Softly, softly approach to reopening services


MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire services will gradually reopen during June with further easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The shire is following state government guidance by taking a staged approach with “necessary modifications … to keep our community safe and the pandemic curve flat”.

Services will operate with shorter opening hours and limits on numbers and time spent at the service.

The shire says its priority is to keep the community safe, and only services that can maintain physical distancing guidelines and numbers limits will open “at this stage”.

Updates about further changes to shire services will follow the state government’s announcement of a third stage easing of restrictions on 22 June.

Some things that have not changed include social distancing; wash hands and cough and sneeze into your elbow; stay home if unwell; if you have been working from home you must keep working from home.

Events on shire land, such as markets, will not run until restrictions are further eased.

Community services, such as meals on wheels, maternal and child health and immunisation, will continue to operate.

Community halls will gradually reopen from 13 July.

The second stage of easing at parks and outdoor spaces means that playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment can be used by up to 20 people at any one time. Physical distancing and gathering rules apply at all times. Hands should be washed or use sanitiser before and after using equipment.

The Briars park at Mount Martha is partially open, including the wildlife sanctuary, community forest, lawns and gardens with barbecues, Josephine’s Restaurant and Angus and Rose. Nursery and shop sales continue online.

Football and cricket ovals are open, but contact sports such as Aussie Rules and other codes of football and soccer, netball and basketball, are not allowed unless modifications are made to ensure physical distancing.

Groups of up to 20 people can train at any one time, as well as those running the training session. Martial arts, including judo, karate and taekwondo, must be modified so participants maintain physical distancing.

Indoor sporting activities are prohibited until 11:59pm on 21 June.

Libraries will reopen from Tuesday 9 June by appointment, with a click-phone-collect service ensuring books can be accessed safely. Reserves can be made by phone or online. Physical browsing cannot take place.

All loans have been extended to the end of June and no fines will be issued.

Public programs will remain online for a little while longer, including story time.

The Mobile Library cannot operate for now due to physical distancing requirements, but other outreach and delivery options are back. Call or visit the library website for details.

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery will reopen to the public from Wednesday 1 July 11am-4pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Public programs, workshops and education programs will continue online.

Youth services and programs where numbers can be limited and physical distancing managed will aim to resume  Tuesday 9 June. These may include the Youth Advisory Committee, Mornington Youth Action Group, Freeza Youth Committee and Social Space.

For more information call 1300 850 600 or visit

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 9 June 2020


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