aerial view of reef


Protecting ourselves and the community

AIMS is committed to helping slow the spread of COVID-19 to our people, our community and to those from other organisations with whom we work. In line with regulations from the Australian Government, we are changing the way we operate. The information below is intended to share changes we have made, and will be updated as required.  

We continue to monitor COVID-19 closely and our management responses may change quickly as the situation changes. 

Our priority is the health, safety and welfare of our staff. We are monitoring what is a constantly changing situation, aligning our comprehensive approach with advice from the Australian Government’s Department of Health, and state and Territory requirements and adjusting our procedures as necessary. These measures maintain the health and well-being of our people while keeping important scientific research functioning. 

Despite this disruption, AIMS continues to function and deliver the best science for the nation. 

Updated 30th June 2022 

Working arrangements 

AIMS operates out of three major facilities in Townsville, Darwin and Perth.  

Staff have now returned to office-based work at all AIMS facilities with flexible working arrangement in place. 

Access to Townsville site for visitors 

AIMS has placed restrictions on visitors accessing our sites, including contractors, sub-contractors, and suppliers. All visitors must: 

  • complete and have approved a Visitor Screening Form prior to their visit 

  • sign-in and out of AIMS attendance register 

  • be approved and be hosted by an AIMS worker. 

  • For workshops and meetings, video conferencing options continue to be provided, recognising that COVID-19 is still present in the community, potentially constraining in-person attendance. In addition, all workers and visitors on site must adhere to physical distancing or wear masks, maintain good hygiene, and adhere to AIMS illness response requirements that are based upon the principal, “if in doubt, stay out”.  

National Sea Simulator 

Our National Sea Simulator is a key facility at our Townsville site that requires operational service and maintenance by technical staff and scientists. This attendance ensures the viability and continuity of long-term experiments and survival of organisms. At this time, all those working or visiting the facility must be full vaccinated, in addition to adhering to standard COVID protocols for accessing AIMS worksites. Anyone wishing to visit SeaSim must seek and be granted approval from Facility Management, to ensure the safety of guests and facility staff. 

Field work 

The AIMS field program provides essential science for Australia and lies at the core of who we are as an organisation. However, field work requires close working conditions and is often conducted in remote locations and involves staff working in close proximity to each other. 

To ensure the safety of our field staff and scientists through social distancing, all those undertaking field work must be fully vaccinated. In utilising this information, AIMS adhere to AIMS-IC-03 Privacy Policy and the principals specified within the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). 

AIMS has taken a conservative risk-based approach to managing the risk of COVID aboard our large vessels, and during other forms of field work. In addition to vaccination requirements, this involves routine Rapid Antigen Testing, and defined responses should a COVID positive case be detected. This has ensured the health and well-being of our people while keeping important scientific research functioning. 

Public tours 

Public tours of our Townsville facility are suspended until further notice. 

AIMS attendance at meetings, conferences and symposiums 

All AIMS hosted events will be COVID safe, with video conferences options available for those who cannot or do not wish to attend in person. Attendance to external events is permitted, with consideration of COVID safe controls in place included in the attendance risk assessment.