FAQs: COVID-19 / Coronavirus updates

Published on Thursday, 10 December 2020 at 10:26:08 AM

Disclaimer - This information is considered valid as at the date of publication (shown above). Updates will be provided only as, and when, relevant information becomes available.

Latest information (2 March 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccination Program rollout in WA

The COVID-19 Vaccination Program is being rolled out in partnership with the Australian Government in a phased approach.

It is expected that all Australian adults will be offered the vaccine by the end of this year.

The vaccine is voluntary and strongly encouraged in Australia.

The first people (phase 1a) to get access to the vaccine will be:

  • quarantine and border workers (delivered by WA Health)
  • priority groups of frontline healthcare workers, primarily those at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their work (delivered by WA Health)
  • aged care and disability care staff (delivered by the Australian Government)
  • aged care and disability care residents (delivered by the Australian Government).

Phase 1b priority groups will follow and they include critical and high risk staff such as police, and fire and emergency services. 

The vaccination rollout will then be made available to the general community.

The Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccines has the latest news and information for all Australians about the development, approval process and plans for COVID-19 vaccines.

Healthy WA has information about WA’s vaccination program along with FAQs.

These links include information about special circumstances where people will need to speak with their doctor or immunisation provider to decide whether the COVID-19 vaccination is right for them.

Q. When will the WA border interstate border open and what are the conditions?

A. WA Premier Mark McGowan announced on Friday, October 30 that the 'hard border' with the Eastern States would be removed in November. This is conditional on continued low rates of transmission in other states and is subject to change.

Since then, WA has reverted to a 'controlled interstate border'.

For the latest information on the rules of traveling between Australian states, click here.

From December 5 2020, particular businesses must maintain contact registers for WA Health Department COVID-19 contact tracing, using the SafeWA app. This will include the Derby and Fitzroy Library and Derby Memorial Swimming Pool. For more information, click here.

***Border update***

Q. When will the Kimberley border reopen?

A. The Kimberley border re-opened on June 5, but non-essential travel to most remote Indigenous communities remains prohibited. For more information, click here.

Q. What did the Prime Minister say in his press conference on Friday, May 8 in relation to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions?

A. There are three stages to the recovery plan, which the individual states will make the decision over when to activate. There will be no national border changes and the quarantine of Australians returning from overseas will continue. The movement between stages will only be progressed should three things be in place - 1) the relevant medical advice, 2) widescale testing, 3) tracing through the COVIDSAFE app.

Stage 1 includes allowing five visitors to a person's home and 10 people to be in public places. Stage 1 will involve the opening of restaurants, cafes, shops, libraries, community centres, playgrounds and boot camps. Local and regional travel will be permitted.

For more information, click here.

**Confirmed cases in the Kimberley**

Q. Have there been confirmed cases in the Kimberley?

A. Yes. The WA Health Minister Roger Cook stated at a press conference on Tuesday, March 24, that there were confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Kimberley. On Sunday, April 26, Premier Mark McGowan confirmed that there were no active COVID-19 cases in the Kimberley, with all those to have been infected now recovered. There have been no confirmed cases since.

Q. What specific locations in the Kimberley have/had confirmed cases of COVID-19? How many cases are there locally and in WA?

A. On Wednesday, April 1, the State Government released a statistics/locality map for confirmed COVID-19 cases, which will now be updated daily. For more information, click here.

The WA Department of Health update the number of confirmed cases on a daily basis here.

Q. What travel restrictions are in place in the Kimberley?

A. The Kimberley border re-opened on June 5, but non-essential travel to most remote Indigenous communities remains prohibited. For more information, click here.

Q. What is essential and non-essential travel?

A. WA Premier Mark McGowan has stated that essential travel includes the provision of services or supplies, freight, medical reasons and compassionate grounds. For more information on this, you can call a police hotline, which is open 7am-10pm, on 13-COVID (13-26843).

Q. What should I do to prevent contracting COVID-19?

A. It is now very important to adhere to advice from the State and Federal Governments in relation to social distancing. The Shire of Derby/West Kimberley reiterates the Governments’ sentiments that unnecessary travel and meetings should be avoided.

Q. I am displaying COVID-19 symptoms, what should I do?

A. If you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, do not present to the hospital or go out into the community. You should start a self-isolation period at home for 14 days and contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

Q. Where can I get up-to-date information on COVID-19?

A. If you want more information on COVID-19, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or visit the WA Health Department or Federal Health Department websites. The Federal Government has also released a COVID-19 app, which can be accessed/downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

The State Government has established a hotline to help answer questions West Australians have on the current COVID state of emergency. It operates between 7am and 10pm every day - simply call 13 26 843 or 13 CORONA.

The State Government has provided a rundown of contact details for essential services here(PDF, 382KB).

Aboriginal communities

Q. Can I travel to Aboriginal communities in the West Kimberley?

A. From August 3, some Indigenous communities have been granted exemptions from the State Government, allowing access. For more information from the State Government in relation to traveling to and from Aboriginal communities, and to see a list of places where travel is permitted, click here

Aboriginal resources

Q. Are there specific resources available for Aboriginal communities?

A. Yes. The WA Department of Health website has a number of posters and a radio resource. The Aboriginal Health Council of WA website has a dedicated COVID-19 page and is providing regular updates. The Commonwealth Department of Health website has radio resources in a variety of languages and a video. The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation's website also has a video. Information for remote communities is available on the Department of Communities website - it includes details about travel restrictions and assistance for Aboriginal people to return to their communities.

For more information from the State Government in relation to traveling to and from Aboriginal communities, click here.


Q. Can I still go out on my boat?

A. Yes. On Sunday, April 26, Premier Mark McGowan stated that from Monday, April 27, the two-person limit on non-work indoor and outdoor gatherings would be adjusted to ten people. This is also relevant for boating or fishing. For more information, click here.

Derby Memorial Swimming Pool

Q. Is the Derby Pool open?

A. SDWK is delighted to announce that the Pool has reopened as the State Government’s relaxations around COVID-19 restrictions come into play. However, the Shire would like to reiterate that social distancing and personal hygiene are key.

For the latest information, visit the SDWK Facebook page or revisit this FAQ page.


Q. How important is cleaning?

Cleaning is critical during the COVID-19 outbreak, not just for hospitals but also in non-healthcare settings such as homes, offices, workplaces, public areas, government buildings, reception areas, hotels, schools, childcares, shops, buses, trains, taxis and cars.  Information has been prepared to help everybody to better understand how to ensure the most effective methods are used.

Q. Is elective surgery still occurring in Western Australia?

A. Elective surgery was initially cancelled but the Premier announced on Wednesday, April 22 that a number of procedures would be resuming. This has since been expanded. For more information, click here.

Financial assistance

Q. Will I receive financial assistance due to COVID-19?

A. The State Government has stated that financial relief will be available for businesses and households across WA. For more information, contact the State Government directly. On March 30, the Federal Government announced a $130 billion package of wage subsidies to help people keep their jobs - for more information contact the Federal Government.

Hospitality / tourism training

Q. I've heard there is mandatory training for hospitality and tourism workers before venues reopen - is this true?

A. Yes. On Wednesday, April 29 the State Government announced that hospitality workers need to undertake specific COVID-19 training before returning to work. For more information, click here.

Latest information

Q. Where can I get the latest information on COVID-19?

A. The State and Federal Departments of Health are the lead agencies in relation to a COVID-19 response. For more information, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or visit the WA Health Department or Federal Health Department websites. The Federal Government has also released a COVID-19 app, which can be accessed/downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.


Q. Is the Library open?

A. SDWK is delighted to announce that the Derby and Fitzroy Crossing Public Libraries have reopened, as the State Government’s relaxations around COVID-19 restrictions come into play.

For more information, call 9191 0900.

Q. What online library resources are still available?

Electronic resources like e-books, e-audiobooks, digital magazines and the streaming of international films are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Click here to enjoy these resources.

Q. I am having difficulty accessing these Apps, can someone help me?

A. Our library staff members remain on call during normal work hours and can be contacted at libmanager@sdwk.wa.gov.au or on 9191 0900.

National Parks

Q. Are the Kimberley's National Parks open?

A. On Thursday, April 30, the State Government announced some relaxation of rulings around National Parks. For the latest information on national parks, click here.

Public conveniences (toilets)

Q. Are public toilets still open?

A. Yes, public toilets remain open. The Shire has increased cleaning services at public toilets to enhance sanitisation and the prevent the potential spread of the virus.


Q. Do I still have to pay my rates?

A. Yes, the Shire remains committed to providing the community services that are delivered through ratepayer money.


Q. I'm struggling to pay my rent - now what?

A. The Federal Government stated on Sunday, March 29 that evictions will be put on hold for six months and that landlords and renters are encouraged to take about short-term agreements.


Q. Are roads to Kimberley destinations still open?

A. Yes, all roads are currently open. The Shire will advise the community should this change. For more information, visit the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley website.

WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt previously stated that access to all remote Indigenous communities was prohibited. For some communities, this has been loosened - for more information, click here.

Shire Administration Building

Q. Is the Shire administration building still open?

A. Yes, the Shire Administration Building is still open. However, where people can access services online or phone for information, they are strongly requested to do so. For more information, visit the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley website.

If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms reflective of COVID-19, do not come to the Shire Administration Building and seek medical advice immediately.

Support services

Q. Where can I get support?

A. For financial support, click here for a link to the treasury website. For financial counselling and crisis assistance, click here. For a mental wellbeing support service, click here.


Q. Can I leave the Kimberley to visit other regions of Western Australia?

A. From June 5, travel across Western Australia, with the exception of into and from most remote Indigenous communities, is allowed.

Q. Can I travel from one Kimberley local government area to another?

A. Yes.


Q. Can I get tested to see if I have COVID-19?

A. Anyone in the Kimberley with a temperature of more than 38C or with flu symptoms can receive a coronavirus test in the latest measures announced to try to stop the virus from reaching remote communities. For more on testing, contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

Waste management

Q. Will my bins still get picked up? Is the tip still open?

A. Yes, your bins will still get picked up as scheduled and the tip is open. Any updates will be communicated though the Shire Website and Facebook page.

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