COVID-19 & The Kimberley
I don't see any need to offer a running commentary on the current crisis. There's plenty of good information out there and I suspect many of us are already feeling a little overloaded with the drip-feed of bad news.
However, I did think it was worth sharing what the current state of affairs is here in the Kimberley for anyone that might still be entertaining the notion of visiting in 2020.
Updated Nov 14:
All remote Aboriginal communities are now under lockdown to help protect vulnerable people. With many community roadhouses also under lockdown fuel and other provisions are not available to the public in many remote areas.
Many operators, including El Questro and Home Valley, have announced they will remain closed for the 2020 tourist season.
As of March 25th ABC Kimberley is reporting the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Kimberley, with patients treated at Broome hospital.
As of March 25th the Kimberley region as a whole is closed to all non-essential travel. Residents returning home are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
As of March 28th Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation has suspended all visitor passes to the Mitchell Plateau and the North Kimberley until further notice. This applies to independent travellers and tour operators.
As of midnight April 2, travel between the Kimberley's four districts (Broome, Derby West Kimberley, Halls Creek and Wyndham East Kimberley) will be banned.
As of midnight Apr 6, Western Australia has closed it's borders, with limited exemptions.
The Gibb River Road, Kalumburu Road and Port Warrender Road (Mitchell Plateau track) remain closed. The offical advice is clear - stay at home and self-isolate.
May 18. Travel within the Kimberley's 4 shires is now permitted. The Kimberley remains closed to the rest of Western Australia.
Jun 5. Intra-state travel to the Kimberley from within Western Australia is now permitted. However, access to remote communities is still restricted and the Mitchell Plateau remains closed.
Nov 14. Western Australia introduces a controlled border, allowing interstate visitors for the first time in 7 months. Travellers coming from Victoria and New South Wales are still required to self-quarantine for 2 weeks on arrival. Remote Aboriginal communities remain in lockdown.