Libraries open as restrictions are rolled back


Published: 15 May 2020. (Note: information was correct at date of publication but may have since been changed or superseded.)

Libraries, playgrounds and some public pools will reopen this weekend as coronavirus restrictions are gradually rolled back.

The Premier announced last week that Queensland would move ahead with “Step One” of the Roadmap to achieve a COVIDSafe Australia and further ease restrictions from Saturday (16 May).

In line with that advice, Council will tomorrow (16 May) reopen a number of public venues and facilities with conditions in place, including social distancing and limits on numbers.

From tomorrow, dining in at restaurants, pubs, clubs, RSLs and cafes for a maximum of 10 patrons at one time will also be allowed as part of a gradual re-opening, but bars and gaming remains closed.

Gatherings in public places are limited to a maximum of 10 people within one group.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning welcomed the easing of the restrictions, but reinforced the need for people to follow to the rules.

“These measures are in place for everyone’s safety; we have worked hard to get this far, but we have to remain vigilant,” Cr Manning said.

Signage will be placed at most public areas with guidelines on current restrictions.

“Council officers will be monitoring facilities, and if the rules are being blatantly disregarded, we will close the facilities again,” Cr Manning said.

“In the interest of public health and safety, people are asked to maintain appropriate social distance and practice good personal hygiene at all times.”

Council services, venues and facilities opening from tomorrow

Cairns Libraries

All eight Cairns Libraries branches will open Saturday morning for borrowing only.

The branches will open with regular operating hours and a 10-person limit.

Social distancing measures will be in place and time limits may be in place depending on demand.

To minimise the time spent inside, residents are encouraged to reserve a book online (visit and use the self-checkout at the library.

Patrons are also asked to sanitise their hands upon entering the library branch and be patient as there could be extended waiting times and queues outside.

Borrowed items should be returned via the after-hours returns chute and residents are urged to continue using online services where possible to avoid long queues and delays.

The Australian Library and Information Association, as the national peak body, has been providing Council with direction and guidance.

Facilities, venues and services

Council will reopen a number of facilities and venues on Saturday in line with the relaxation of restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Users are reminded they should adhere to physical distancing measures, good hygiene practices, be vigilant of 10-person limits and follow the direction of any signage.

Council facilities and services opening from this weekend include:

  • Muddy’s Playground (wet and dry areas)
  • Centenary Lakes Nature Play
  • Fun Ship playground
  • Bouldering Park
  • Barlow Park (open for casual athletics only)
  • Public basketball courts
  • Public tennis courts
  • Lake Morris
  • Outdoor gym equipment
  • Playgrounds, skate parks and bump tracks.
  • Green Space Our Place program will resume from Tuesday 19 May.
  • Public barbecues: Users are encouraged to bring their own cleaning and sanitising products to give barbecues a clean before and after use in line with good hygiene practices.


  • Smithfield, Woree and Gordonvale pools will open with restrictions.
  • Babinda pool will open on Monday.
  • Tobruk Memorial Pool remains closed at this stage.

For a full list of Council facilities which are reopening and more information in regards to the coronavirus pandemic visit

Cairns Regional Council is following Australian Government and Queensland Health guidelines to help minimise the transmission of coronavirus.

Stay informed by visiting and download the Government’s COVIDSafe app.

Last updated: 18 June 2020