Service changes and information about coronavirus

Thursday 02 April 2020

This page was last updated Friday 3 April at 12pm.

Yarra is committed to the health, wellbeing and safety of our community and workforce.

To help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, we have made several changes to our services, events and programs for the foreseeable future.

Please note Stage 3 restrictions are now in place. The Victorian Government has advised playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms be closed, and is enforcing social distancing requirements.

Changes to services 

Get the latest coronavirus information

The Department of Health and Human Services is your best source for the latest official information about COVID-19, regular updates and the steps to take if you think you’re at risk.

If you suspect you may have contracted COVID-19, call the dedicated 24/7 coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Information in your language

SBS Radio offers up-to-date news and information in 68 languages. 

For more information about COVID-19 in your language, visit Translated resources - coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Customer service centres

Our customer service centres at Richmond Town Hall, Collingwood Town Hall, Bargoonga Nganjin North Fitzroy Library and the Connie Benn Centre are closed until further notice.

You can still contact us by:

Libraries

Our five library branches are closed until further notice. 

All library programs, including Storytime and after-school programs, will not run during this time. The Home Library Service will continue to operate in a limited capacity for existing customers.

All return chutes are closed until further notice to prevent overflow. We don't charge late fees and are offering indefinite renewals on all items. Keep your borrowed items at home and use the online library to access our wide range of online resources of e-books, audiobooks and more

Leisure centres

Yarra Leisure’s Richmond Recreation Centre, Fitzroy Swimming Pool, Collingwood Leisure Centre and Collingwood Estate Gym are closed until further notice.

All programs, including group fitness classes, learn to swim and swim squad sessions have been suspended.

To help you remain healthy, connected and balanced, Yarra Leisure has created an online ‘wellness locker’ with fitness videos and workout plans, mindfulness tips, snack ideas, mental health resources and more. Take a look here.

Burnley Golf Course is closed until further notice. This follows a recommendation from Golf Australia to close as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Further information about the recommendation is available here.

Playgrounds and exercise equipment

Our parks and gardens are still open to the public, however we’ve closed our playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment until further notice to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Playgrounds have been taped to demonstrate to the public that they are not to be used.

We are also placing signs in our parks and along our walking paths to remind people not to gather in groups of two or more, and to continue social distancing as per the Victorian Government’s rules.

If you see someone breaking these rules, please contact Victoria Police on 131 444.

Tennis, bowls and sporting pavilions 

All sporting pavilions in Yarra are closed. This includes the Mayors Park tennis and netball facilities, Fitzroy Tennis Club and Alphington Bowls Club. 

Aged and disability services

We continue to deliver many services to Yarra's older people and people with a disability, with a range of precautions taken to protect the health of our clients. 

This includes physical and social distancing where appropriate, working with clients to tailor services to their needs and following the advice of the Victorian and Federal governments. 

The following services are continuing with modifications to protect our clients and staff:

  • delivered meals services
  • home care, personal care and respite care 
  • home maintenance
  • assessments for care and services.

The following services have been suspended or cancelled:

  • Willowview Seniors’ Centre and exercise / art groups
  • seniors’ social groups 
  • community transport. 

Should a staff member or client contract COVID-19, our Occupational Health and Safety Unit will work with other government departments to determine the impact on our services and options for continuing care or alternative arrangements.

Youth Services

Yarra’s Youth Services programs and activities are suspended until further notice. This includes the temporary closure of our Youth Centre at 156 Napier Street, Fitzroy.

The L2P program is also suspended until further notice.

We’re still here for you – get in touch by calling us on 9426 1455, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @yarrayouthservices. If you, a friend or loved one need urgent support, contact Triple Zero (000), Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Helpline (1800 551 800).

For businesses

We’re providing more than $7.4 million dollars of funding and other relief measures which include redirection of existing funding and grants, refunds and waivers for local businesses to ensure that they are supported during this unparalleled COVID-19 pandemic and through the recovery phase.

About the $7.46m support package

We've collated a number of resources to help business owners in Yarra, including:

  • a map of more than 170 local food and drink businesses offering takeaway/delivery options
  • free mentoring sessions
  • free membership to the Victorian Chamber of Commerce
  • information from the Australian Government, Victorian Government, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Banking Association and other entities
  • how to best support local business at this time

Visit our business page for the latest information.

You can also contact our Economic Development team by emailing business@yarracity.vic.gov.au

Events and venues

We’re following the Victorian Government’s restrictions on public gatherings, and will continue to do so when considering future event cancellations.

We'll endeavour to inform event attendees about any cancelled events on an event-by-event basis, and encourage you to regularly check our website for current information.

Town hall and meeting room bookings

We currently are not taking new booking requests for our town halls and community spaces. We are actively reviewing this and will provide more information as it becomes available. 

All current bookings until 1 July 2020 have been cancelled and will be refunded in full.

Children's services

Children's centres and programs

Yarra’s children’s centres and kindergartens are currently open, with childcare, kindergartens and occasional care still operating as usual. There may be some changes to specific programs – contact your centre before you visit for more information.

Parent activity programs and all external programs at Connie Benn Centre have been postponed until further notice.

Our vacation care, after school care and occasional care programs are suspended until further notice. 

Supported playgroups have been suspended until further notice. Contact your centre for more information.

The Federal Government has announced subsidised childcare for eligible families who need support through the COVID-19 pandemic. When we receive more direction on this initiative, we will share this information and work with the families who access our childcare services about what it means for them. 

Maternal child health centres

Our maternal child health centres are currently open, with some changes to services. We will no longer be seeing clients face-to-face, all consultations will be via phone. After you make a booking we will send you more information before your appointment.

You can also contact the maternal and child health booking line on 9205 5599 for more information.

Immunisations

Our immunisation services continue to operate, with additional safety precautions, until further notice. You can view upcoming immunisation sessions online.

In order to maintain social distancing protocols, we have allowed more time for these sessions and made changes to the venues. Find out more about these safety precautions, and what you can do to help.

The 2020 flu vaccine protects against the four circulating flu virus strains. It does not protect against COVID-19. We encourage everyone to get the flu shot as soon as possible this year as getting infected with both flu and COVID-19 at the same time will result in serious illness.

Parking

Parking permits

While we are mindful that some people may prefer to get around by car during this time, we're still unable to issue parking permits to ineligible residents or businesses. 

Parking permits will continue to be issued to eligible people as per our Parking Permit Policy.

We are taking the current climate into consideration, however remind drivers that is remains a requirement to park legally at all times.

Parking fines and fees

If you have received a parking fine and have difficulty paying, please make an online appeal with details of your current situation.

If you are concerned about any permit fees, please contact us with details of your current situation.

All other council services

Household waste and recycling collections, planning, building, animal management, and parking and traffic services are operating as usual until further notice.

Hard waste collection is continuing, but some delays may occur.

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