Foreshore camping at Shire managed reserves in Rye, Rosebud and Sorento will resume on 2 January 2021.
The decision was taken after undertaking a detailed risk assessment following the State Government’s Coronavirus roadmap announcement of Sunday 22 November.
Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO John Baker said the overall easing of restrictions and in particular an increase in outdoor gathering numbers guided our thinking.
“We have been monitoring the situation on a weekly basis with the health and wellbeing of our community, campers, visitors and staff at the forefront of our thinking. After reviewing the details in the Premier’s recent announcement and considering the risks, we concluded it was safe to resume camping, albeit with some ongoing Covid requirements in place.
“I’m delighted we can allow the camping tradition to continue on the Peninsula this summer and I implore our campers to do the right thing to ensure a safe and successful season”.
Campers who had pre-booked for January will be contacted to determine if they wish to reactivate their booking. It is estimated that the camp grounds will operate at approximately 80% capacity to support social distancing and to ensure adequate space between sites. There will be no casual booking offered at this stage.
Campers will be asked to observe a number of Covid requirements such as a guest register for each site, complying with density quotients in amenity blocks and the wearing of masks where appropriate. They are also being encouraged to pack light and limit the use of extra equipment and kit to maintain a clear distance between sites.
The shire will be introducing additional cleaning of amenity blocks.
Mr Baker said ongoing concerns about the intermingling of beach goers and campers remain which is why the 2 January date was chosen.
“We determined that the large numbers of people who gather on the beach between Christmas and New year, plus New Year’s Eve activities posed a significant risk of over crowding in and around the campgrounds.
“We have been cautious with our deliberations and believe we have reached the right balance between public safety and allowing the camping season to continue”.
The Shire will continue to monitor the advice from the Chief Health Officer and update campers and the community if circumstances change.