Your safety and wellbeing during COVID-19

Updated, 23 July, 2022

Thank you

We can’t thank you enough for your support and understanding as we navigate our way through the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Restrictions have eased but our responsibilities have not

It is well accepted that a fully vaccinated person may still unknowingly carry and pass the COVID-19 virus onto others. This means even if we are fully vaccinated we must continue to practice COVID Safe behaviours by getting tested as soon as symptoms appear, staying at home or in our hotel room when we are sick, continuing to wash or sanitise our hands, maintain physical distancing and wear a mask where we can't.


As a business we have legal obligations under the Work Health and Safety laws “to eliminate, or if that is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risks of COVID-19 at work so far as is reasonably practicable.” These laws impose very specific responsibilities on us to ensure the health and safety of you and everyone who interacts with us.

For the foreseeable future these obligations mean physical distancing, enhanced personal hygiene practices, such as washing and sanitising hands and the use of personal protective equipment, such as masks, will remain part of our ongoing procedures.

With many of our multi-day tours visiting locations that are long distances from transport or accommodation that can be used if guests become ill we will also be requiring the use of Rapid Antigen Tests as an additional control measure for the COVID-19 virus. We are hoping this will minimise the risk of having to arrange a costly evacuation of a guest or member of staff, at their expense, if they become ill or exhibit symptoms that are consistent with the COVID-19 virus.

As part of our Pre-tour health declaration, see below, we will be requiring guests to provide evidence of a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken 24 hours prior to meeting us for their pre-tour check (we will be referring to this as Day 0).

Additionally, at the pre-tour check we will be providing guests with two TGA approved Gardian T3 COVID-19-SARS-Cov-2 Antigen Saliva test for use the following morning and the morning of Day 2. The Gardian T3 Rapid Antigen Test is a simple but highly sensitive one step saliva test that does not require a swab up your nose or down your throat. Guests will be asked to provide us with a photograph of their test result as part of their Daily health declaration on the morning of Day 1 and Day 2.

If you have recovered from an infection of COVID-19 within 28 days prior to the finish date of the tour you will not be required to undertake RAT screening prior to the tour and on Day 1 and Day 2. However, in place of the photograph of a Rapid Antigen Test you will be asked to provide us a copy of the clearance letter you received from your local health authority (similar to this), when you complete your Pre-tour health declaration and then again on your Daily health declaration on the morning of Day 1 and Day 2. This is in keeping with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recommendations released on 8 July, 2022. However, if you do develop symptoms and it is less than 28 days since your clearance from isolation, to stop the spread of other infections, you must still self-isolate from the tour group until symptoms resolve.

Our collective behaviour controls the fate of the entire tour group so please be especially diligent in practicing COVID Safe behaviours whilst you are travelling to and on tour with us.


What we are doing to keep everyone COVID Safe

Below are some of the more important control measures we have put in place to minimise the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. They are informed by health advice provided by Australian authorities and the World Health Organisation and we continue to monitor this advice and revise our procedures accordingly.

If you have any questions about the control measures listed below please Contact Us by phone or email.

By booking on one of our tours you agree to comply with these measures. Mulga reserves the right to deny you from joining or continuing on a tour for failure to comply with these or other requirements that we may notify you of in the tour information document we will send you in the month prior to departure.


COVID-19 proof of vaccination

Guests booked on our tours will be required to email us a copy of their COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate showing they were fully vaccinated, including any boosters, with an Australian approved and recognised COVID-19 vaccine more than two weeks before the tour departure date. You can download a PDF copy of your COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate using your Medicare online account through myGov or the Express Plus Medicare app.

If you have a medical condition that prevents you from being vaccinated for COVID-19 you will need to request an exemption to join the tour prior to placing your booking. To enable us to consider your request please email us a copy of your COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate that shows you have a medical exemption. Exemptions for unvaccinated guests to join the tour will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Mulga staff have all been fully vaccinated with an Australian approved and recognised COVID-19 vaccine.


Your responsibilities prior to travel

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, (including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, runny or blocked nose, tiredness or fatigue, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea, headache, muscle or joint pain, loss of appetite) prior to joining the tour you must inform us immediately and defer your travel plans until you have received medical advice that you are allowed to travel.

You MUST NOT join the tour if you have ANY symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19.

To cancel or transfer a tour booking under these circumstances please follow the procedure outlined in our COVID-19 flexible booking reassurance.


Pre-tour health declaration

In the 24 hours prior to joining the tour we will be asking all our guests and staff to answer the following questions.

Before completing the Pre-tour health declaration you will be asked to provide and use a Rapid Antigen Test and include a photograph of the result with your declaration.

Questions:

  1. Are you currently required to be in isolation because you have tested positive to the COVID-19 virus? Yes/No
  2. Are you waiting to be informed of the results of a recent COVID-19 test? Yes/No
  3. In the last 14 days have you spent any time knowingly with a person who has COVID-19? Yes/No
  4. Do you feel unwell in any way? Yes/No
  5. Are you experiencing or have you experienced any of these symptoms in the previous 48 hours?
    1. Fever (a temperature of 37.5˚C or higher) or chills: Yes/No
    2. Cough: Yes/No
    3. Sore throat: Yes/No
    4. Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing): Yes/No
    5. Fatigue or tiredness: Yes/No
    6. Loss of smell and/or taste: Yes/No
    7. Aches and Pains: Yes/No
    8. Headache: Yes/No
    9. Runny or stuffy nose: Yes/No
    10. Diarrhoea: Yes/No
    11. Vomiting or nausea: Yes/No
  6. What time did you complete your Rapid Antigen Test?
  7. What was the result of the Rapid Antigen Test? Negative/Positive

Please attach a photograph of the completed test showing its unique identification number or if you have recovered from an infection of COVID-19 within the 28 days prior to the finish date of the tour please attach a copy of the clearance letter you received from your local health authority.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, you must get tested immediately. No matter the result of your test, you should stay home or in your room until you are well again.

You MUST NOT join the tour if you have ANY symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19.


Daily health declaration

Each morning prior to joining the tour group or visiting the restaurant for breakfast we will be asking all staff and guests to complete and sign the following Daily health declaration.

Questions:

  1. Are you currently required to be in isolation because you have tested positive to the COVID-19 virus? Yes/No
  2. Are you waiting to be informed of the results of a recent COVID-19 test? Yes/No
  3. In the last 14 days have you spent any time knowingly with a person who has COVID-19? Yes/No
  4. Do you feel unwell in any way? Yes/No
  5. Are you experiencing or have you experienced any of these symptoms in the previous 48 hours?
    1. Fever (a temperature of 37.5˚C or higher) or chills: Yes/No
    2. Cough: Yes/No
    3. Sore throat: Yes/No
    4. Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing): Yes/No
    5. Fatigue or tiredness: Yes/No
    6. Loss of smell and/or taste: Yes/No
    7. Aches and Pains: Yes/No
    8. Headache: Yes/No
    9. Runny or stuffy nose: Yes/No
    10. Diarrhoea: Yes/No
    11. Vomiting or nausea: Yes/No

If you answered Yes to any of the above questions you MUST self isolate in your room and arrange to get tested for COVID-19.

The following two questions will only be asked on Day 1 and Day 2

  1. What time did you complete your Rapid Antigen Test?
  2. What was the result of the Rapid Antigen Test? Negative/Positive

Please attach a photograph of the completed test showing its unique identification number or if you have recovered from an infection of COVID-19 within the 28 days prior to the finish date of the tour please attach a copy of the clearance letter you received from your local health authority.

If you tested positive to the COVID-19 virus you MUST follow these steps mandated by government and isolate in your room or other suitable accommodation for 7 full days from the date you had your test.

If you are not well with symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus, no matter the result of a PCR or rapid antigen test, you must not mix with others or continue on the tour until you are well again.

In keeping with Clause 5.2 of our Terms and Conditions "If you become ill or injured during the tour, or are required to get tested for COVID-19, self-isolate or quarantine, we will endeavour to organise medical or other transportation for you but at your cost."

Important: We are unable to transport guests who have symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus.


Temperature screening

In addition to our daily health declaration we may also randomly take the temperature of guests and staff before we start the day’s activities. If you repeatedly record a temperature of 37.9 degrees Celsius or above you will be excluded from the day’s activities (this is a generous temperature threshold and recommended by Mater Health for use in Queensland Tourism and Accommodation Industry COVID-Safe Plans). In these circumstances you will only be allowed to rejoin the tour after receiving clearance from a Doctor or, in a remote region where a Doctor may not be available, a Nurse Practitioner.


Physical distancing

With the exception of when we are travelling in the support vehicles, see below, please adhere to the physical distancing recommendations of staying 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with, including when you are on your bike.

Please greet people with a smile or if you are wearing a mask, a wave - don’t shake hands, hug or kiss as a greeting or farewell.

A good strategy to adopt when talking with others is if you think you are the appropriate distance from someone – just take a step back - to make extra sure.

When waiting in line for meals or tours or walking through busy areas, please be patient and give others space so they can also give you space. Please avoid mingling with other groups at communal areas such as rest stops, sightseeing locations, restaurants, cafes, etc.


Practise good hygiene

We have always provided hand sanitiser and separate hand washing facilities plumbed into our trailer's water supply at all stops where refreshments are served from our support trailer and we will continue to provide this service.

Please take the following hygiene actions before and whilst on tour:

  • Wash or sanitise your hands for at least 20 - 30 seconds, using soap and water or a hand sanitiser every time we stop for a refreshment break, before meals, when we arrive at our destination or after using the toilet.
  • Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands! Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue, then throw it away in a bin and wash or sanitise your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
  • Do not snort or spit, especially whilst on the bike.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not share bikes, helmets, drink bottles, glasses, crockery or cutlery other than with people you live with.
  • Please leave your helmet and gloves with your bike when we stop for a break. Never place these items on a table in a café, restaurant or a food table provided by Mulga.

Checking of Mandatory Equipment

The use of Mandatory Equipment has always been an integral component of our risk management plan. The purpose of Mandatory Equipment is to maximise your safety as well as the safety of the group and the requirement to show and carry mandatory equipment is very common in adventure activities.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic we would meet you face-to-face and ask you to show us each item of your “Mandatory Equipment” listed in our Terms and Conditions.

Physical distancing requirements now require us to minimise the time spent in face-to-face contact, therefore, we ask that you do the following for us.

One week prior to meeting us at the commencement of the tour:

  1. assemble all your “Mandatory Equipment” and take a photograph of all the assembled items. Ensure to spread the items out so we can clearly see each item, as we have done in the example below. Note your photograph does not need to be labelled;
  2. complete this online Mandatory Equipment Checklist indicating you have all the required items, attach your photo and click submit. (If you are bringing your own bicycle we will check your bicycle and lights when we meet you);
  3. do not forget to pack the Mandatory Equipment you have just photographed.
Example photograph of required mandatory equipment. 1 – Disposable medical grade face masks, 2 - Hand Sanitiser, 3 - Water bottles, 4 - Bright/ high visibility shirt, 5 - Rain coat, 6 - Long sleeve thermal top, 7 - Long thermal leggings, 8 - Australian standards bicycle helmet, 9 – Sunglasses, 10 - Small zip lock bag of toilet paper, 11 - Spare batteries and charger, 12 -Medications, 13 - Emergency food, 14 - Puncture repair kit (if bringing your own bike), 15 - Bowl, plate, tea towel and cutlery, 16 - Groundsheet for parking your bike on in your room, 17 – 3 x COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests

Important: The inclusion of Mandatory Equipment is an essential part of our operating procedures. If we do not receive your photograph and a confirmation you have completed the online checklist one week prior to the tour departure date you will not be allowed to join the tour.

We will ask to see the Australian Standards sticker in your helmet in person when we meet at the commencement of the tour. We may also ask to see a random item from your Mandatory Equipment so please have it all accessible when we meet.

If you have any questions about this process or require assistance in completing the online form please call us.


Tour support and shuttle vehicles

Our support and shuttle vehicles are still there if you want a break from pedaling, so you can cycle as much or as little as you please. However, to assist with physical distancing you should come prepared to ride the distance and road conditions planned for each day.

In line with state and territory regulations:

  • You will be required to wear a fresh face mask, provided by Mulga, that covers the nose, mouth and the side of the face at all times whilst boarding, whilst in our support and shuttle vehicles and when disembarking. Masks must also be worn when placing day bags in the vehicle.
  • The use of a reusable cloth mask is not permitted in any of our vehicles.
  • Hand sanitising will be required before entering the vehicle and after masks have been discarded in a bin after disembarking.
  • We will seat guests without physical distancing;
  • We will allocate each guest a specific seat in the vehicle for their exclusive use during the tour;
  • We will load the vehicle from the back first and unload from the front first;
  • We request that you avoid touching seat headrests and other seats as you walk to your seat;
  • You should not get out of your seat and walk up and down the aisle; and
  • We will open windows and set the air conditioner to external airflow instead of recirculation, unless it is not practical to do so.
  • We will be cleaning our vehicles and sanitising the touch points at the end of each day.

    Important: You will not be allowed to travel in the tour vehicles if you are experiencing symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19.


    How to wear a disposable mask


    Loading of bicycles

    In line with the procedure adopted by gyms asking patrons to wipe down the equipment between users, before we handle and load your bicycle into our support trailer, we will require you to wash your entire bicycle using the soapy water and brushes we provide for this purpose.

    If you are hiring a bicycle from Mulga you will still be required to wash the bicycle before loading. Once the bicycle has been washed we will load the bicycle for you. Please do not enter the Mulga support trailer during the tour.

    We acknowledge this procedure will make vehicle transfers slower than in the past but please be patient and ensure you maintain physical distancing as you clean your bicycle.

    Before you bring your bicycle on tour please ensure the bicycle is clean and the frame is free of any grease or dirt. This will help us whilst loading the bicycle and also reduce the risk of transferring unwanted weed seeds or biosecurity hazards along the tour route.


    Your Luggage

    In line with the guidelines set by Safe Work Australia we will be asking you to load and unload your own luggage. If you have a physical condition that prevents you from loading your bag, please let us know and we will load your bags once everyone else has done so.