Council reopening recreation spaces with some restrictions

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Surf Coast Shire Council is reopening a range of public recreation and community facilities from tonight, in line with Victorian Government easing of COVID-19 isolation regulations.

Outdoor basketball, netball and tennis courts and sporting ovals will be among spaces and facilities available for use by groups of up to 10 people, provided users maintain 1.5m physical distancing and observe Covid-Safe hygiene measures.

Council spaces and facilities to re-open for use will include:

  • Beaches

  • Basketball courts

  • Tennis courts

  • Netball courts

  • Winchelsea golf course

  • Lawn bowls greens

  • Equestrian arenas

  • Sporting fields including ovals and pitches

  • Bike parks

  • Lookouts

  • Toilets at recreation venues

  • Community gardens.

“In line with the latest advice from the Premier and Chief Health Officer we are returning public access to many important recreation facilities,” Council Chief Executive Officer Keith Baillie said.

“It will be good to enable people to return to some of the healthy activities they enjoy after their periods in lockdown, but we remind everyone to keep observing the essentials like gathering restrictions, social distancing and maintaining high level hygiene with frequent hand washing and coughing into elbows.

“Exercise is one of the five reasons people can justify leaving home but the bottom line message for Victoria remains if you can stay home, stay home.

“We have been liaising with our sporting and community user groups informing them of re-opening plans and many of them will need to carefully manage how they go about their activities.”

Mr Baillie said clubs hoping to resume training should refer to official guidance being issued by state authorities for their sport.

Mr Baillie also urged Surf Coast beachgoers and park visitors to continue observing gathering and physical distancing regulations and heightened hygiene precautions.

“Our community has done so well in preventing the spread of the virus, now this is another critical stage,” Mr Baillie said.

“Easing of restrictions will mean increased risk of transmission. We can’t let any casual attitude undo the good work. Please maintain good hygiene habits like regular hand washing and continue to take care of yourself and those around you.”

The Victorian Government’s easing of isolation regulations will take effect from 11.59pm today.

Surf Coast Shire facilities which will remain closed include:

  • Skate parks

  • Playgrounds

  • Public barbecues

  • Drinking fountains

  • Outdoor fitness equipment

  • Indoor sports facilities

  • Sports pavilions and change rooms

  • Community halls and centres

  • Winchelsea RV Park.

Mr Baillie said Council was working through the implications of today’s Victorian Government announcement on students returning to school and is awaiting guidance on the approach to fully re-open kindergartens.

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