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COVID19 Q and A

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – As at 08/06/2020 – updated 18/06/2020

A new Public Health Order for Lord Howe Island has been signed by the Minister for Health and Medical Research. This new order will mean Lord Howe will officially be open to visitors again 3rd August 2020! We look forward to seeing you all when our borders reopen, but until then stay safe and keep dreaming of us.

We are worth the wait.

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

No. As at 8th June 2020, there are no known cases of COVID-19.

What authority are these changes and actions being taken under?

As of 5am Sunday 22nd March 2020, Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard has issued a Public Health Order COVID-19 Lord Howe Island that declares Lord Howe Island as a public risk area and directs restricted access.

The Lord Howe Island Board, Tourism Association and community consider the health and safety of both island residents and it’s tourists to be of the highest priority and support the difficult decision to restrict travel to Lord Howe Island.

How long will the declaration of emergency remain in place?

The Public Health Order and associated travel ban will be in place from 22 March 2020. The order is repealed at the beginning of 18 June 2020.

A new Public Health Order for Lord Howe Island has been signed by the Minister for Health and Medical Research. This new order will mean Lord Howe will officially be open to visitors again 3rd August 2020! We look forward to seeing you all when our borders reopen, but until then stay safe and keep dreaming of us.

We are worth the wait.The COVID-19 situation will continue to be monitored closely.

Why has this decision been made?

The decision has been made to protect the Lord Howe Island community through a number of measures including a travel ban. Lord Howe Island’s community is 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.

The island has limited capacity to provide specialist medical care to patients with severe COVID-19 infections. In addition, the island has a number of vulnerable residents and would have expected to welcome a significant number of older visitors over the coming months.

What are the requirements of the current travel ban?

Only residents and essential personnel will be permitted to travel to Lord Howe 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 Lord Howe Island Board on 02 6563 2066.
Medical evacuation flights are exempt from travel restrictions.

Access to and from the island is restricted to the following persons:

  • Residents of Lord Howe Island,
  • Non-residents of Lord Howe Island but only to leave the Island,
  • Persons required to provide, or support, health services and other essential services to persons on the Island,
  • Persons who are part of the crew of an airplane or ship providing supplies to the island or related to providing supporting, health care service, or essential services’
  • A person with written approval from the Coordinator General.

What are the flight schedules in and out of Lord Howe Island?

Qantas flights will continue but will reduce in frequency and only carry leaving passengers and incoming residents or essential staff.

From the 31st March Qantas will move to one flight a week. This flight is scheduled for Tuesday departing Sydney to LHI on QF2260 at 11.55 am and arriving LHI at 14.25pm. Then returning to Sydney from LHI on QF2261 at 14.55pm and arriving 16.40pm.

Residents who are currently off island and wish to return to Lord Howe Island on any incoming flights need to verified their residency with the Lord Howe Island Board and Qantas Staff.

If you are travelling after the 30th March and are a resident of Lord Howe Island as at the 22nd March, the following process will apply.

If you leave the island with an intent to return or are currently on the mainland and hope to return to Lord Howe Island during the period of the Order, you will be required to fill in a Request for Return Access to Lord Howe Island form. This can be obtained by emailing administration@lhib.nsw.gov.au or phoning the Lord Howe Island Board administration on (02)6563066.

Non- residents and Essential services will also need to follow this process.

For additional information on travel and quarantine on Lord Howe Island please visit the Lord Howe Island Board Facebook page @LHIBoard or website lhib.nsw.gov.au.

If you were planning on visiting the island and your travel plans have been disrupted please contact your travel agent/ accommodation provider and Qantas. 

Eastern Air Services flights are responding as required and you are urged to call Eastern Air Services to clarify your flight arrangements.

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

There is currently no requirement to self-isolate on mainland Australia when you arrive from Lord Howe Island, although this may change. Please visit health.gov.au for further information.

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

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

It is critical that self isolation requirements are strictly adhered to. These can be found at the following link. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/contacts-and-travellers.aspx

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

Lord Howe Island is a small supportive community. How to assist those in isolations is being developed as required.

What if I work in, or deliver goods to houses on Lord Howe 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 and if they are in self-isolation ensure that you do not undertake the service unless you can keep strict separation. See the guidleines at this link https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/contacts-and-travellers.aspx

The Lord Howe Island Trader

The Lord Howe Island Trader will continue it’s regular sea freight service to the island from Port Macquarie. Currently to schedule until further notice.

Freight and Air services

It is understood that Eastern Air Services will continue it’s regular freight service until further notice.

Mail services

The post office as of next week will be opening from Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm and on Tuesday 2-4pm to sort out the incoming mail. Please remember all outgoing mail will be closed at 11am on Tuesday morning. The seamail will remained the same as MV Island Trader will continue to bring cargo to the Island as per their schedule which is normally every two weeks except in April where there will be a 3 weeks layover.

Are there fines if I do not self-isolate on Lord Howe 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 Lord Howe Island community.

Section 10 of the Public Health Act 2010 creates an offence if an individual fails to comply with a direction with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 6 months or a fine of up to $11,000 (or both) plus a further $5,500 fine each day the offence continues. Corporations that fail to comply with a direction are liable to a fine of $55,000 and $27,500 each day the offence continues.

Full NSW guidelines for isolation

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Documents/covid-19-self-isolation-guidelines.pdf

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other colds and flus and include:
·Fever
·Cough
·Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)

  • Other early symptoms to watch for are chills, body aches, sore throat, headache and runny nose, muscle pain, or diarrhoea.

It is critical that you follow the advice on the following link https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/contacts-and-travellers.aspx

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 Lord Howe Island Island, you should make a telephone call to the Lord Howe Island Gower Memorial Hospital 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.
Lord Howe Island Hospital : 026563 2000

For out of hours’ assistance call the:

Lord Howe Island Doctor : 02 6563 2056
Lord Howe Island Police : 02 6563 2199

Please contact the Lord Howe Island Board Administration
Phone: 02 6563 2066 or email: administration@lhib.nsw.gov.au

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.

Lord Howe Island Community Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1082341255113907/

Lord Howe Island Administration’s Media Releases:
https://www.lhib.nsw.gov.au/coronavirus-update

Lord Howe Island Board Website:
https://www.lhib.nsw.gov.au/

Government Gazette 53:

https://gazette.legislation.nsw.gov.au/so/download.w3p?id=Gazette_2020_2020-53.pdf

Public Health (COVID-19 Lord Howe Island) Order 2020 under the Public Health Act 2010:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Documents/covid-19-public-health-order-lord-howe-island-20200320.pdf