COVID-19 Update

Last updated: 4:45 pm 25 May 2020


Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

The Victorian Government has announced the gradual easing of restrictions throughout the state from 1 June 2020.

To keep yourself and your friends and family safe there are key actions that Victorians are being asked to continue as restrictions are eased:

  • Keep your distance – stay 1.5 metres away from others
  • Practise good hygiene
  • Stay at home if you are unwell, and get tested if you have symptoms
  • If you can work from home, you must work from home

All eased restrictions and the proposed dates are subject to the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the continued management to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).


Camping and accommodation

From 11.59 pm on 31 May 2020, camping and accommodation will be permitted in some areas.

Campgrounds and accommodation that require the use of communal areas, such as shared bathrooms and kitchens, are subject to the current restrictions and will remain closed.

This is because communal facilities may increase the potential risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. As we work to keep our state safe, this remains an important precaution.

We are assessing all Parks Victoria managed campgrounds to determine which ones can be opened safely in line with the latest requirements.


National and state parks

Under the new directions, parks may reopen for hiking and other recreational activities.

Right now, you can gather in groups of ten. From 11:59 pm on 31 May, gathering sizes can increase to 20 people.

Where possible, driving with passengers outside your household should be avoided.

Where allowed, you can go fishing, hunting, gold prospecting but you must ensure 1.5 metres can be maintained between yourself and others.

Right now, you can gather in groups of ten. From 11:59 pm on 31 May, gathering sizes can increase to 20 people.

Fishing or hunting competitions cannot currently occur.

As always though, Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes their activities.


Beaches

You can relax at the beach, have a picnic or play non-contact sports.

Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and other people at all times.

Right now, you can gather in groups of ten. From 11:59pm on 31 May, gathering sizes can increase to 20 people, however multiple groups of 20 people should not gather close by.

As always though, Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes their activities.


Playgrounds

From 11.59pm on 25 May 2020 public playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skateparks will open with a maximum of 10 people allowed to use equipment at any one time.

From 11.59pm on 31 May 2020 up to 20 people can use public playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skateparks.

Physical distancing and mass gathering rules apply at all times.


Restrictions until 31 May 2020

The Victorian Government is directing all Victorians to stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Every Victorian must play their part. By staying at home and limiting contact with other people, we can protect the elderly, the at-risk, and our healthcare workers and each other.

There are five reasons that you can leave home:

  • shop for food and other necessary goods and services
  • access medical services or provide caregiving – for example, this includes shared parenting obligations or providing care and support to an unwell, disabled, elderly or pregnant friend or relative
  • attend work or education where you can’t do those things from home
  • exercise and participate in some recreational activities adhering to the rules
  • visit friends, family and loved ones while adhering to the rules.

Some restrictions have been cautiously eased to allow people to look after their own, and others’ health, wellbeing and social connection, however, the message remains clear: If you can stay at home – you must stay at home.

Most of our parks, reserves and historic places are now open for day-use activities, provided that physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people and maximum of 10 people is observed at all times. There are nine sites (listed below) that will remain closed to comply with physical distancing measures to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, Parks Victoria staff will monitor visitation rates with the possibility of further changes to park closures, pending advice from health authorities.


For more information visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au


Current closures

  • BBQ facilities, water fountains, playgrounds and outdoor gyms remain closed.
  • Camping and overnight activities are not permitted and all campgrounds remain closed.
  • All Parks Victoria Visitor Information Service Desks and Centres are also closed to the public until further notice.

The following visitor sites remain closed:

  • Point Nepean National Park - Fort Nepean, including underground tunnels (no access beyond Fort Pearce), Gunners Cottage (car park open) and all buildings in the Quarantine Station, including the Visitor Information Centre, Shepherd’s Hut, Hospital 3 and Cook House; and bike hire and ice-cream sales are not available.
  • St Kilda Pier - the pier remains open however, the penguin viewing platform is closed until further notice. 
  • State Coal Mine - café and underground tours are closed until further notice.
  • Werribee Park - mansion tours are closed until further notice.

Bushfire affected sites will remain closed, and seasonal road closures also still apply.


Current restrictions

  • 1000 steps/Kokoda Memorial Walk will be restricted to a singular direction to maintain physical distancing. Visitors will be permitted to go up the steps from Ferntree Gully Picnic Ground and descend via the Lyrebird Track to the carpark. Physical distancing of 1.5 metres between people and maximum of 10 people rules should be observed at all times.
  • All events, filming and photography are now restricted to a maximum of 10 people. Weddings allow 10 guests in addition to the couple and celebrant. Funerals allow 20 mourners indoors, and 30 outdoors plus people to run the funeral.
  • Fishing, including charter fishing, fishing from the shore and from a boat is permitted, with anchoring allowed only while fishing, and at all times in groups of no more than 10 people and physical distancing of 1.5 metres must be maintained. For more information visit the Better Boating Victoria website.
  • Beaches are open and are accessible for exercise in groups of no more than 10 people and physical distancing of 1.5 metres must be maintained.
  • Recreational boating and other boating activities including water-skiing and wakeboarding, kayaking, canoeing and paddle-boarding, sailing, windsurfing and jet-skiing are permitted in groups of no more than 10 people and physical distancing of 1.5 metres must be maintained. For more information visit the Better Boating Victoria website.
  • Hunting (including duck hunting for the remainder of the 2020 season) is permitted. Groups must be limited to no more than 10 people and physical distancing of 1.5 metres must be maintained. Some wetlands, or parts of wetlands, are closed to hunting or are further regulated during the 2020 duck hunting season. For more information visit the Game Management Authority website.

 

For more information about outdoor recreational activities restrictions visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.


If visiting a park:

  • Observe physical distancing of 1.5 metres at all times
  • You cannot gather in groups of more than 10 people
  • Check that the park/forest is open and safe before travelling
  • Bring your own hand sanitiser and be mindful of others
  • Staying apart is keeping us together.
  •  


Common questions

How long will these areas be closed for?
These sites will remain closed until advice changes. Until then, Parks Victoria will monitor advice from the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Is my health at risk if I visit other sites that are not closed?
We encourage everyone to follow the health advice provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. Current advice for all Victorians is to stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Will you be enforcing the closures?
Closures will be enforced. Signs will be in place at all closed locations and patrols will be undertaken.
Compliance with this direction is enforceable under section 203 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and penalties apply.
Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses who don’t follow these directions.


For up-to-date health information, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 
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