Last updated: 16 June, 2020 10:23 am
As this is an emerging situation, the following information is accurate at the time of publication and may change without further notice.
This page has been established to provide relevant information regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for the Shire of Esperance Community.
The Shire of Esperance is committed to the health, wellbeing and safety of our staff and community. COVID-19 is a growing concern so we are following the advice of the Australian and WA State Government and Western Australia Department of Health to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and community.
It’s important we all continue to look out for and support each other and continue to keep our community safe.
The best place to stay informed on COVID-19 pandemic, including updates, alerts and resources, is to visit the Australian Government's Department of Health and the Healthy WA website.
If you are concerned about COVID-19, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for advice. The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For the latest updates, directive and decisions around the WA Roadmap, community, travel and business and industry advise please visit wa.gov.au.
Disclaimer — read before continuing
The information contained on this site is provided in good faith. It is to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate at the time of publication. The reader is solely responsible for assessing the veracity, usefulness and application of this information as it applies to them.
- What is the Shire doing in response to the situation?
The Shire has activated our Emergency Plan and our Business Continuity Plan so we can continue to deliver key services. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to modify our services and introduce other necessary measures to help keep the community safe.
- What changes are being made to Shire of Esperance services and facilities?
The Shire of Esperance is operating with COVID Safe Plans in place. Physical distancing, good hygiene and the 2 square metre rule applies in all facilities.
Shire Administration Building, Windich Street
Esperance Visitor Centre
Esperance Home Care
Esperance Public Library
Wylie Bay Waste Facility
Shire Depot and Pound, Brazier Street
Bay of Isles Leisure Centre
Esperance Civic Centre
Esperance Volunteer Resource Centre
Facilities CLOSED till further notice:
- What is the Shire doing about displaced travellers?
The Shire of Esperance has utilised the former Youth Hostels Australia (YHA) building on Goldfields Road for travellers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic to shelter them from winter weather.
The facility is only open to travellers who have no permanent Australian residential address and can’t afford accommodation.
It will be strictly monitored by the Shire and the Department of Communities with a Camp Host and strict code of conduct.
The travellers formerly residing at the Emergency Evacuation Campsite at the Greater Sports Ground will be moved and persons who were not already residing there will have to apply through the Department of Communities.
The Shire will be seeking funding assistance from the Department of Communities, who are in charge of the State Emergency Welfare Plan.
Further information and comments from the Shire President and CEO can be found here.
- Information for Travellers
Returning to WA from international travel
If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident arriving back in Australia, you’ll be subject to the Australian Government’s mandatory quarantine period of 14 days at your first Australian destination.
You will be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period.
However, you will not be permitted to travel domestically (including to your home) or continue on any domestic connections until you have completed the 14 day mandatory quarantine period.
For more information visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Smart Traveller.
Returning to WA from domestic travel
If you are a Western Australian wishing to return home from domestic travel, before travelling, you will need to apply for an exemption to enter the State.
You can apply for an exemption to enter WA by applying for a G2G PASS.
If your application is accepted, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days once back in Western Australia. Authorised officers will tell you where and how to self-isolate.
If you have returned from domestic travel and are returning via a flight to a regional area, you may be directed to commence mandatory quarantine in Perth for 14 days, prior to returning to your regional destination.
You need to comply with any other terms and conditions they impose.
If you are not an exempt traveller, you may commit an offence and be directed to leave Western Australia immediately, at your own expense.
It is highly recommended that you read the information on travel restrictions to determine if you meet the exempt traveller criteria.
Information from the WA State Government.
- WA State Inter-Regional Travel Restrictions
From Friday, 5 June 2020, most regional travel restrictions have been removed.
Travel is now permitted throughout all regions within WA, except for entry into remote Aboriginal communities.
Western Australians are encouraged to ‘Wander out Yonder' and take a different kind of holiday, enjoy a staycation in Perth or travel to new places, and seek out new experiences across the State.
For up to date information on travel and transport in WA, please visit the WA Government website.
- WA State Border Closure
Strict border controls are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
You cannot enter Western Australia without an exemption.
Anyone who thinks they meet the criteria outlined in the Quarantine (Closing the Border) Directions may apply for an exemption.
Exemptions apply for:
- senior government officials in the course of duties
- members of the Commonwealth Parliament and their staff
- active military personnel on duty in WA
- specialist skills not available in WA
- emergency service workers
- judicial officers or staff members of a court, tribunal or commission
- persons carrying out a function under a Commonwealth law
- health services, when requested by the Chief Health Officer of the Department of Health
- FIFO workers and their family members
- urgent and essential medical treatment
- attending a relative’s funeral or visiting a relative who is critically ill or whose death is imminent
- transport, freight and logistics (not including airline and maritime crew members)
- compassionate grounds
- otherwise seeking approval to enter WA.
How to apply for exemptions and up to date information on WA State border closures can be found at the WA Government website.
Updated: 16 June 2020
- Gathering Restrictions
The number of people permitted to gather has increase and additional businesses can reopen, as part of Phase 3 of the COVID-19 WA roadmap.
Activities listed below are allowed for up to 100 people per single undivided space, up to 300 people in total per venue over multiple spaces (100/300 rule), while ensuring physical distancing, good hygiene and the 2 square metre rule are followed:
- 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 at licensed premises without a meal (patrons must be seated)
- food courts can reopen with 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 parlours may reopen (100/300 rule).
Leisure, sport and recreation
- gyms, health clubs, and 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 can be used
- galleries, museums, theatres, auditoriums, cinemas and concert venues can reopen (during any performance, the patrons must be seated). (100/300 rule)
- Perth Zoo to open with no patron limit for the whole venue (the 100/300 rule applies to indoor spaces and cafés/restaurants)
- wildlife and amusement parks can reopen (100/300 rule)
- arcades (including pool/snooker, ten pin bowling, Timezone), skate rinks and indoor play centres (100/300 rule)
- Rottnest Island has reopened to the public.
- Parents/guardians will be able to enter school grounds to drop off or pick up their children.
Community facilities open
- Places of worship, community facilities and libraries may increase capacity to 100 patrons in each room, up to 300 per venue.
- TABs and Pub TABs may reopen for betting and watching events and racing.
- Crown Casino gaming floor will remain closed for gambling during phase 3.
Gathering restrictions do not apply to:
- office buildings and factories
- schools and childcare facilities
- retail stores and shopping centres
- supermarkets, fresh food markets and grocery stores
- mining and construction sites
- public transport and vehicles.
However, you should still practice physical distancing and good hygiene.
Find out more about what you can do and which services are open or restricted.
For more information on Phase 3 easing of restrictions and what they mean for community and business, please read our frequently asked questions.
Advice for business
Businesses across Western Australia need to comply with conditions outlined in the COVID Safety Guidelines and prepare a COVID Safety Plan before they reopen, to protect staff and customers.
Return to work
Western Australians are encouraged to return to work, unless they are unwell or vulnerable.
Travel is now permitted throughout WA, except for entry into remote Aboriginal communities:
Travel exemptions are still required to enter WA.
Camping and recreational activities
Campgrounds within national parks, reserves and State forest are open. You can camp at these sites and caravan parks. Attractions such as Monkey Mia, Barna Mia and the Tree Top Walk have reopened. Some attractions, tours and facilities remain closed for now. This will be assessed in the coming weeks.
Visiting residents in aged care
While family members can visit residents in aged care, some additional restrictions remain in place to protect vulnerable residents.
For example, visits are limited to:
- a short duration
- 1 care and support visit per day, with a maximum of 2 visitors at a time
- emergency management, law enforcement or emergency response (for example, a police officer, fire fighter or ambulance officer)
- providing goods or services for the effective operation of the facility.
You should not visit 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.
Prison social visits set to resume within weeks
Planning is underway to resume face-to-face social visits to Western Australian prisons within weeks.
Physical distancing will apply and space is being made available.
Custodial gymnasiums and sporting ovals are now permitted to be used, and religious services have resumed.
Preparation for resumption of community work and other external programs for prisoners has also commenced. This includes conducting risk assessments and discussions with local communities.
For more information see the Prison social visits set to resume within weeks media statement.
WA remains in a State of Emergency, and various restrictions are enforceable by fines of up to $50,000 for individuals and $250,000 for businesses. Police officers also have the power to issue $1000 on-the-spot fines.
- Physical Distancing and Hygiene
Every Western Australian needs to play their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This means following good hygiene habits and physical distancing.
- Stay home if you're sick. Do not go to work or school.
- Keep 1.5 metres away from others.
- Don't make unnecessary physical contact with others. Avoid physical greetings, such as handshakes, hugs and kisses.
- Use tap and pay instead of cash.
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a flexed elbow or a tissue; if you use a tissue, dispose of it immediately and appropriately.
For more information see Australian Government advice for physical distancing.
WA remains in a State of Emergency, and various restrictions are enforceable by fines of up to $50,000 for individuals and $250,000 for businesses. Police officers also have the power to issue $1000 on-the-spot fines.
- What support is available for the local community?
At the 28 April, 2020 Ordinary Council Meeting The Esperance Shire Council resolved to adopt a range of community and business relief initiatives to help with the COVID-19 recovery effort. The measures taken on by Council include:
- 1. Adopt the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy.
- 2. Remove outstanding rates penalty interest from 1 April till 30 June 2020.
- 3. Waive commercial lease fees and traders permits for 6 months from 1 April 2020 for lessees who apply to the Shire and who meet the JobKeeper criteria as outlined by the Federal Government.
- 4. Waive community lease fees for 6 months for lessees who apply to the Shire and can demonstrate that they have been significantly impacted by the effects of COVID-19.
- 5. Waive community fees and charges for 6 months from 1 April 2020 to those groups who apply to the Shire and can demonstrate that they have been significantly impacted by the effects of COVID-19.
- 6. Relax the requirement on Policy COR 007: Procurement for 6 months to require one written quote when there is only one local supplier for purchases under $75,000.
- 7. Amend the Policy COR 007: Procurement to increase the tender threshold to $250,000 in line with recently amended Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations. 8. Conduct a one off residential bulk verge waste collection.
- 9. Request the CEO prepare the draft 2020/2021 budget with a 0% rates and fees increase.
- 10. Request the CEO develop a COVID-19 Recovery Plan for the Esperance community in consultation with the Esperance Incident Support Group.
Further details around each item will be available on the Shire website.
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
- Beyondblue – 1300 22 4636
- Assistance with paying your rates
Property owners having difficulty paying their rates are encouraged to contact the Shire Rates Officers on (08) 9071 0657 to discuss payment arrangements.
These can be paid in weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments and are set up using a direct debit system.
- What support is available to the Business Community?
The Australian Federal Government and Western Australian Government have announced measures to support small business during this challenging time.
For details on these measures please visit the Small Business Development Corporation website.
A priority of the Shire of Esperance is to ensure that safe food is sold from local businesses. The Environmental Health Officers monitors all food business and has visited businesses recently offering suggestions to create a safer workplace in this current environment. A new Food Safety Tips for Take Away and Food Delivery information flyer has been developed to help during this time.
We will have visitors to the region who will need to self-isolate in accordance with government protocols. These people will need support and care. Should your business be in the situation of accommodating these guests, the WA Department of Health has issued an advisory flyer to assist in managing the matter.
- What can I do to support my community?
At this time we are strongly recommending people to reconsider all non-essential travel.
If you don’t need to be out and about, please stay at home.
If you are away from home please adhere to the social distancing rules.
It’s important we all continue to look out for each other. Check in on others and reach out to those most at risk: neighbours living alone, the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Confirm their telephone number so you can contact them during periods of isolation. They may also need your help to replenish essential items and fill prescriptions for essential medicines.
Small business needs your business
Small businesses across Western Australia are the lifeblood of our communities, and right now they need your business to keep them going during this difficult time.
Look for shops that are still open in your local area, and consider how you can change your shopping habits to help them out. For example, could you do your regular shopping with a small business? Take a look around your neighbourhood you may just find your new favourite local shop, café or grocery store.
Dine in, order in or take away a meal
Some cafés, restaurants and pubs are open for limited dine-in services. Call ahead to make a booking, as there are limits to how many people can be in cafés and restaurants at a time. Alternatively, continue to support those still offering takeaway foods or delivery services. Check with your favourite restaurant, café or pub to see what they might have available, and order a great night in.
Ask “Do you do deliver?”
A number of businesses are now offering delivery or pick-up services. If you are looking to buy something from a small business, contact them to see if they can bring it to you, or offer a contactless pick-up or drop-off. And remember to keep 1.5m from other people where it is practical.
Try exercising online, or in small groups
Many gyms, yoga and dance studios are offering online video sessions. Contact your local studio or gym to see what they may be offering. Outdoor and indoor fitness classes following the 100/300 rule are permitted. For more details, see current restrictions.
Many of us have more time on our hands, and it could be a time to pick up a new hobby or get working on a creative project. There may be local craft suppliers that can help you get started and give you the inspiration to get going. Some online stores may be closer than you think.
Keep an eye out for the arts
A number of artists and musicians are using creative ways to bring their art to you, such as through online concerts and gallery showings, as well as new collaborations with other businesses. Look out for ways that you might be able to buy tickets to an online show, purchase their merchandise or pick up a new work to help support the arts industry.
Car or bike due for a tune-up?
For many of us that are working from home, it may be an ideal time to get your car serviced. Some local mechanics and service centres are offering to pick up and drop off your car and will wipe down the key surfaces before they return it to you. If you don’t have a car, consider if it is time to get your bicycle serviced to keep it in top condition.
Call in the trades
As we are spending more time at home, you may have noticed that there is more that needs to be done around the house. It is still possible to get a plumber, carpenter, handyman or other tradie to do jobs around your house, just make sure that you adhere to the physical distancing rules. They will be thankful for your business.
Catch up with a good book, puzzle or game
Now might be the ideal time to make it through that book that you’ve always wanted to read, pick up a puzzle or get some new board games to help the hours inside pass quicker. You may even get a new recommendation for a book or game that becomes your new favourite.
Time to hit the road
Take this time to explore WA, booking local accommodation and supporting our local and regional small businesses. If you are still unable to attend the tours or other activities you had booked, do those operators a favour and postpone rather than cancel your booking. A number of small businesses will be able to hold your payments as a credit to book at a later time.
If you are now working from home and having computer troubles, your nearest technical support for your computer may be closer than you think. Look local and see if there is a small computer shop or technician that may be able to help fix your issues fast.
Haircuts and beauty services are OK
Hairdressers, barbers and beauty services are operating, provided they maintain 2 square metres between clients and keep personal contact to a minimum. Be aware that some salons may require you to make a booking, so best to give them a call before you visit their shop.
Show your support on social media
Another way you can help local businesses is to follow, like and share their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other social media posts. This helps let others know that they are still operating, and you just might come across some great offers or discover new products. Best of all, it doesn’t cost you a thing!
- Are Council Meetings still proceeding?
The Shire of Esperance is committed to delivering for our community during these unprecedented times.
Ordinary Council Meetings will be held in the Council Chambers and in accordance with the Shires COVID Safety Plan and social distancing protocols, public seating is limited.
If you have a question to ask Council, regarding anything in this months agenda, you can email your question and this will be asked on your behalf. Please email your question before 2pm, Tuesday 23 June, to firstname.lastname@example.org Attention: CEO - Question for Council Agendas for the meetings are available on the Shire’s website.
- Should I see a doctor for a non-coronavirus issue or put it off?
If you are unwell, please call your doctor. Each clinic will have protocols in place and can advise you.
- Stay Informed - COVID-19 information
If you are concerned about COVID-19, you can call the WA COVID-19 Hotline on 132 68 43 or the national Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for advice.
- How do I contact the Shire of Esperance?
You can contact the Shire Administration via: