Safe Travel In The Time of COVID

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc throughout the world, including Australia, here’s what travellers need to know about travelling in the Port Douglas and Daintree region.

Please note that with all COVID-19 travel-related news – these restrictions are likely to change at lightning speed; therefore it’s highly recommended that you check with the appropriate state and territory offices, relevant health departments and airlines prior to planning a trip.

Who can go on holiday in Port Douglas Daintree?

Apart from Victoria and NSW, anyone in Australia can currently come visit us here in Port Douglas Daintree. Airport checks and border declarations are currently in practice at Cairns Airport. For road-trippers, there are random checks along the major highways, and a statement will need to be signed to say that they haven’t been in coronavirus hotspot in the preceding fortnight before they will be permitted past. There are hefty fines for anyone providing false information.

Can I book a holiday house or a hotel room?

There’s plenty of accommodation open across the region but they must have a health management plan in place. Some camping sites and caravan parks won’t provide access to shared shower or kitchen facilities and bookings are essential for stays in national parks.

How are we managing social distancing?

Have you ever seen peak hour traffic on Four Mile Beach? We were the socially distancing bosses before social distancing was even cool, yo. We’ve been keeping apart together for a while now! Seriously though, we are very conscious of social distancing and encourage everyone to o the same. This is an extraordinary region in a very special part of the world, and we intend to keep it that way. Keep an eye out for those snazzy COVID SAFE signs to reassure compliance.

Can I go hiking, camping or stay in a caravan park?

Absolutely! Being outdoors at one with Mother Nature is definitely one of the many perks of being in the tropics! While all national parks are open, some have limited access to facilities. Not all caravan parks are open, so it’s best to call ahead and make a booking. Fishing and boating are allowed, and camping is A-OK, just making sure you exercise social distancing, tropical style - stay at least one adult cassowary’s width away from each other.

I want to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef — can I?

In short, yes. All tourism experiences can host up to 50 people in compliance with Queensland Tourism Industry Council Plan, and places can go over 50 with an approved COVID-Safe Plan in place. Guests can be seated beside each other while on boats, with 1.5m physical distancing in place at all other times possible. It’s best to contact operators directly on running times as businesses have had to adapt to changing requirements.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council Plan

What about Mossman Gorge, Daintree, Cape Tribulation and Cooktown?

Yes, all restrictions to these areas have currently been lifted and travel to regional areas is encouraged to help the tourism industry and stimulate the economy. However, we do ask that you exercise respect and precaution though when coming into these areas as it is widely understood that our First People Elders are particularly vulnerable.

What else is open?

Restaurants, cafés and bars are open, all operating under COVID-safe precautions and guidelines. Registration must be recorded for each person on entry, and venues are restricted to a maximum of 50 pax at one time. Wildlife exhibits and retail stores are also allowed to open, but many are working at reduced capacity to allow 1.5m social distancing. Many are selling entry tickets only online and other purchases are contact-free. Craft markets and farmers markets are operational, again adhering to the 1.5m rule.

What’s not open?

You may notice not all businesses are open. Due to the lack of international and some interstate travellers some businesses have elected to remain in hibernation until greater numbers return. In the Daintree region where the community lives off the grid, restarting visitor servicing infrastructure is costly and as such many will remain in hibernation till April 2021. If in doubt, call ahead.

We look forward to welcoming you to the region with warm (sanitised) hearts and open arms (but no hugging just yet).

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