Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Douglas Shire Council receives regular updates from the Queensland and Australian governments and will respond as required or directed by appropriate health authorities.

Support for impacted businesses

Financial assistance, eligibility & timing for the new government support for Australian businesses.

Support for impacted individuals

Information & services to help you if you’re affected or looking for more details.

Changes to Council Events, Programs & Initiatives

Council events & programs impacted by new government regulations.

Essential Services

Plans are in place to ensure the continued supply of critical services.

Residents & travellers

Council is prepared for any potential impacts of the COVID-19 virus and is taking a calm and precautionary approach to slowing the transmission of COVID-19.

Queensland Health provides timely health advice and information. Anyone with concerns can call 13 HEALTH or take the COVID-19 coronavirus quiz.

Current cases - Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service area

Queensland Health has reported that there have been 37 total confirmed cases to date in our health area*. (updated June 10).

Information on the current coronavirus status is provided by State and Federal health authorities.

Local information is also available on here.

*Information for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service area, which includes Douglas Shire, Cairns, the Tablelands, Tully, Chillagoe, Georgetown and Croydon.

Interest freeze on rates notices

Douglas Shire Council will provide immediate relief to ratepayers by freezing interest on rates and working on further relief packages after the 2020 Local Government Elections.

What does this mean? No further interest will accrue on any rates and water account balances within assessments until further notice.

Please call 4099 9444 to speak to our friendly staff about your individual circumstances.

Free Travel on the Daintree Ferry

Douglas Shire Council will lift visitor travel restrictions on Saturday, May 16.

Council will also waive the usual ferry fees until June 30 and multi-day passes that were due to expire have been extended to December 31 this year.

Council is also supporting tourism by providing free ferry travel for commercial tour operators. Read more information here.

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Community

National Cabinet

Australian governments are taking a measured approach. The Federal Government’s three-step plan provides a pathway for jurisdictions to move towards COVID safe communities in a way that best suits their individual circumstances. Read more here.

Queensland Government

The Queensland Government’s health response to COVID-19 means we’re well positioned for recovery. The Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing COVID-19 restrictions outlines a staged approach to giving Queenslanders more freedom to travel, participate in more activities and hold more gatherings. Read more here.

Queensland Health FAQ’s

Businesses

Local Support & Information

Council is acutely aware of the challenges faced by businesses in our Shire and will work with all levels of government, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree and the Douglas Chamber of Commerce to look at ways to support our business sector.

Register for Council Projects

Local tradies and suppliers are encouraged to register online to receive updates about upcoming projects and business opportunities with Douglas Shire Council. More information here.

Buy Douglas: Build Douglas

A buy local campaign called Buy Douglas: Build Douglas is encouraging people to spend their money in Douglas Shire and build the economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Economic Recovery Group, which features Douglas Shire Council, Douglas Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) and Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation, has today launched the campaign to get everyone to ‘Do It In Douglas’.

Visit the campaign website here.

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD)

TPDD will be sending out member updates to share information and support mechanisms that are being developed by agencies across Australia to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Douglas Chamber of Commerce

Douglas Chamber of Commerce will be updating their website with helpful information and support available for small businesses.

Click Here

Food Businesses

Restrictions on Business, Activity and Undertaking Direction

STAGE 2

In order to operate a during STAGE 2 of the easing of restrictions, your food business MUST have:

  1. WHS Plan

All business in Queensland have obligations and responsibilities under Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation including:

  • An already existing Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) Plan;
  • A new section outlining how you will be managing COVID-19 in your workplace; and
  • Your WHS Plan must be on display at all times.

Your WHS Plan is an internal document so does not need to be submitted for approval.

For more information please see Worksafe QLD – Keeping your workplace safe, clean and healthy during COVID-19

  1. COVID SAFE Checklist

This is mandatory for high risk industries and businesses that wish to re-open previously restricted activities.  Businesses wishing to continue with takeaway and home delivery services only are not required to complete a COVID SAFE Checklist.  Some important things to remember with your COVID-19 Checklist:

  • You are required to complete and display COVID Safe checklist before trading under Stage 2 of the easing of restrictions.
  • These checklists tell you what you need to do if you are a business operating in Stage 1 or Stage 2 to be COVID Safe. The checklists include input resulting from consultation with key industry stakeholders.
  • You MUST complete the Checklist to ensure you comply with essential health requirements to enable you to open and provide a safe environment for your customers and your staff.
  • You MUST sign and display the checklist in a prominent, visible location at your business premises.
  • The checklist is not required to be submitted for approval to any authority

A template of the checklist is available at COVID SAFE Checklist – Restaurants & Cafes

  1. Mandatory COVID SAFE training

All staff must complete the training within 2 weeks of re-opening (all new staff must complete the training prior to commencement of work)

COVID SAFE training programs are now available and can be accessed online through TAFE Queensland or from an approved industry organisation:

  1. Approved Industry COVID SAFE Plan (only for businesses wanting to accommodate more than 20 customers)

For those businesses wishing to accommodate more than 20 patrons under Stage 2 easing of restrictions, the approved Industry COVID Safe plans are now available at:

https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/approved-industry-covid-safe-plans.

Please carefully read the Plan relevant to your business and ensure you are able to comply with all the requirements of the Plan and the Restrictions on Business, Activity and Undertaking Direction

  1. Record Keeping (not applicable for customers ordering take-away or home delivery)

The business must keep contact information about all customers and staff for contact tracing purposes for a period of 56 days, unless otherwise specified. This information must include:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Mobile phone number; and
  • Date/time period of patronage.

If requested, this information must be provided to public health officers. The information should be securely stored, not used for any other purpose and deleted after 56 days.

 Social distancing measures for all food businesses (including take-away and delivery service only)

  • All businesses must maintain a rule of one person per 4 square metres of floor space accessible to the public.  This may limit the number of patrons you can accommodate on your premises.
  • For dining in or seated drinks at restaurants, cafes and pubs, there needs to be enough space within the areas that are open to the public (for example, the dining area, but not the kitchen) for one patron per 4 square metres.

Example: A café with an internal floor space for customers of 20 square metres that is open to the public could accommodate a total of 5 patrons.

  • Physical distancing rules still apply.  So, wherever possible and until further notice, people should remain 5 metres away from people they don’t live with. People must not be grouped or clustered together within the premises.

Other useful links

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call Council to speak with an Environmental Health Officer on 4099 9444.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Workplace Risk Management

It doesn’t matter if you’re a worker or someone who is responsible for workers, you must identify and manage work health and safety risks including the exposure to COVID-19. Businesses should also plan to respond to cases of COVID-19 at work in line with advice provided by Queensland Health.

Workplace Risk Resouces Here

Swimming Pools

If you have any question please contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit on 4099 9444.

Accommodation providers

The Business, Activity and Undertaking Direction states:

Business, activity, undertaking, premises or place Restrictions

Residential facilities

Hostels, bed and breakfasts, backpackers, boarding houses Facilities must have a health management plan, unless the facility operates solely for permanent residents of the facility or health and community services. A facility that is required to have a health management plan must operate in compliance with the health management plan.

Example – Aboriginal hostels and boarding homes for people living with a disability or mental health issues are not required to have a health management plan.

Facilities not required to have a health management plan must comply with the social distancing (in communal areas) and record keeping requirements referred to below this table.

Short term rentals and short term accommodation for holiday and leisure purposes (for example, serviced apartments including holiday rentals, holiday accommodation or hosting accommodation provided through online booking platforms) Facilities that offer shared bathroom or shared kitchen facilities to persons staying at the facility must have a health management plan and must operate in compliance with the health management plan.

Facilities not required to have a health management plan must comply with the social distancing (in communal areas) and record keeping requirements referred to below this table.

Outdoor recreation

Caravan and camping parks Facilities must have a health management plan, unless the facility operates solely for permanent residents of the facility. A facility that is required to have a health management plan must operate in compliance with the health management plan.

Facilities not required to have a health management plan must comply with the social distancing (in communal areas) and record keeping requirements referred to below this table.

No school groups.

Social distancing

A person who owns, controls or operates an accommodation facility included in the table must ensure social distancing is observed to the extent possible and there is no more than one person per 4 square metres, unless otherwise specified.

Record keeping

All accommodation businesses must keep contact information about all guests and staff for contact tracing purposes for a period of 56 days, unless otherwise specified. This information must include:

  • name,
  • address,
  • mobile phone number, and
  • the date/time period of patronage.

If requested, this information must be provided to public health officers. The information should be securely stored, not used for any other purpose and deleted after 56 days.

Workplace Health and Safety requirements

All business in Queensland have obligations and responsibilities under Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation including:

  • An already existing Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) Plan;
  • A new section outlining how you will be managing COVID-19 in your workplace; and
  • Your WHS Plan must be on display at all times.

Your WHS Plan is an internal document so does not need to be submitted for approval.

For more information please see Worksafe QLD – Keeping your workplace safe, clean and healthy during COVID-19

If you have any questions please contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit on 4099 9444.

Beauty Therapists & Hairdressers

The Qld government has implemented a Public Health Direction for Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings for STAGE 2 of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Direction states that businesses (including hairdressers and barbers) which provide the following services may operate in compliance with a COVID SAFE checklist and with a maximum of 20 customers at a time:

  • Beauty therapy (for example, facials, makeup, waxing and laser treatments)
  • Nail services
  • Tanning
  • Cosmetic injections
  • Personal appearance services where skin penetration is used
  • Massage therapy for the management or prevention of a disease, injury or condition, provided by a qualified massage therapist
  • Day spas and wellness centres (excluding water-based spa services such as saunas and bathhouses)

 STAGE 2 easing of restrictions

In order to operate as a beauty therapist during STAGE 2 of the easing of restrictions, your business MUST have:

 

  1. WHS Plan

All business in Queensland have obligations and responsibilities under Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation including:

  • An already existing Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) Plan;
  • A new section outlining how you will be managing COVID-19 in your workplace; and
  • Your WHS Plan must be on display at all times.

Your WHS Plan is an internal document so does not need to be submitted for approval.

For more information please see Worksafe QLD – Keeping your workplace safe, clean and healthy during COVID-19

 

  1. COVID SAFE Checklist

This is mandatory for high risk industries and businesses that wish to re-open previously restricted activities.  Businesses wishing to continue with takeaway and home delivery services only are not required to complete a COVID SAFE Checklist.  Some important things to remember with your COVID-19 Checklist:

  • You are required to complete and display COVID Safe checklist before trading under Stage 2 of the easing of restrictions.
  • These checklists tell you what you need to do if you are a business operating in Stage 1 or Stage 2 to be COVID Safe. The checklists include input resulting from consultation with key industry stakeholders.
  • You MUST complete the Checklist to ensure you comply with essential health requirements to enable you to open and provide a safe environment for your customers and your staff.
  • You MUST sign and display the checklist in a prominent, visible location at your business premises.
  • The checklist is not required to be submitted for approval to any authority

A template of the checklist is available at COVID Safe Checklist – Beauty Salons

 

  1. Mandatory COVID SAFE training

All staff must complete the training within 2 weeks of re-opening (all new staff must complete the training prior to commencement of work)

COVID SAFE training programs are now available and can be accessed online through TAFE Queensland or from an approved industry organisation:

 

  1. Approved Industry COVID SAFE Plan (only for businesses wanting to accommodate more than 20 customers)

A COVID SAFE Plan is required to be implemented by eligible businesses who wish to have more than 20 customers on their business premises, and whose business premises are large enough to do so and still meet the 4m2 rule.

Businesses do not need to individually submit a COVID SAFE plan. Plans have been being developed by the National Retail Association, Australian Retail Association & Hair & Beauty Industry Association on your behalf and submitted to the Qld government for approval.

Please regularly check relevant industry websites for updates and further information.

Once approved, Plans will be published on https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/approved-industry-covid-safe-plans

 Other useful links

More information and a COVID Safe Checklist can be found at:

If you have any questions please contact Councils Environmental Health Unit on 4099 9444.

Queensland Government

Australian Government

  • Information on current restrictions, financial assistance and support for all businesses is available at business.gov.au.
  • Information about the $130 billion JobKeeper payment to support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus is available at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper 

Council events, programs & initiatives

As a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of COVID-19 within the community, Council would like to advise the following cancellation and changes to regular events, programs and initiatives, effective immediately.

Port Douglas Carnivale 2020

Port Douglas Carnivale 2020 has been postponed in line with recommendations from the Federal Government on non-essential mass gatherings.

Douglas Shire Council will investigate the possibility of holding aspects of the festival, originally scheduled for May this year, as part of its economic recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic at a future date.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation, Council will continually monitor the latest health advice and review the circumstances before a public announcement about a future date.

Port Douglas Markets

The Port Douglas Markets will re-open with restrictions on Sunday, June 28.

Markets limited to 70 stalls with a maximum stall size of 4.5m.  No buskers or stalls offering massage or hair braiding.

More information available here.

Please contact Council’s Market Coordinator at 0459 999 078 if you have any questions.

You can stay updated at Council’s website and Facebook page.

Council encourages everyone to visit QLD Health’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Weddings, Funerals and Other Services

The National Cabinet agreed to new and enhanced social distance measures, building on the existing measures that are in place.

There are new restrictions apply to:

  • Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites
  • Libraries, community centres, and youth centres
  • Local government non-essential facilities and services (such as libraries and pools).
  • Community facilities (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs).
  • Places of worship, weddings and funerals

Weddings with a maximum attendance of no more than 20 people, in addition to the bridge, groom and celebrant (23 in total) and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies.

Up to 100 people will be allowed to attend a funeral.  The next of kin will be required to keep a list of attendees with their contact details for a period of eight (8) weeks after the funeral.

Bookings at Council Venues

At this stage, Council will refund bookings for its venues up until 30 June, 2020.

Staff will continue to review the situation and possibly extend that date, depending on the expert health advice.

Venues include the following:

Indoor venues:

  • Sugar Wharf
  • Port Douglas Community Hall (including Space Port Meeting Room & all Space Port Desks.)
  • Mossman Community Hall
  • Daintree Hall

Parks:

  • Rex Smeal Park
  • George Davis Park
  • Little Cove
  • Mossman Show Grounds
  • Port Douglas Sports Complex
  • Reynolds Park

Please contact enquiries@douglas.qld.gov.au or call 4099 9444 if you have any questions.

Essential Services

Council’s management team has plans in place to ensure the continued supply of critical services such as water, wastewater and waste collection.

Council is closely monitoring the situation and senior management is meeting regularly to review business operations and service delivery. Staff are also trialling working from home and practicing other social distancing behaviours to prepare for any outbreak.

The Douglas Local Disaster Management Group is liaising with core members, advisors and the District Disaster Management Group.

There have been some changes to a number of services in the Douglas Shire, as follows:

Bloomfield Track

The Bloomfield Track is open to travellers at Emmagen Creek near Cape Tribulation.

Council would like to advise motorists that there is a road barrier at the northern end of the track, near Woobadda Creek, as part of the State Government’s COVID-19 restrictions.  The track cannot be used to access Wujal Wujal.

Motorists will be unable to pass this barrier until COVID-19 restrictions ease further.

The CREB Track remains closed until further notice.

Council Customer Service

Mossman Customer Service Centre is open from 8.30am to 4pm.

The building will close 30 minutes earlier than usual for cleaning. Staff can be contacted via phone or email until 4.30pm.

The Port Douglas Community Hub will remain closed until July.

Council would like to encourage customers to report issues or ask questions via:

Daintree Ferry

Free travel on Daintree Ferry

The Daintree Ferry is OPEN.

Council will also waive the usual ferry fees until June 30 and multi-day passes that were due to expire have been extended to December 31 this year.

Council is also supporting tourism by providing free ferry travel for commercial tour operators. Read more information here.

Douglas Libraries

Mossman and Port Douglas libraries have re-opened.

Mossman Library

  • Only 20 customers inside at any time for a maximum of 30 mins
  • Staff will monitor customer numbers
  • Will close earlier for cleaning each day
  • No device recharging available
  • Wi-Fi outside library only
  • Only two (2) public use computers available. Bookings essential (30min only). Call 4099 9496

Port Douglas Library

  • Only two customers inside at any time for a maximum of 30 minutes
  • Will close earlier for cleaning purposes each day
  • No device recharging available
  • Reading room unavailable
  • Staff will monitor customer numbers
  • Only one (1) public use computer available. Bookings essential (30min only). Call 4099 9496

Please follow the Douglas Libraries Facebook Page for updates.

Customers who wish to keep updated about library facilities are encouraged to contact Douglas Libraries at Libraries@douglas.qld.gov.au or  4099 9496 and sign up for their newsletter.

A reminder that the following programs are cancelled until further notice:

  • Baby Rhyme Time
  • Storytime
  • Tech-Savvy Senior Workshops
  • Lego & K’Nex
  • Music & Song

Four Mile Beach

The flagged swimming areas on Four Mile Beach have returned.  Surf Life Saving Queensland have advised that social distancing is required and encourage everyone to continue to follow Queensland Government advice.

Mossman Nursery

The nursery will re-open on Wednesday 3 June for one day per week until restrictions have eased further.

Opening time will be 10.30 am to 3.30 pm every Wednesday. (Closed 12.30pm to 1.00 pm for lunch)

A limit of 2 customers at a time with social distancing rules applying. Staff will monitor customer numbers at all times.

Customers will be asked to wait outside the gates until it is their turn with the nursery technician.

Mossman Pool & Caravan Park

The Mossman Pool is open with restrictions in place.

  • Opening hours:
    • 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday
    • 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday
  • Open for 20 customers at one time, by appointment and 1 hour time slot, multiple hourly time slots available if required
  • Commercial lane hire available via appointment only
  • All bookings can be made by calling 0417 768 26

 

Mossman Caravan Park: 

  • Now open for all van park and cabin bookings.
  • For any enquiries, please call 0417 768 266.

Parks & Playgrounds

Outdoor recreation areas have re-opened in line with the latest Federal Government health advice.

Open facilities include:

  • Playgrounds
  • Outdoor exercise equipment
  • Skate parks
  • BBQs
  • Pump tracks
  • Picnic tables
  • Parks

The Douglas Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) is urging residents to continue social distancing.

The Mossman Gorge section of the Daintree National Park will also remain closed to help in protect the Mossman Gorge Community.

Public Toilets

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Council will be closing some public toilet facilities. These include:

  • Mill Street toilets (Near Mossman Library)
  • Rotary Park, Mossman (toilets near Foxton Bridge)
  • Rotary Park at Grant Street, Port Douglas
  • Hutchings Park Port Douglas
  • Thornton Beach Café – Public Toilets closed
  • Wonga Beach Caravan Park Toilets for residents only

The Daintree National Park Day Use Areas, north of the Daintree River, will have their toilet blocks partially closed because of reduced use and to minimise daily sanitization requirements. This is also being done to minimise the potential for staff to be exposed took COVID-19 when cleaning the toilets.

The details of the partial closures as follows:

  • Jindalba DUA – close male and female toilet and leave only handicap toilet open
  • Dubuji DUA –  close male and female toilet and leave only handicap toilet open
  • Avalon Street –  close male and female toilet and leave only handicap toilet open
  • Kulki DUA –  close male toilets and leave female open – this has handicap toilet within.

The toilets that are remaining open will continue to be cleaned and sanitised by Daintree North QPWS Rangers

Scrap Shack at Killaloe Transfer Station

The Scrap Shack is temporarily closed, this applies to both drop offs and collections.

All other activities at the Killaloe Waste Transfer Station will continue to operate as normal.

(e.g. general waste and recycling public drop offs are permitted.)

Wastewater services | Flush wisely - Keep it to the three P's: Pee, Poop & Paper

Don’t be a LOOnatic – Flush wisely!

Hoarding and scarcity of toilet paper emerged almost as a joke weeks ago but as it runs out, people may turn to poor substitutes. Flush wisely and keep it to three P’s: Pee, Poo and Paper!

Anything else — including wipes — is bad news for the pipes and pumps that carry sewage from your home to our wastewater treatment facilities, where professionals are working 24/7 to clean and treat what is flushed.

Even those products marked “flushable” contribute to blocking the sewerage system.

Transfer Stations

Douglas Shire Council has put social distancing measures in place at its waste transfer stations to help slow the spread of COVID-19, allowing Killaloe Transfer Station to reopen to the public.

Residents are reminded to consider whether a trip to the transfer station is essential. More information here. 

Council Response

Below you’ll find a list of steps Council has taken regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Council has Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) to ensure the continued supply of critical services such as water, wastewater and waste collection.
  • Staff will be trialling working from home and other working patterns that promote social distancing in preparation for a potential local outbreak.
  • Council has invested in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and will be placing educational symptom posters, as well as touch-free sanitizers at key council facilities.
  • Council has raised awareness to all staff in line with the latest national advice.
  • The Douglas Local Disaster Management Group is liaising with core members, advisors and the District Disaster Management Group.
  • Residents and visitors are encouraged to practice good hygiene by hand washing, covering sneezes and staying home if you are sick.

Council is taking a calm and precautionary approach to slowing the transmission of COVID-19 – please refer to the resources available online at www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus.

Media Releases

March

April

May

By working closely with Queensland Health, Council is also actively raising awareness and sharing information to key agencies and the community.

Buy Douglas: Build Douglas

A buy local campaign called Buy Douglas: Build Douglas is encouraging people to spend their money in Douglas Shire and build the economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Economic Recovery Group, which features Douglas Shire Council, Douglas Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) and Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation, has today launched the campaign to get everyone to ‘Do It In Douglas’.

Local business owners are fronting the new campaign in a bid to encourage people to support the sector during this challenging period.

Douglas Shire Council endeavours to buy locally and give businesses the best opportunity. Council employees know the difference they can make by keeping the money in Douglas Shire. Register FREE at Vendor Marketplace to join the public supplier list.

Are you a business owner with a story to tell?

Email Douglas Shire Council at media@douglas.qld.gov.au to make sure your story is heard.