COMMUNITY

The City of Albany are working with the Department of Health to provide accurate updates on the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) health issue based on the latest information from the Federal and State health departments.

It is important during this time that you continue to keep updated through the WA Department of Health and follow the public gathering and social distancing rules implemented for everyone’s safety.

Message from the Mayor 

City of Albany Facilities and Services Temporary Opening Hour Changes 

Key Messages

Opening Hours

Download your copy of the City of Albany Facilities and Services Opening Hours here

WA COVID-19 cases

For a map and statistics of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Western Australia, including in the Great Southern region, visit:

https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID19-statistics

You can also follow the Department of Health’s daily media statements on COVID-19 in WA here:

https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/News/Media-releases-listing-page

Latest Updates and Department of Health Information

For the latest updates from the State Government in relation to COVID-19 including a daily snapshot, please visit their website. 

We do recommend keeping up to date on the Coronavirus through the Australian Government's Department of Health, and the World Health Organisation ‘Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public’.

Members of the public are also encouraged to go to the following online resources for up to date information:

Cautious easing of restrictions across WA

Phase 4

Phase 4

Commencing 27 June 2020

Western Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed even further, as WA’s roadmap is updated to complete the removal of all restrictions.

Due to the world-leading response to COVID in WA, Phase 4 started on Saturday, 27 June (11.59pm Friday, 26 June) and has resulted in: 

  • all existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule removed
  • gathering limits only determined by WA’s reduced 2 square metre rule
  • the 2 square metre rule will only include staff at venues that hold more than 500 patrons
  • removal of seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed premises
  • no requirement to maintain patron register at food businesses and licensed premises
  • alcohol can be served as part of unseated service arrangements
  • all 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
  • the casino gaming floor reopening under agreed temporary restrictions.

For WA’s major sport and entertainment venues, a 50 per cent capacity rule will apply. 

Western Australians must continue to keep up physical distancing where possible and maintain good personal hygiene to better protect themselves and the general health of our community.

WA businesses will be expected to ensure their COVID Safety Plans are updated and continue to be implemented.

COVIDSafe Plan Templates for businesses

The Western Australian Government has announced gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in accordance with WA’s roadmap to recovery.

Restrictions have been further relaxed allowing businesses to reopen under certain conditions. This includes:

  • 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 

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 4

Please note, all hospitality, sporting and recreation, and community and cultural venues will need to complete a COVID Safety Plan prior to reopening. You will also need complete a COVID Safety Plan if you have been operating in a limited capacity, such as take away only. COVID Safety Plans are an important part of ensuring that re-opening businesses does not increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. Businesses must ensure their COVID Safety Plan is available for inspection by authorised officers.

Tailored templates for food business and sport and recreation activities are available at the following links-

Please read the guidelines carefully to ensure that the safety plan for your business meets the requirements for social distancing, cleaning and hygiene, training and education, compliance with existing legislation, and response planning.

In addition to any existing requirements for staff information and training under occupational health and safety laws, all staff should complete the AHA Hospitality & Tourism - COVID-19 HYGIENE COURSE. This course is intended to equip hospitality staff and management with a comprehensive understanding of COVID-19 hygiene requirements, helping prepare businesses to re-open safely and responsibly.

Circumstances relating to COVID-19 restrictions can change rapidly.  Please check the www.gov.au to keep up to date with any changes. 

#albanyinthistogether

The City of Albany has an online campaign to help keep the community connected and encourage spending locally during COVID-19.

#albanyinthistogether encourages community members, businesses and families to share how they are staying in business or keeping their minds and bodies active during isolation and restricted socialising.

Takeaway options, new delivery services, home workout hacks or creative kids’ activities, the City are encouraging the community to post their photos and videos on social media with the hashtag #albanyinthistogether so we can share it with everyone.

The campaign includes a website www.albanyinthistogether.com where local content can be found along with blog posts, latest competitions, featured artists and a comprehensive list of open businesses in Albany.

Community can use #albanyinthistogether now, and follow @TheCityofAlbanyWA on Facebook and Instagram to stay connected. Any local businesses or community members wanting to know more about how to be part of the campaign can email medialiaison@albany.wa.gov.au.

Physical Distancing

Coronavirus is most likely to spread from person to person, when we come into close contact with one another.

We can all help stop the spread by keeping our distance, including at parks, beaches and shopping centres.


Get more information on social distancing from the Australian Department of Health


Based on health advice, the State Government have cautiously eased restrictions in relation to public gatherings.

As of Saturday 6 June the 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).

People aged over 70 should stay at home to self-isolate and limit contact with others as much as possible. This also applies to people over 60 with chronic illness and Indigenous Australians over 50.

Rates and Fees

The City of Albany are committed to providing support to our community through this uncertain and tough time with the following measures to be put in place:

  • Elected Members have agreed to take a 20% cut in allowances for 6 months.
  • Debt recovery action on outstanding rates if ratepayers are affected by COVID-19 will halt.
  • Those with a Pensioner Card, State Concession Card, Seniors Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card registered to their property will have their rates deferred.
  • Prioritise procurement and payment processes to local businesses.
  • Temporary rent concessions of up to 100% will be granted on the City’s commercially-leased premises upon proof of COVID-19 hardship.
  • Temporary concessions of up to 100% to rental payments and outgoings for community, sporting or other not-for-profit tenancies that have ceased operation due to COVID-19.
  • No rate rises in the 2020/2021 budget.
  • Reduced interest and payment charges to rates and billing collection.
  • More flexible payment arrangements.

Screening

Pioneer Health are operating a drive-through screening clinic Monday to Friday from 9am to 12 noon.

The clinic is safely assessing patients with recent cases of flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and muscle aches).

The clinic can also test for COVID-19 but ONLY for patients that meet current Health Department guidelines.

You do not need to be a patient of Pioneer Health to attend the clinic – new patients are welcome and the clinic is 100% bulk-billed (no cost to patients).

The clinic is located at the far end of Pioneer Health Carpark.

Travel

Regional

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.

For more information visit https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-wa-roadmap#phase3-regional-travel

Domestic

You will no longer be able to enter Western Australia unless an exemption has been granted.

You can see if you meet the criteria for an exemption here.

To apply you will need to complete a Request for Approval as an Exempt Traveller form here.

Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

For up to date information on travel restrictions and advice, visit: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates

International

For up to date information on travel restrictions and advice, visit: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates

Regional Express and Virgin Flights

Regional Express (Rex) continues to operate flights from Albany on a reduced schedule.

To stay up-to-date with the Albany flight schedule and check what flights are available, visit the Rex website

Virgin continues to operate closed charter flights for FIFO works. Please stay in touch with your employer regarding the availability of these flights.

Cruise Ship Information

The City of Albany is not responsible for cruise ship visits to Albany.

Cruise ship movements come under the management of Southern Ports Authority.

Any non-Australians who arrive at a WA port will be stopped from disembarking the ship.

Southern Ports has advised the City that all Cruise Ships that were due to dock in Albany have been cancelled and they will be releasing updates as they come to hand.

City of Albany Events Information

Many regional and community events have been cancelled due to the current restrictions on mass gatherings imposed by the Federal Government in response to COVID-19.

The cancellation of events is unfortunate but a necessary step to protect the health and safety of people in our community, and visitors.

If you’re unsure whether an event is going ahead or not, please contact the event organiser.

Please visit www.health.gov.au for more information on restrictions to public gatherings.

Department of Social Services and COVID-19

The Department of Social Services is supporting individuals and families affected by COVID-19 through a range of measures.

  • One-Off Economic Support Payment
  • Isolation Related Temporary Exemptions From Mutual Obligations
  • Payments
  • Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/covid-19-information-and-support

Disability services and COVID-19

COVID-19 information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters.

https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/information-and-referrals-for-people-with-disability-and-their-supporters-about-coronavirus-covid-19

Coronavirus Australia App

Make sure you're getting the latest information on COVID-19 by downloading the Australian Government Coronavirus app - available on Google Play and Apple App stores

Don't have a smart device? Visit www.health.gov.au or www.healthywa.gov.au to get the latest advice.

Need mental health info or support? Go to headtohealth.gov.au for info, services and advice, online or over the phone. If you need urgent help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Business Operations and COVID-19

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a substantial impact on the day to day operations of businesses as well as operations beyond the immediate timeframe.

Rural West 

If your business is doing it tough in regional WA, Rural West will work with you to get through this difficult period with business planning frameworks across a range of primary production enterprises.

Download the Rural West Information Flyer here. 

COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan

Learn about the positive steps you can take to keep your business operating and where to go for help.

More information is available by clicking here.

COVID-19 Stimulus Package for Small Business: Small Business Development Corporation

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Government announced a $17.8 billion targeted stimulus package to support the Australian economy through the challenges. 

The package is designed to keep small businesses afloat and employees in work, and will focus on supporting the most impacted sectors. The Government has stated that the measures are temporary, targeted and scalable. 

The main areas of support relevant to small businesses are:

  • Cash flow payment of up to $25,000 for employers 
  • 50 percent wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees 
  • Increase in the instant asset write-off threshold to $150,000
  • 50 percent accelerated depreciation for investments

A second stimulus package was announced 22 March 2020, which includes an increase to cash flow assistance for businesses. 

More information is available by clicking here.

JobKeeper Payment - Information for Employers

The JobKeeper payment is intended to provide wage subsidies to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19.

JobKeeper Payment - Information for Employees

COVID-19 Information and Support for Business: Business.gov.au

Updated information on financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support for Australian Businesses is available by clicking the link below.

Coronavirus information and support for business.

Government Support for the Tourism Industry: Tourism Australia

Australian, State and Territory governments provide a range of support and relief assistance for tourism businesses.

Assistance and support for the tourism industry is available by clicking here.

Government Economic Response to Coronavirus: Australian Government Treasury

The Federal Government is acting decisively in the national interest to support households and businesses, and address the significant economic consequences of COVID-19. 

The Government's economic response targets three areas:

  • Support for individuals and households 
  • Support for business 
  • Support the flow of credit 

For up to date information on the Australian Government's economic response to Coronavirus please click here.

Coronavirus Information: Tourism Australia

Available by clicking here.

COVID-19 Special update: Tourism Council Western Australia website

Available by clicking here. 

COVID-19 Employer Guide: Managing the workplace in the fact of the outbreak: Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Available by clicking here.

Practical Advice and Assistance for Business: Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry website contains a key issue sheet, a working from home checklist and business continuity plans.

Access the documents by clicking here.

If you have questions about COVID-19 you can contact your state public health agency or the national virus hotline: 

  • Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080
  • WA - 08 9328 0553

Federal Government links

The below information is available on the Australian Government business website:

More information on the Australian government’s response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 can be found at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/business-investment.

State Government links

The below information is available on the Government of Western Australia's website:

Business or industry communications from State Government