Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

Everyone has a responsibility to stop the spread of coronavirus and 'flatten the curve'.

Personal hygiene

  • Stay at home if you are unwell
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and immediately put the tissue in the bin
  • Avoid physical contact with other people, such as shaking hands and hugging
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds (hand washing guide)

Social distancing

You should stay home except for:

  • Shopping for essential supplies needed to stay at home
  • Medical care or compassionate needs
  • Exercising in compliance with the two-person limit
  • Work or study if you can not work or learn remotely

If you need to go out, maintain a 1.5m distance from other people wherever practical.

People in the following at-risk groups should stay at home as much as practical for their own protection:

  • People aged 70 or over
  • People aged 60 or over with a chronic issue
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 or over

Cairns Regional Council continues to follow the advice of Federal and State authorities regarding measures aimed at restricting the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our two key priorities when it comes to day-to-day operations are the safety of our staff and the community, and the continuity of Council services.

As updates are available, they will be listed here. Bookmark this page and check back regularly.

Current cases

There are 21 confirmed positive coronavirus cases in the Cairns region*, an increase of two from the previous day (updated 29 March).

Tropical Public Health Services Cairns is following up anyone who has had close contact with the patients.

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

Local information is also available on the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Facebook page.

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

Closures, cancellations and service changes

Council advises changes to the following venues, services and facilities following advice of Federal and State authorities regarding measures aimed at restricting the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Council’s key priorities remain the safety and wellbeing of staff and the community and continuity of services, as appropriate.

The status listed below will remain in effect until further notice.

Venue or serviceStatusDetails
Animal pound OPENSocial distancing measures apply. Customers are encouraged to pay via contactless credit/debit card where possible.
Active Living (free fitness classes) CANCELLED
  • Suburban Active Living programs - cancelled
  • Esplanade Active Living programs - cancelled
Barlow ParkCLOSED 
BMX tracks CLOSED
  • Allyson Street Park, Smithfield
  • Barrine Court Park, Caravonica
  • Barron Waters Park/Burrawungal Park, Caravonica
  • Evergreen Street, Clifton Beach
  • Rainy Mountain Park, Smithfield
  • Evergreen Park, Clifton Beach
  • Old School Park, Yorkeys Knob
  • Syd Granville Memorial Park, Holloways Beach
  • Engineers Park, Whitfield
  • Gamburra Drive Park, Redlynch
  • Equestrian Park, Redlynch
  • Loridan Drive Park, Brinsmead
  • Jeff Pezzutti Park, Woree
  • Todd Park Youth Activity Space, Edmonton
  • Fuller Park, Edmonton
  • Bill Wakeham Park, Babinda
  • Moody Creek Detention Basin, Kanimbla
  • Touch Park, Aeroglen

Barbecues

CLOSED  
Botanic Gardens OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS
  • Gardens remain open; people must adhere to social distancing measures.
  • Cafes open for takeaway only
  • Events and tours - cancelled

Formal gathering areas are closed:

  • Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre - closed
  • Conservatory - closed
  • Centenary Lakes Nature Play - closed
Buy Back ShopCLOSED 
Cairns Esplanade OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS
  • Boardwalk and promenade remain open; people must adhere to social distancing measures.
  • Aqua Lagoon CafĂ© and Muddy’s Cafe open for takeaway only

Formal gathering areas are closed:

  • Lagoon - closed
  • Muddy’s Playground (wet and dry playground) - closed
  • Fun Ship Playground - closed
  • Bouldering Park - closed
  • Volleyball courts/multi use sports facilities/basketball courts - closed
  • Green Gym exercise stations - closed
  • Public barbecues - closed
Cairns LibrariesCLOSED

A lending amnesty has been extended to all residents who currently have borrowed items; there is no need to return items to the libraries.

Residents can access online library services including e-books, e-magazines, audio books, streaming services and e-learning services.

Cairns Performing Arts CentreCLOSEDAll events scheduled prior to 31 May 2020 have been cancelled. A full refund will be provided to the original ticket holder. There is no need to contact Ticketlink at this time, ticket holders are asked to be patient.
Camping groundsCLOSED
  • Bramston Beach campground
  • Babinda Rotary Park campground
  • Babinda Boulders campground
  • Greenpatch (Gordonvale) campground
CemeteriesOPEN WITH RESTRICTIONSFunerals to be limited to 10 people including the priest/celebrant, staff and mourners. Social distancing rules of one person per 4mapplies.
Community hallsCLOSEDVenue bookings are temporarily suspended. We're currently getting in touch with those who have existing bookings.
Customer Service CentresCLOSED

Online services available for:

  • Payment of bills
  • Renewing registrations
  • Payment of fines
  • Reporting a problem
  • Making applications
EventsCANCELLEDAll Council-run and many community-run events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
Green Gyms (exercise equipment in parks) CLOSED 

Green Space Our Place volunteers program

CANCELLED 
Lake MorrisCLOSED

The top gate at the summit of Lake Morris Road has been closed to restrict access to recreation facilities at Lake Morris (Copperlode Dam).

MarketsCANCELLED
  • Esplanade Markets - cancelled
  • Tanks Markets -cancelled
Muddy’s PlaygroundCLOSED
  • wet and dry playground - closed
  • Muddy’s Cafe open for takeaway only
Munro Martin ParklandsCLOSED 
Playgrounds* SPECIFIC CLOSURES APPLY

Note : adjacent parklands remain open (people must adhere to social distancing measures) but play equipment is not accessible.

Neighbourhood playgrounds remain open for use, but the following popular and heavily used playgrounds are closed:

  • Muddy's Playground, Cairns Esplanade
  • Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove
  • Vasey Esplanade, Trinity Beach
  • Sims Esplanade, Yorkeys Knob
  • Holloways Beach foreshore
  • Goomboora Park, Brinsmead
  • Sugarworld Gardens, Edmonton
  • Norman Park, Gordonvale
  • Coastwatcher Park, Trinity Beach
Public drinking water facilitiesCLOSED 
Public toiletsOPEN 
Recreation areas (beaches, parklands and natural areas)OPEN WITH RESTRICTIONS
  • Barbecue facilities - closed
  • Toilet facilities - open

The following outdoor nature recreation areas remain open for use; people must adhere to social distancing measures:

  • Beaches (Be safe and follow advice from Surf Life Saving Queensland)
  • Whitfield Trails (Arrow Tracks)
  • Cattana Wetlands
  • Crystal Cascades
  • The Boulders, Babinda
  • Behana Creek Picnic Park, Aloomba
  • Behana Gorge, Aloomba
  • Goomboora Park, Brinsmead
  • Glenoma Park, Brinsmead
  • Stoney Creek, Kamerunga
  • Gamburra Park Drive, Redlynch
  • Xavier Herbert Drive Park, Redlynch
  • The Rocks Reserve, Redlynch
  • Western Arterial Conservation Park, Redlynch
  • Ryan Weare Park, Freshwater
  • Ross and Locke Reserve, Goldsborough
  • Peets Bridge, Goldsborough
  • Peets Falls, Goldsborough Valley
  • Goldsborough Road parks, Goldsborough
  • Little Mulgrave
  • Smithy Holmes Park, Aloomba
  • Harvey Creek, Bellenden Ker
  • Josephine Falls, Bartle Frere
  • Golden Hole Reserve, Bartle Frere
  • Off lease dog parks
Siren TestingPOSTPONED

Live testing of the outdoor early warning stations in Redlynch, installed as part of Council’s Copperlode Falls Dam Emergency Action Plan, scheduled for Thursday April 16, has been postponed.

Skate parksCLOSED
  • Coastwatcher Park
  • Esplanade
  • Tenni Skate Park, Redlynch
  • Jeff Pezzutti Park, Woree
  • Todd Park, Edmonton
  • Kenrick Park, Gordonvale
  • Bill Wakeham Park, Babinda
Swimming poolsCLOSED
  • Babinda pool
  • Gordonvale pool
  • Woree pool
  • Tobruk Memorial
  • Marlin Coast (Smithfield) pool
  • Sugarworld Adventure Park
Tanks Arts CentreCLOSED 
TicketlinkBOX OFFICE CLOSED

Services continue via phone 1300 855 835, email and online.

Walking tracksOPEN WITH RESTRICTIONSAll walking tracks and trails, including the Arrow tracks in Whitfield, are open with restrictions. Social distancing rules of one person per 4mapplies.

Health advice for residents and travellers

Coronavirus app and WhatsApp channel

The Australian Government has launched an app to help residents stay informed with official information.

You can download the Australian Government Coronavirus app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store - search 'Coronavirus Australia'.

You can use the Australian Government Coronavirus app to:

  • Stay up to date with the official information and advice
  • Important health advice to help stop the spread and stay healthy
  • Get a quick snapshot of the current official status within Australia
  • Check your symptoms if you are concerned about yourself or someone else
  • Find relevant contact information
  • Access updated information from the Australian Government
  • Receive push notifications of urgent information and updates

All information in the Australian Government Coronavirus app is sourced from Australia’s leading health organisations and has undergone a quality assurance process so people can know it is safe, appropriate and relevant for Australians.

You can also join the Australian Government's  WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

What is coronavirus?

The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus affecting humans.

Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms reported in identified cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus include:

  • Fever
  • A cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Not everyone with these symptoms will have coronavirus. If you are concerned you have coronavirus, complete the healthdirect Coronvirus Symptom Checker

More information

There's a lot of information about coronavirus on the Queensland Health website. We've collected a few key pieces of information below.

Stop the spread

Coronavirus can spread from person to person through:

  • Close contact with an infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they started showing symptoms)
  • Contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • Touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face

COVID-19 is a new disease, so there is no existing immunity in our community. This means that COVID-19 could spread widely and quickly.

Help prevent the spread

Each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of coronavirus to 'flatten the curve' by following health advice from official State and Federal health authorities.

You can play your part by:

  • Staying at home if you are unwell
  • Avoiding touching your face, nose and mouth
  • Coughing and sneezing into your elbow or use a tissue and immediately put the tissue in the bin
  • Staying 1.5m away from other people
  • Avoiding physical contact with other people, such as shaking hands and hugging
  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds (hand washing guide)

Social distancing

The Prime Minister has announced new requirements for social distancing. You should stay home except for:

  • Shopping for essential supplies needed to stay at home
  • Medical care or compassionate needs
  • Exercising in compliance with the two-person limit
  • Work or study if you can not work or learn remotely

If you need to go out, maintain a 1.5m distance from other people wherever practical.

People in the following at-risk groups should stay at home as much as practical for their own protection:

  • People aged 70 or over
  • People aged 60 or over with a chronic issue
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 or over

Self isolation

If you have been overseas in the past 14 days and feel unwell, contact your doctor immediately.

Residents must self isolate if they:

  • Have coronavirus
  • Have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus
  • Have arrived in Cairns from overseas or interstate in the past 14 days (unless the travel is essential, including for work or medical care)

Self isolation means staying at home or in your hotel room for 14 days. This is to prevent the possible spread of the virus to other people.

This means you:

  • Do not leave your home/hotel unless it is an emergency
  • Do not go to public places such as work or shopping centres
  • Do not let visitors in - only people who usually live with you should be in your home.

If you are well, there is no need to wear surgical masks inside.

If you are isolating at home, ask others who are not in isolation to get food and necessities for you.

If you are in a hotel you must avoid contact with other guests or staff.

If you need assistance, such as delivery of food and essential items, while in self isolation you can call the Community Recovery Hotline 1800 173 349 operated by the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors

Mental health support

It's natural to feel anxious or worried at this time. You can get support over the phone from these organisations:

Lifeline  13 11 14
Relationships Australia Support and Information 1300 364 277
Domestic Violence Hotline (DV Connect) 1800 811 811
Kid's Help Line 1800 551 800
Parentline 1300 301 300
Mensline DV Connect Queensland 1800 600 636
Beyond  1300 224 636
13Health (Confidential Health Advice) 13 43 25
Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858

Information, advice and ideas for maintaining good mental health

Think before your flush

Only pee, poo and toilet paper should be flushed down the loo.

Other products, even if they are labelled 'flushable', don't break down like toilet paper and can cause significant blockages in your home plumbing and the sewer network.

Do not flush these items.

  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes
  • Wet wipes
  • Fabric
  • Serviettes and tissues

Visit our Think before you flush webpage and watch DJ Phatberg's video on what should and should not go down the toilet.

Financial assistance

Support from the Australian Government

The Australian Government has announced a range of financial supports for residents.

You can find out about Australian Government assistance on the Services Australia website.

Here's how you can get help.

Support from Council

Council has:

  • Extended the due date for half-year rates payments to 27 May
  • Extended the due date for water usage fees for three months

How you can help

Many of us want to support our local community in this difficult time.

We will be updating this page regularly with information from local groups and agencies on how you can best support them and some ideas for bringing a smile to someone's face.

Donate

GIVIT

GIVIT is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the Queensland Government to coordinate donations of money and goods.

GIVIT is calling for cash donations which will be used to support the work of local Cairns charities. GIVIT has a buy local policy, so your donation will be spent in Cairns, further supporting our community.

To donate, visit the GIVIT Covid19 Appeal website for payment options.

To make sure your contribution is spent in Cairns, please specify this when making your donation. If you want to give generally to the appeal, that's fine too.

Buy local

With businesses struggling in the wake of coronavirus it's more important than ever to spend locally.

The Cairns Chamber of Commerce, supported by Cairns Regional Council, is encouraging residents and businesses to 'Keep in in Cairns' by make a conscious effort to buy local, whether in person or online.

If all of us make just one change to support local suppliers and service providers, we can keep local people in jobs and business.

Follow Keep It In Cairns on Facebook for information and offers from local businesses.

Connect with your community

It's easy to feel disconnected from your friends, neighbours and community during self-isolation and social distancing. But people, all over the world, are finding ways to stay in touch. We'll be updating this section with ways you can keep connected in Cairns.

Bear Hunt

The 'Bear Hunt' is a global phenomenon giving children a fun way to get out of the house while maintaining social distancing.

To get involved, simply place a teddy bear in a window, on your fence, or anywhere it can be seen from the street.

Kids will then 'hunt' for the bears in their neighbourhoods.

There's a Cairns-based Facebook group where you can find places where bears may be lurking.

Business support

Help is available from all three levels of government for businesses, employers and employees affected by coronavirus.

The Australian Government's coronavirus information and support web page is updated regularly with announcements and assistance package information. The Government's business contact centre is staffed from 7am until 11pm: 13 28 46

The Australian Treasury is leading the economic response to the coronavirus

Assistance available from the Federal Government includes:

The Queensland Government is updating information about assistance packages through its Business Queensland pages. You will find information here about the following:

Cairns Regional Council support package information can be found on the Council’s website.

  • Council will provide a three-month extension on a range of business-related fees and charges
  • Council is waiving all outdoor dining fees for three months (April to June)
  • Water usage bill due dates (for businesses and residents) for three months.

Other information

  • As more people begin working from home, NBN Co has made changes to data allowances, waived additional wholesale capacity charges and created a blog, FAQs and tips to support people transitioning out of the office.
  • The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has compiled resources to support its members including access to free software and tools to move business online, a 'Stand-down toolkit', and webinars. Operating hours of CCIQ's Employee Assistance (HR) hotline have been extended: 1300 731988
  • Cairns Regional Council has a Takeaway and deliveries fact sheet ( PDF, 0.66 MB ) with handy tips to help Fixed Food Business licence holders minimise the risks should they choose to offer takeaway and/or delivery.
  • Restaurant and Catering Australia also has information sheets and resources, including fact sheets about takeaway and pre-packaged meals.

Council media and updates

Local Leadership Committee

The city's leaders have come together to form the Local Leadership Committee to ensure a coordinated, tangible and targetted local response to the coronavirus across Federal, State and Local Governments. The committee comprises Cairns Mayor Bob Manning, State Member for Cairns Michael Healy and Federal Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch.

It is supported by two sub-committees focused on the human and social impacts of the crisis, and economic response and recovery.

Council response

Closures and restrictions

26 March 2020: The Buy Back Shop at Portsmith has been closed. Council's transfer stations remain open. Access to Lake Morris restricted and live testing of the early warning stations in Redlynch, scheduled for Thursday 16 April, has been postponed.

25 March 2020: A number of council facilities, skate parks and BMX tracks have been closed following the Prime Minister's advice to stay home except for essential business. Restrictions have also been put in place at parks, playgrounds and natural areas.

Customer Service Centre closure

25 March 2020: Council’s Customer Service Centre at Spence Street will close at 4.30pm today (Wednesday 25 March 2020). This decision follows the Prime Minister’s advice last night for people to stay home except for essential trips.

Residents can go to the Council website (www.cairns.qld.gov.au) to access a full range of services, including:

  • Payment of bills
  • Renewing registrations
  • Payment of fines
  • Reporting a problem
  • Making applications

Payments by MasterCard and Visa Card can be made conveniently and securely via the Online Self Service payment page on Council’s website.

Those aged persons having trouble navigating online services, can call Council’s Customer Service Centre on 1300 692 247 for assistance.

Residents are also encouraged to download the My Cairns app, free of charge, which allows users to report a problem.

Events, activities suspended

24 March 2020: In light of the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding changes to non-essential gatherings, Cairns Regional Council has suspended the following events and activities, until further notice:

  • The Esplanade and Suburban Active Living programs.
  • Esplanade Markets and Tanks Markets.
  • Green Space Our Place volunteers program.

Council has also taken the following actions:

  • Cancellations and no further bookings for the use of outdoor spaces, such as barbecues and parks.
  • Cancellations and no further bookings for the use of community halls.
  • Suspension of Community Recreational permits.
  • Closure of the Bramston Beach campgrounds.
  • Closure of the Babinda Rotary Park and Babinda Boulders campgrounds.
  • Ticketlink box office closed to the public, but remains contactable by phone, email and online.

Libraries, Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, Tank 4 closed

23 March 2020: In light of the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding changes to non-essential indoor gatherings, all Cairns Libraries branches will close at noon today, until further notice.  The decision reflects the need to protect the most vulnerable in our community.

A lending amnesty has been extended to all residents who currently have borrowed items. There is no need to return items to the libraries.  Residents can continue to access online library services including ebooks, emagazines, audio books, streaming services and elearning services. See online services on Cairns Libraries website.

The Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre and Tank 4 (exhibition space) are also closed until further notice.

United front to respond to coronavirus

23 March 2020: The city’s Federal, State and Local government leaders will coordinate the local response to the coronavirus pandemic through a new committee structure which will focus on the social and economic impacts of the crisis.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning, Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, and State Member for Cairns Michael Healy met this morning to establish the Local Leadership Committee (LLC), which will meet at least weekly to ensure there is a united approach to respond to the COVID-19 event.  The newly established structure and its committees will focus on the human social impacts of the crisis, as well as economic response and recovery.

Support package

20 March 2020: Cairns Mayor Bob Manning announced a series of measures to assist businesses and generate employment in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  Council will:

  • Pump $2.5 million into the Cairns community in the next three months by bringing forward maintenance works
  • Reduce rent for businesses leasing Council facilities
  • Provide a three-month extension on a range of business-related fees and charges
  • Waive all outdoor dining fees for three months (April to June)
  • Extend the due date on a raft of business fees
  • Extend the due date for water usage (for businesses and residents) for three months

These measures follow an initial suite of support initiatives approved by Council in February.

Events and essential services

18 March 2020:  Tanks Arts Centre and Cairns Performing Arts Centre - all events scheduled prior to 31 May have been cancelled. A full refund will be provided to the original ticket holder. There is no need to contact Ticketlink at this time, ticket holders are asked to be patient.

Economic initiatives

12 February 2020: Council announced a raft of initiatives to respond to the ongoing economic impacts from Novel Coronavirus. These include providing an extension on half year rate payments to 27 May, fast-track funding for marketing the region and production of videos to drive tourism as part of a raft of initiatives.

Information in other languages

The Australian Government has translated coronavirus information and prevention guidelines in several languages.

Direct links to information in key languages spoken in our region are available below.

SBS is providing coronavirus new and information in 63 languages. Find information in your language.

EVENTS, NEWS & REMINDERS STRAIGHT TO YOUR DEVICE
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EVENTS, NEWS & REMINDERS STRAIGHT TO YOUR DEVICE
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Last updated: 29 March 2020