Police to put up road blockades in Cape York coronavirus lockdown

Cape York is in lockdown, with police stopping all non-essential travel in a bid to protect Indigenous communities with high numbers of vulnerable residents at risk of contracting COVID-19.

In a message to residents, Cook Shire Council said the lock down will apply from 5pm today (Sunday 22 March 2020) after the State Government informed the council of its plan for restricted access this morning.

The notice to residents reads:

Police will be stationed at various access points to the Shire, in particular on the Mulligan Highway potentially near Mt Carbine or Lakeland to advise on travel restrictions on all non-essential travel to Cape York and Torres Strait.

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

At this stage Council has no further information, but will continue to be in communication with the State Government agencies and other Councils throughout today and the next few days 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.