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23 March, 2020

Cape York to go into lockdown

By Phil Brandel

Cape York is to go into lockdown in a bid to protect Indigenous communities from contracting COVID-19.

The Cook Shire Council announced yesterday the State Government is implementing restricted access to the Cape.  Queensland Police Officers will be stationed on the Mulligan Highway at Mt Carbine to provide the travelling public with advice on travel restrictions on all non-essential travel to Cape York and Torres Strait, and the Bloomfield Track is closed at Emmagen Creek.

In a statement from the Cook Shire Council “The Cook Shire Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) resolved to recommend to the District Disaster Management Group (DDMG) in Cairns that Cook Shire residents may freely return home until 5pm on Wednesday 25 March. As this arrangement is yet to be approved by the State, we suggest that residents return home as quickly as possible.

“At this time, it not known what further arrangements will apply after 5pm on Wednesday.

“Additional information will be provided to residents as soon as it comes to hand. Please continue to monitor Council’s Facebook page and website for the latest information and advice about Covid-19 and personal travel on the Cape.

There are currently no restrictions on travel between any communities within Wujal Wujal, Hope Vale and Cook shires.

“The travel restrictions are under the control of the State Government and key messaging will be coming from the State

“Council will do all possible to ensure that our communities are advised of all developments as soon as the information is available

 

The Mareeba Council’s Mayor and CEO have also advised that the State Government is implementing restricted access to the Cape.

At this stage, the Cape will be effectively going into isolation and only essential services personnel will be allowed to travel into those areas. If there are people from the Cape wanting to return home, they must do so by 5 pm on Wednesday 25 March 2020 (again at this stage).

We will continue to be in communication with other Councils and the State Government agencies and to develop appropriate procedures.

The implementation is under the control of the State Government and key messaging will be coming from the State.

Council will do all possible to ensure that our communities are advised of all developments as soon as the information is available.


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