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Norfolk Island has been declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19

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UPDATE 03/04/2020

MEDIA RELEASE

COVID-19 NORFOLK ISLAND IS GOING IN TO LOCKDOWN

With further isolation breaches overnight, it has been deemed necessary for the health and safety of the Norfolk Island Community that we enter a localised lockdown from 2200hrs (10pm) 3 April 2020, to be reviewed on a week-by-week basis. The community is also aware of the presentation of flu-like symptoms and the continued mandatory self-isolation of 22 persons from an inbound Brisbane flight.

The lockdown will not impact air services or sea freight. Further restrictions will be imposed on the travel ban, only now allowing travel for compassionate and medical reasons and for emergency services personnel.

This was not an easy decision, but after much consideration, it has been determined that this is the safest option to protect the community at this stage, given the breaches that have again occurred despite warnings.

WHAT DOES LOCKDOWN MEAN
All persons currently on-island will now be confined to their residence and its grounds. Wherever you are at 10pm on 3 April 2020 is where you will be required to remain for the duration of the lockdown period with certain exemptions. You will be allowed out to purchase essential items such as food, pharmaceuticals and fuel.
EMNI stresses that there is no need to panic buy. The following shops will remain open:
o Supermarkets and whole-food stores
o The pharmacy
o Stockfeed and animal welfare
o Bakeries
o Butchers
o Fuel stations
EMNI asks that you limit your shopping trips as much as possible, with only one member of the household leaving the house to undertake this task.

Food
Friends and family providing food and supplies to those in mandatory self-isolation may continue to do so. Food producers may continue their deliveries to food stores and caterers. EMNI-managed food deliveries to those in self-isolation will continue.
Fishing will not be permitted during lockdown unless authorised by the Incident Controller. Slaughtering of cattle will remain permissible.
If anyone has any issues with regards to access to food, please contact the welfare officer Sharyn Menzies on 50855.

Fuel stations
At the service stations, a member of staff will assist you to fill up your vehicle. Please do not do this yourself and please remain in the car, unless you need something from the store.
Liquor Bond
The Liquor Bond will remain open, but conditions will apply to the quantities of alcohol that may be purchased. These conditions will be posted at the Liquor Bond.

Exercise
You may exercise within the boundaries of your property.

Medical
If you require a medical consultation or assistance, please call NIHRACS on 22091. In an emergency please call 000.
If you are unwell with flu-like or respiratory symptoms, please DO NOT come to the clinic, please call 22091 or 000.
The drive-through Covid-19 testing service will remain operational. Please refer to the earlier media release concerning its hours.
Customer Care The Council’s Customer Care office will be attended by a skeleton staff and will be conducting business by phone only. You can contact Customer Care on 22244, free call 0100, or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Business solutions
For Centrelink purposes, if you are required to present to Business Solutions you may do so via appointment only.

Post Office
If you have a parcel to pick up from the post office, you will be called and asked to come in to collect it. Do not come to the post office to pick up parcels without first receiving a phone call.

Banking
Further advice on the Commonwealth Bank’s services will be provided.
The ATM will remain in operation.

Waste
The Waste Management Centre will be open today 03 April 2020 until 6pm. After 6pm it will remain closed to the general public for the duration of the lock-down period. Please retain your waste at home for the duration of the lockdown, please continue to sort your rubbish as per the Waste Management Centre requirements. Refer to advice provided to those in self-isolation for further guidance via Emergency Management Norfolk Island Facebook page or radio.

Fire ban
Please be aware that a Fire Danger Period has been declared for the whole of Norfolk Island from midnight tonight, 3 April 2020 to midnight 24 April 2020, unless otherwise revised. During this period, all fires of any kind must first be approved be the Chief Fire Control Officer. This has been put in place because we do not want community members burning hazardous and toxic waste. A person who otherwise lights a fire in the open air is guilty of an offence and may be fined up to $2,000 or be imprisoned for two years, or both.

Policing
Police will not be renewing firearms or driver’s licences or be undertaking driving tests for the duration of the lockdown period. They will continue to police criminal matters in the State of Emergency, including the lockdown requirements. Police will be patrolling to ensure the lockdown and other measures are being complied with.

Trades
Trades people who are not deemed to be an essential service may still be contacted to attend essential work, for example for burst pipes, septic overflows, internet outages and electrical issues. Tradespeople, please contact Police before attending any home in order to register your intention and to have your name and details logged. Police will be patrolling and enforcing these, unapologetically, stringent measures 24/7.

School and day care
Norfolk Island Central School and Banyan Park Playcentre will be closed.

Essential services
The only other persons permitted to leave their residence are those who are providing an essential service. This includes, but is not limited to (at the discretion of the Incident Controller):
o Police and allied law-enforcement officers
o Emergency services including the Fire Service and St John Ambulance
o Council staff who are maintaining essential infrastructure and services, such as electricity, telecommunications, water assurance, and so on
o NIHRACS and Care Norfolk staff and allied health workers
o Border Force and Biosecurity when attending to incoming and outgoing aircraft and vessels
o Service providers of essential services such as gas supply, internet, drinking water, veterinary services
o Tradespeople who have registered first with the Police of their intention to attend a household
o The Office of the Administrator.

THERE WILL BE SEVERE PENALTIES FOR ANYONE BREACHING THIS LOCKDOWN.
Please call the Norfolk Island Police on 22222 for further information.

Further media releases will be made, including to provide clarification on the lockdown measures.

Glenn Elder
Incident Controller
EMNI IMT
3 April 2020



UPDATE 30/03/2020

MEDIA RELEASE

UPDATED COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NORFOLK ISLAND

EMNI continues to make decisions on travel to Norfolk Island to ensure that Norfolk Island stays COVID-19 free.

What’s new
1. Stricter controls on residents returning and essential services personnel arriving and continued to be assessed on a case by case basis. You must ordinarily reside on Norfolk Island to return, or be considered an essential services personnel, and have a valid reason to return, either medical, compassionate or essential services.

2. Effective today, all essential services personnel will undertake the full 14-day isolation period with no exceptions. They cannot leave their place of isolation to undertake their essential services work until the 14-day isolation period is complete.

Essential services personnel include doctors, nurses, emergency services personnel and technicians for critical projects (as determined by the IMT).

The following was advised to the community on 27 March 2020 and has not changed -

Inbound travel to Norfolk Island
If you have travelled from outside Australia, you will be required to go into self-isolation in Australia, either in Brisbane or Sydney, for 14 days prior to returning to Norfolk Island, effective immediately. Accommodation and meal costs for the mainland isolation period will be covered. When you return to Norfolk Island, you will be required to undertake a further 14 days of self-isolation.
 
On Norfolk Island, you will NOT be able to isolate with others who did not travel with you, including your family members or friends who live in the same residence.
You will be required to make fully independent living arrangements for the duration of your self-isolation period.
If this poses logistical issues for you, please discuss with the Welfare Functional Services Coordinator on +6723 50855 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
For out of hours’ assistance call the NIPF on +6723 22222.


Outbound travel from Norfolk Island
Non-essential travel for residents to the mainland is no longer permitted if you plan on returning to Norfolk Island prior to 30 June 2020.
This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the IMT. Essential travel includes medical and compassionate reasons.

Travel between Norfolk Island and mainland Australia is domestic travel.
Queensland
Queensland restricted access at its borders on 25 March 2020. Anyone travelling to Queensland from overseas or interstate, including Norfolk Island residents, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

There are exemptions including: medical treatment, compassionate grounds, those travelling to and from work, court orders, freight and emergency workers. Medical patients will need to provide a Medicare card and a form demonstrating that they are attending a medical appointment.

New South Wales
At this stage, domestic travellers to New South Wales, including Norfolk Islanders, will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This could change.

Outbound travel from mainland Australia
Effective from 25 March 2020, a ban on Australians travelling overseas was put in place. Exemptions apply to some travellers and include:
• citizens who normally live overseas
• where travel is essential or necessary
• where travel is in the national interest and on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.

To have your travel plans approved by the IMT please contact +6723 22222 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Glenn Elder
Incident Controller
EMNI IMT


UPDATE 27/03/2020

MEDIA RELEASE

Coronavirus response – extension of emergency declaration and travel ban


In recognition of Norfolk Island’s ongoing vulnerability to the risks posed by COVID-19, the emergency declaration and travel ban currently in place will be extended until the end of June.
 
Extending the declaration now gives a level of certainty to community members, businesses and potential visitors to the island, to support their planning.
 
Norfolk Island currently has no known cases of COVID-19.
 
The extension of the declaration of emergency until 30 June 2020 has been made on the recommendation of the Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) Controller. The travel ban will also remain in place until this date.
 
Under these arrangements, only essential travel for residents and personnel will be permitted to Norfolk Island until further notice. This will be assessed on a case by case basis by the Incident Controller and anyone returning to the island will need to self-isolate for 14 days once on island away from family and friends.
 
It is important to note that myself, EMNI and the Incident Controller, along with the Council and the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Services (NIHRACS) are monitoring the situation and our local response measures on a daily basis.
 
We will continue to assess the local impacts of the national restrictions on social gatherings and non-essential businesses and adjust to the Norfolk Island situation as appropriate.
The emergency declaration can be revoked, or extended, as required.
We are grateful to the community for your willingness to adopt, and abide by, the measures required to protect and care for each other in this difficult time.  
If you have respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and are concerned you may have been exposed to coronavirus, then isolate yourself and call NIHRACS to discuss your circumstances – do not attend the health service without calling.
 
For further information, see www.health.gov.au or phone the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
 
If you have questions or require further information, please contact my Office on 22152.
 
Eric Hutchinson 
Administrator of Norfolk Island
 

 

UPDATE 25/03/2020

MEDIA RELEASE

CLARIFICATION OF CURRENT COVID-19 MEASURES AND NEW MEASURES FOR NORFOLK ISLAND

As at 25 March 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Norfolk Island, and Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS), and advice received from the Australian Government.

This media release is to provide clarification about restrictions on non-essential businesses and social gatherings announced by the Prime Minister. On Tuesday 24 March the community was advised that Norfolk Island will adhere to the nation-wide measures. This decision was made to afford the community maximum protection.

On 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister gave further detail on additional measures that will apply in mainland Australia from 11.59pm Wednesday 25 March 2020.

Please be aware, that the new additional rules consistent with the new and enhanced social distancing measures agreed by the National Cabinet will come into effect on Norfolk Island from 11.59pm Thursday 26 March 2020, giving Norfolk Island one extra day to get prepared.

Restrictions already in place on Norfolk Island from 24 March 2020:

• Cafés, restaurants and registered and licensed premises are closed, although takeaway service and home delivery is permitted
• Places of worship are closed
• Gyms and indoor sports facilities are closed.

Restrictions that will come into effect on Norfolk Island from 11.59am Thursday 26 March 2020:

• The School canteen is permitted to remain open
• Real estate auctions and open house inspections are prohibited, private appointments for inspection are permitted
• Outdoor food markets are permitted, so long as people distance themselves from others
• Hairdressers and barber shops may remain open but may not have a client for appointments longer than 30 minutes and adhere to strict social distancing, one client at a time is suggested
• Beauty therapy, nail salons and tattoo parlours are closed
• Health-related massage therapy, osteopathy and physiotherapy are permitted
• Cinemas and theatres are closed
• Play centres including indoor and outdoor play groups are closed
• Fitness classes, pilates and yoga classes are closed
Personal training is prohibited (unless it is outdoors and there are fewer than 10 people who maintain the one person-per-4 square metre rule)
• Sporting club houses are closed, EMNI will permit people to play singles tennis and individual golf if they use their own equipment and maintain social distancing, however this will ultimately be a decision of the individual Clubs)
• Social sporting-based activities are prohibited (e.g. squash, rugby and touch football prohibited, single outrigging would be permitted)
• The Bowls Club, Golf Club and Mini-Golf Shop may remain open under strict conditions. People are not to gather inside, own equipment is to be used wherever possible, and any food or drinks is takeaway only
• Swimming lessons in others’ swimming pools are prohibited. All accommodation pools are to be closed
• Galleries, museums and libraries are closed
• Services clubs are closed. Those services clubs with restaurants and bars may be open for the purposes of takeaway only
• Weddings may occur with only the couple, celebrant and the two witnesses - a maximum attendance of five people
• Funerals may occur with a maximum attendance of 10 people.
The Incident Controller is aware that funerals are of particular importance and cultural significance for the community of Norfolk Island. EMNI is open to addressing funerals on a case-by-case basis, particularly given the outdoor nature of funerals on Norfolk Island.
 
Fundamentally, these measures are about the community avoiding large gatherings. Do not congregate in large groups indoors or outdoors. Visits to homes should have small numbers. House parties are prohibited.
I also ask that people use their common sense and continue, above all, to keep yourself and the community safe.
Services providing food or drink to those in self-isolation are permitted, but must follow the safe distancing requirements.
It is understood the impact of these new measures on Norfolk Island will be significant. Everyone is asked to work together and support each other, while exercising safe social distancing, as we navigate this unprecedented situation.
Please call the Norfolk Island Police Force on 22222 if you have specific questions relating to this.
Glenn Elder
Incident Controller
EMNI IMT
25 March 2020

UPDATE 24/03/2020

The EMNI Incident Controller advises that the Prime Minister's restrictions announcement as of midday 23 March now apply to Norfolk Island.

CLOSED: registered and licenses clubs, licensed areas in hotels and pubs, entertainment venues, casinos, cinemas, places of worship, gyms, indoor sporting venues, nightclubs

TAKE-AWAY ONLY: Restaurants and cafes

OPEN: Bottle shops and off-licence stores

Funerals and similar events to observe strict rules and space per person

Schools to remain open, except where closures have been announced.

Please note, this could change at anytime and the community will be kept informed.
Remember to practice safe distancing, wash your hands with soap and water frequently and sneeze and cough into your elbow or clean tissue.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - As at 19/03/2020

Are there any known cases of COVID-19 on Norfolk Island?

No. As at 19 March 2020, there are no known cases of COVID-19.

What authority are these changes and actions being taken under?

The Administrator of Norfolk Island declared a State of Emergency for COVID-19 on the recommendation of Emergency Management Norfolk Island. The recommendation and declaration was made in accordance with the Disaster and Emergency Management Act 2001 (NI), and the Norfolk Island Disaster and Emergency Plan (NORDISPLAN) has been activated.

How long will the declaration of emergency remain in place?

The State of Emergency and associated travel ban will be in place from 16 March 2020 for 32 days.
There is provision under the legislation to allow for an extension of the State of Emergency, or to revoke the declaration. The COVID-19 situation will continue to be monitored closely.

Why has this decision been made?

The decision has been made to protect the Norfolk Island community through a number of measures including a travel ban. Norfolk Island’s community is much older on average than the population of mainland Australia, with a high percentage of the population in the elderly demographic. Persons over 60 years of age, particularly the elderly, are at most risk of serious illness from the virus, together with the immunosuppressed and those with chronic health conditions.

What are the requirements of the current travel ban?

Only residents and essential personnel will be permitted to travel to Norfolk Island during the travel ban, and anyone returning to the island will need to self-isolate for 14 days. Should you wish to be considered as essential personnel, contact the Incident Controller on +6723 22222.
Medical evacuation flights are exempt from travel restrictions.

What will be the flight schedules in and out of Norfolk Island be into the future?

Air New Zealand flights will continue but will reduce in frequency and only carry passengers who are residents or essential staff.
Air Chathams last flight to Norfolk Island will be 20 March 2020. They have suspended flights after this date and await further updates and information on travel restrictions and self-isolation periods.

Do I have to self-isolate if I travel to mainland Australia from Norfolk Island?

There is currently no requirement to self-isolate on mainland Australia when you arrive from Norfolk Island, although this may change.

What happens if I am trying to get home to Norfolk Island, including if I have been overseas (outside of Australia)?

If you are a Norfolk Island resident wishing to return to Norfolk during the travel ban, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days from your date of arrival to Norfolk.
When you arrive in Australia from an overseas destination you will need to self-isolate while in Australia whilst you await your flight to Norfolk Island. Once you arrive on Norfolk Island, you will then begin your Norfolk Island 14 day self-isolation requirements.

Is there assistance for people that are required to be in mandatory self-isolation?

Yes there is support for these persons if required.

What if I work in, or deliver goods to houses on Norfolk Island?

If you work in people's homes (cleaners, aged care, water, food delivers, etc) it is imperative that you call ahead to ensure the person isn't in self-isolation or voluntarily self-isolating.
If you are delivering goods to a person who is in self-isolation leave the goods at the person’s door.
If you provide a service to a person’s home or grounds, check with them if they are in self isolation, if they are, the service cannot occur until their mandatory isolation has completed.
If a person has decided to put themselves into voluntary isolation, check with them if they would like the service to continue.

Are there fines if I do not self-isolate on Norfolk Island?

Yes, heavy fines and enforceable containment/custody may be imposed on you if you do not comply with this requirement. It is important to comply with the self-isolation requirements to protect the Norfolk Island community.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other colds and flus and include:
 Fever
 Sore throat
 Cough
 Fatigue
 Difficulty breathing
While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying these symptoms are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus.

What do I do if I get sick?

If you develop symptoms (fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness and/or shortness of breath) following your return to Norfolk Island, you should make a telephone call to Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) for an urgent assessment over the telephone. A doctor or nurse will advise you of next steps. Follow their instructions. DO NOT present to the GP clinic.

Where can I get further information?

Please contact the Office of the Administrator
Phone: +6723 22152 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For out of hours’ assistance call the Norfolk Island Police +6723 22222

For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au

Call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/Emergency-Management-Norfolk-Island-EMNI101701221466699

Norfolk Island Administrator’s Media Releases:
https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/administrator/media/2020/index.aspx:

Norfolk Island Police Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/NorfolkIslandPolice/

Norfolk Island Regional Council Website:
www.norfolkisland.gov.nf