COVID-19 Update - 8 January 2021
COVID ADVICE from the Premier's office as at 8 January 2021:
In response to a confirmed positive case with the highly contagious United Kingdom variant of COVID-19 in Brisbane, the Queensland Premier has made the following announcements.
Greater Brisbane including the local government areas of Brisbane City, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Redlands will go into lockdown from 6pm Friday 8 January 2021 until 6pm Monday 11 January 2021.
Guidance regarding movement in and out of Greater Brisbane:
• Stay at home and in your neighbourhood
• People can choose to enter Brisbane during this period but are bound by the same restrictions and cannot leave for the duration of the lockdown, where possible people are encouraged to delay travel
• People can enter greater Brisbane to attain health care and cannot leave for the duration of the lockdown
• People should not leave Greater Brisbane during this period
• Non-residents currently in Greater Brisbane must remain until the end of the restriction period.
Reasons for leaving home:
• Essential education and work, although work from home where possible
• Health care or support of a vulnerable person
• Essential shopping but within your local area where possible
• Exercise in your neighbourhood (local area) with no more than one other person
• Masks are to be worn at all times when outside of your place of residence, this includes in workplaces and public transport
• 20 people can attend funerals, 10 people can attend weddings
• Limit of two visitors in homes
• Restaurants and cafes to provide takeaway service only
• Cinemas, entertainment and recreation venues, gyms etc to close
• Large gatherings including sporting events and markets (except food and farmers markets) to be cancelled
• Places of worship to close
• No visitors to aged care facilities, hospitals, disability accommodation services or correctional facilities.
* We're also asking anyone who was in Greater Brisbane since 2 January 2021, to follow the same lockdown rules where they are now. Only leave your home for the essential reasons and wear a mask.
Follow Queensland Health for the latest information here.
COVID-19 Somerset Assistance Package
These measures include:
- Council has been actively pursuing infrastructure funding to support long-term local employment, including its $42.5 million Battleplan submission. By comparison, Council’s total audited rates and charges revenue last year was $21.9 million.
- Council has extended its dog registration period through to June 2021, effectively providing an additional year of dog registration at no additional charge.
- In March 2020, Council waived tipping fees for Somerset residents and businesses at its four waste facilities to 30 June 2020 while continuing to absorb the State Government waste levy.
- Council waived all 2019/2020 business inspection levies for more than 180 cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, care facilities, intensive poultry farms, extractive industries and kennels.
- Council accelerated payments to its suppliers including through a 76% increase in payments to businesses via credit card to facilitate immediate cash payments.
- Council extended the rate discount period for all residents from 7 April 2020 to 28 May 2020 – more than three months after the rate notices were issued.
- Council has allowed all 15% prompt payment rate discounts for the half year to 30 June 2020 even where rates had not been paid in full - provided the ratepayer owed nothing in rates as at 25 February 2020.
- Council has put a hold on all legal rate recovery actions of less than $100,000 until January 2021.
- Council has worked with its commercial property tenants to assist with payment terms, has issued refunds for long-term facility hires and resolved a 25% class concession rebate to tourism business owners in rating category 37 due to particular impacts of coronavirus on that category.
- Somerset Regional Council’s average residential rates remain the cheapest in south east Queensland (source: http://www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/resources-ilgp/plans-strategies-reports/local-government-comparative-reports.html)
- Somerset Regional Council’s category 4 small business rate percentage remains between 22% and 190% lower than similar categories in neighbouring councils (http://www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/resources/publication/local-government/lg-comparative-18-19/lg-comparative-18-19-7-2019-20-gen-rate-&-2018-19-gen-rate.xlsx)
Council is mitigating the adverse impacts of the emerging COVID-19 outbreak, ensuring the continuation of critical services and the health and safety of its residents, employees and broader community.
This page will keep you updated with the latest official information from Queensland Health, the Australian Government and other relevant agencies as planning continues.
For up to date information visit:
Australian Government - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert
Australian Government - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
Queensland Government - Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Queensland Health - Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention
The safety of the community, customers and staff is our main priority.
Council's Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) will continue to act in the interests of all residents and will remain on high alert regarding this pandemic.
Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction
Council is working with businesses, community groups, local event organisers and tourism operators to assist them following the Australian Government's direction which bans non-essential indoor gatherings and all outdoor gatherings. This information is subject to change so we advise you refer to the links below.
For enquiries about local events, please contact Council directly.
For all further information, please refer to the advice from the relevant state and federal agencies:
Limits on public gathering for coronavirus (COVID-19)
Local business requirements
Council is continuing to assist providing up to date information for its local business community to ensure everyone is aware of the new requirements, as we all adapt to the progressive nature of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Queensland Government - Non-essential Business Closure Direction (No. 4)
For information on COVID-19, please visit the Queensland Health website: www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus.
Frequently asked questions
Does the Queensland Government have an up-to-date list of Frequently Asked Questions?
Yes, the Queensland Government maintains and updates their FAQs every day. Their information sheet answers common questions about COVID-19 including what it is, how it spreads, if you should get tested, who is most and risk and if you should attend public gatherings.
What is coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a recently identified strain of coronavirus in humans.
Coronaviruses form a large family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses. These include the common cold as well as more serious diseases like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and the more recent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
As there is no specific treatment for people who are sick with COVID-19, we all need to remain alert to the common symptoms which include:
- flu-like symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing
- difficulty breathing, which may develop into pneumonia
- sore throat
How can I keep up-to-date with information and access resources such as posters?
Council is putting out regular information relating to local impacts through this page and social media channels.
The Australian Government's Department of Health website also has a comprehensive range of reliable information resources including posters for the home and workplace.
For travel advice: www.smartraveller.gov.au
How do I stay well and prevent cross-infection?
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay at home if you are unwell.
- Practise social distancing, keeping 1.5 m away from others.
- Cover your mouth or nose with your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Use disposable tissues and dispose of them in a bin.
- Regularly wipe down surfaces with disinfectant.
- Avoid contact with anyone showing adverse respiratory symptoms.
- Adhere to the Australian Government's 14-day self-isolation requirement if returning from overseas.
Visit Queensland Health, the lead agency for health advice, for more information on how to stay well and prevent cross-infection.
Will workplaces, schools, shops, supermarkets and airports close down?
The Australian Government has advised that from 16 March 2020, static, non-essential gatherings should be limited.
For all up-to-date information on the limits on public gatherings due to coronavirus (COVID-19) please refer to the Australian Government’s Limits on public gatherings for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Will council services continue as normal?
Council has activated its Business Continuity Plan to ensure the continuation of critical business. Teams are working and planning across Council to ensure continuation of essential services.
Council is receiving regular briefs from Federal and State health authorities to assist with planning; and Pandemic Plans has also been activated.
What resources are available for local businesses?
The Australian Government has announced an economic stimulus package and developed fact sheets for the general public and industry.
The Queensland Government also has released an Immediate Industry Recovery Package to provide relief to Queensland industries, businesses and workers.
Contact 1300 654 687 to find out about business support from Queensland Government.
What information is available for the health and aged care sector?
The Australian Government has developed a range of resources for aged care residents and families. Council has also written to local aged care facilities requesting that they ensure their employees are trained and understand the practices that need to be put in place for the management of disease outbreaks.
The symptoms to monitor are similar to other colds and flus and include:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing (Australian Government Department of Health, 2020).
To help prevent transmission during an outbreak, routine cleaning should be increased for all common areas. This includes but is not limited to, frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, bathroom taps, chairs, tables, lift buttons and any shared areas such as common kitchen and dining areas. Surfaces should be cleaned using detergent and warm water and then disinfected.
What happens if I am directed to isolate at home?
The Australian Government has produced a range of facts sheets about home isolation and care.
Resources for people with disability to make a plan for COVID-19
The following resources have been made available by the Queenslanders with Disability Network or the Australia Government Disability Information website or Helpline Ph: 1800 643 787
The Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (PCEP) Planning for COVID-19 is for people with disability, to assist them and their supporters to be informed and take actions to prepare for their own individual needs and circumstances during this pandemic.
It is important that people with disability can continue to access their essential supports and services and this includes essential disability supports. This tool helps people think about these essential disability supports across eight different functional areas and make a plan related to what they need to do in this COVID-19 time.
PCEP COVID-19 Planning Tool
My COVID-19 Plan
Printable STOP sign
This is a sign that you can put on your front door to let people know you are at higher risk: