Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What we're doing, how it affects our operations and what that means for our clients

At a glance

  • True Blue Reptiles are operating: With restrictions in place as per mandatory rules set by the Queensland government. 

  • How we are mitigating risk :

    • Physical distancing; staff and clients will be required to maintain physical distancing.

    • For indoor premises; one person per 2m square; staff to coordinate with venue 

    • Hand hygiene; staff and clients are required to maintain good hand hygiene, staff to provide hand sanitiser. 

    • Respiratory hygiene; staff and clients are required to maintain good respiratory hygiene. Staff are required to stay at home if they have cold or flu like systems. 

    • Updating and reviewing our policies and procedures, and consulting with staff on effectiveness.

    • Avoiding bookings where managing social distancing will be difficult (see services that are unavailable at this time below).

    • PPE; staff will use facial masks during human/animal interactions

 

  • Social distancing: Social distancing must be maintained (1.5 metre rule). This includes staff, and clients. Please note, This WILL affect the typical running of True Blue Reptiles shows and parties. Clients will be required to respect social distancing rules by maintaining space between themselves and others of at least 1.5 metres. 

  • Services that are unavailable at this time:

    • Premium Reptile Party

    • Reptile Displays

    • Free Reptile Shows

  • New Services that are available: Zoom shows are available by request for a nominal fee. Phone for more information 0431 093 181

Party Flags

To Party Safely

Date: 05/01/2021

 

You want to party, we want to party, it's party time! We've revised our party procedure to enable us to offer you fun, interactive reptile parties that are also COVID safe. Here's how:

 

1. You can party at a venue. If you book a True Blue Reptile Party at a venue with a COVID-safe plan in place, you may have as many guests as the venue can accommodate. Social distancing rules still apply. Some examples of venues include: pubs, restaurants, cafes, halls, community centres, private rooms, indoor play centres etc. True Blue Reptiles can make suggestions for potential venues, so please don't hesitate to ask. 

2. You can book for a small party at home. You many now book us to perform at a private venue (residence) with conditions in place:

  • you must have no more than 6 participants for the reptile party

  • participants must be school aged; and

  • strict social distancing must be maintained by participants and guests alike throughout our visit.

3. Private Shows & Family Only Parties. You may book us to perform privately at any venue, residential or otherwise, with the exception of public areas, such as parks, which may encourage gathering. Members of the same household are not required to socially distance, so family only parties are easy to manage.

4. ZOOM parties. Could you be underestimating the value of a virtual party? For a mere $50 (that's right) you can host a party with 20 + guests from the comfort of your own home. No masks required, no hand sanitiser, no mess what-so-ever. You get to see a bunch of reptiles and you'll have one of our dedicated keepers to chat with for an hour, animal lovers eat your heart out! And with our nominal rates, why wait for a Birthday Party? ZOOM with us, anytime, anywhere. 

Please note that these conditions are subject to change without notice.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. 

Sarah Jane Connop

Propriator True Blue Reptiles

Party Decor

Why we CLOSED, Why we've REOPENED & Why we're still not Partying

Date: 28/08/2020

 

If you weren’t aware, True Blue Reptiles has been CLOSED. Long story short, it was because of social distancing rules. We couldn’t reconcile those rules with our product, which is centred around it’s interactions; interactions with people and interactions with animals. Until recently, normal public interaction with animals such as patting, holding or touching was forbidden as this would bring handlers and clients together in breach of social distancing rules, that or else handlers would need to relinquish control of animals, which is in breach of our licensing requirements. As it turns out, no touchy, touchy animals, is not a popular concept for a mobile zoo, so we shut up shop for a while. 

 

And for a moment there it really felt like things were getting back to some kind of normal, until suddenly an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Queensland had authorities scrambling to locate patient zero and our premier promptly pulled the Gold Coast back in line with the rest of South East Queensland by announcing the 10 person rule for residential homes. And she cancelled schoolies! The new restrictions were announced on a Friday and came into effect the very next day at 8am in the morning, and like many other Gold Coasters I’m sure, uprooted our plans for the weekend (the 10 person rule, not the schoolies thing). 

 

I wondered how many weekend parties were cancelled last minute, how many entertainers were frantically trying to contact their weekend clients, how many little boys and girls were sad on their Birthdays when their friends couldn’t come. In a sense, we were lucky. True Blue Reptiles didn’t need to disappoint anyone on their Birthday because instead we’ve been disappointing everyone for months by not accepting bookings.

 

The timing might seem bizarre, but we’ve decided to reopen, well sort-of. Here’s what’s happening. ZAA or the Zoo Aquarium Association Australasia has put together an Industry COVID Safe Plan. It had of course been approved by Queensland Health and given the green light by our licensing department. It is the first decent guide we’ve seen for our industry, and specifically it addresses the concerns we’ve had over animal interactions and social distancing. Handlers can have contact with clients for the purposes of animal interactions, with the view that this will be brief enough to minimise risks associated with COVID-19. It’s a game changer. 

 

In line with current restrictions and with our most specific concern now addressed, we feel we can once again provide memorable reptile experiences that are fun and educational and (at least for the moment) interactive. However, we do not feel that way about our Reptile Birthday Parties. 

 

There’s a few reasons for this: 1. Despite the fact that animal interactions are no longer forbidden, they do have to be managed in a specific manner which we feel would be clunky and unfriendly at a Birthday Party. 2. We have limited control in a private setting, such as a child’s Birthday Party or in a public space where crowding might occur and yet we are obligated to keep everyone safe. And 3. We feel that we simply cannot offer the best possible experience whilst being true to the restrictions placed on us. 

 

We are eager to offer our Mobile Reptile Parties, and really feeling increasing pressure to do so! Looking around, it seems other party entertainers have been going about business as usual for some time now. Though I can’t help but wonder where the compromises are being felt, is the experience lessened to keep everyone safe or are safety protocols being ignored to keep everyone engaged?

 

The situation continues to change, when we first decided to close the business, Queensland had no cases of Coronavirus, the day of writing this we have 2 new cases and 28 active cases. Sadly 6 Queenslanders have died, and that really puts things into perspective for us. 

 

I can’t make any promises except this, we’re taking our responsibilities to the community very seriously. And when we finally go back to celebrating at Birthdays, it’s going to be a wild Mobile Reptile Party, we can’t wait. 

Sarah Jane Connop

Propriator True Blue Reptiles

Easing of restrictions & what that means for Birthday Parties

19/05/2020

Home confinement has now ceased and restrictions around gatherings are being slowly relaxed, please see the governments roadmap to easing restrictions linked here. 

As of the 12th of June, gatherings of up to 20 people will be permitted in homes and public spaces, and that’s great news for those wanting to celebrate a birthday party. However, while gatherings are permitted, businesses such as ours are still obliged to practice social distancing rules and that includes staff and customers of our services.

True Blue Reptiles are often invited to perform at private residences, where it is not reasonably practicable for us to ensure that social distancing is respected and is especially challenging when working with young children. Furthermore our ability to allow guests to physically interact with animals for either petting or handling requires True Blue Reptile staff to be intimate with guests, which puts handlers and clients alike at risk and violates our obligations under WHS law. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/…/gen…/duties-under-whs

We have considered many different options to mitigate risks at birthday parties, including, but certainly not limited to; the use of personal protective equipment, such as respirators and gloves and physical methods to space guests out at parties, but ultimately I feel that we’ll have little to no control at a private residence, and yet our business has the burden of responsibility and would shoulder the consequences if it came to that.

The department that governs our licensing (exhibited animals) is seeking further clarification regarding the staged approach and what that means for animal industry operations. As of right now, I have no specific information.

So until social distancing rules are relaxed or we hear differently from the Queensland Government, we are afraid that we’ll not be accepting bookings for Reptile Parties as described on our website. We will however, continue to accept bookings for NON-INTERACTIVE reptile shows including parties or ZOOM shows for a nominal fee. Please contact us to discuss.

We wish to assure everyone that we haven’t come to this decision lightly, and we are aware that others may interpret the rules differently. We hope to have more positive news soon!

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Sarah Jane Connop

Propriator True Blue Reptiles

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0431 093 181

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True Blue Reptiles is fully licensed & insured