Jamala is Open!
Steps we are taking to keep our staff and guests safe from Coronavirus
At Jamala, our priority is as always looking after our guests, staff and of course our beautiful animals.
We have received many calls and emails regarding our reopening and what steps as a company we have put in place to minimise risks to guests and staff.
The National Zoo and Aquarium is spread out over 22 hectares (220,000 square metres), there is very little need for large groups of people to be close together. On its re-opening on 30th May, the zoo introduced further comprehensive measures to minimise any grouping.
A number of these measures are as new to us as they are to you and some changes to timetables, tour numbers and protocols may have minor impacts on our scheduling, so we ask that you be patient while we settle in these changes.
If you feel unwell prior to your arrival please contact the Jamala team as soon as practicable to discuss further.
Jamala Wildlife Lodge takes its COVID-19 response extremely seriously and prioritises the welfare of its animals, staff and guests at all times.
As such, anyone who has been in a designated COVID-19 Hotspot within 14 days of their intended arrival date will be required have their booking deferred.
As these locations are changing frequently we are asking all of our guests to keep updated with the current hotspots prior to departing for their stay at Jamala.
A list of current hotspots;
VIC: Any person with a Victorian address or who has visited Victoria in the 14 days prior to their arrival, until further notice.
NSW: Any person who has been in a location advised by NSW Health as needing to self-isolate as listed on; https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates#latest-covid-19-case-locations-in-nsw
QLD: Any person who has been in a location advised by QLD Health as needing to self-isolate as listed on; https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/contact-tracing
Please note that while anyone who visited Victoria in the 14 days prior to their intended arrival date at Jamala will need to defer, the NSW and Qld hotspots only refer to people visiting certain places (such as designated restaurants) on specified dates. If you have been to any of these locations on the specified dates and they are within 14 days of your intended arrival at Jamala, please contact our friendly reception staff to discuss further.
If a booking needs to be deferred due to a change in Government travel rules, guests will be able to change their date without penalty.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
The Jamala Wildlife Team
Social Distancing: for the guests staying at Jamala Wildlife Lodge, we have taken many steps to minimise larger groups occurring.
We have tried to combine this with increasing other benefits for visitors.
Changed arrangements to reduce the likelihood of larger groups forming include:
- To limit the number of guests gathering we have spread the check-in and checkout times. If you are unable to arrive during that time please advise Jamala reception prior to arrival and they will be able to assist you.
- Changing protocols for tour and group activities. We are moving to a single guided tour for Jamala, with fewer guests on each tour. This tour will occur on the morning of departure.
- We have changed our food service to ensure that all food is fully protected, which will eliminate the need for a buffet and for a number of people to be close together at the buffet.
- As an alternative to the afternoon tour we have developed a self-guided tour for you to enjoy at your own leisure after afternoon tea – this allows earlier access into your rooms. This fits in with the requests from many previous guests who, due to the luxury and the excitement of the animal interactions in most rooms, requested more time in their rooms.
- Asking guests to assist us by maintaining reasonable levels of personal space if a queue does occur.
- We have reduced the number of guests on our buses.
- We are also reducing ‘massing’ on the uShaka Terrace. This means that some guests will arrive on the Terrace at different times and when the terrace is busy, we will encourage people to spread out. There is plenty of room for this.
- There will be no more shared canape plates – these will be served instead as part of the dinner service.
- We have extended our split dining program to ensure that everyone is seated 1.5 metres from people that they are not travelling with. Everyone will be on the terrace at some stage, but some will dine upstairs with the sharks and others downstairs in the cave.
- We have removed any buffet or shared dishes from Dinner and Breakfast. There will be split breakfast times on busy days to reduce the number of guests attending at the one time.
Changed arrangements to reduce the likelihood of a virus being spread include:
- Increasing cleaning and disinfection routines across the zoo and Jamala
- Installing additional sanitising stations around the zoo.
- Monitoring advice issued by the Department of Health, investigating processes to minimise risk of transmission and closely monitoring the situation as it develops.
- Installing informative signage on proper hygiene and hand washing procedures.
- Reviewing operations to restrict open access to potential transmission mediums.
- Implementing measures to ensure staff and guests have access to resources required for preventative self-care.
- Encouraging unwell staff to stay at home.
- Reviewing our events and activities to minimise risks.
- Amending our cancellation policy to allow more flexibility.
We ask all guests to practice personal hygiene in line with recommendations and if feeling unwell to check with their doctor if they should be visiting Jamala at this time.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us on (02) 6287 8444.
These measures are aimed to ensure the safety of our guests, staff and animals, while in no way reducing the level of enjoyment and excitement that we expect you to experience at Jamala Wildlife Lodge.
Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time for everyone.