Service changes due to coronavirus

This page was last updated Tuesday 4 August 2020

It's likely that we'll need to make more changes to Yarra's services following the Victorian Government’s announcement on Sunday 2 August 2020 about Stage 4 coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

The following information may change with short notice as more information is received from the Victorian Government. We’ll continue to keep you updated about impacts to our services when we know more.

Thank you for your patience and understanding while we strive to provide the best and safest possible service to our community.

You can still get in touch with us via online services, calling 03 9205 5555emailing us, or reaching out on social media.

View changes to services

Aged and disability services

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

This includes physical 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. 

We are continuing to monitor changes in restrictions and will let you know when our services are able to re-open. 

Should a Yarra staff member or client contract COVID-19, we'll be working with other government departments to determine the impact on our services and options for continuing care or alternative arrangements.

Staying in touch 

Maintaining social contact during this time is important, so we're here to assist with:

  • regular telephone calls
  • mail outs, including mail-based art and social activities
  • one-on-one walks around your neighbourhood.

If you would like to take advantage of these services or just have a chat, please call us on 03 9205 5285.

You can also contact the Older Persons Advocacy Network on 1800 237 981 6am to 10pm (AEDT), 7 days a week or via email to talk about any issues or concerns you have.

Essential shopping assistance

If you need support with shopping, accessing emergency food or any other essential needs, please contact us on 03 9205 5285.

Free transport to COVID-19 testing

We acknowledge some people in our community who require a COVID-19 test may not have access to private transport. 

Everyone who has flu-like symptoms, even mild symptoms, should have access to COVID-19 testing. To avoid unintentionally spreading the virus, it is important that people do not use public transport, taxis or ride share services to visit testing locations.

If you need transport, contact us on 9205 5285 and we can contact our partner Access Health and Community to arrange this service for you. 

Access Health and Community can book government-funded transport to testing for people who live access services in Yarra. Transport is available between 8am and 8pm daily for people with no access to private transport and is free of charge.

Annual flu immunisation

All older residents are encouraged to get our annual flu immunisation. If you need assistance attending a GP, pharmacist or one of our immunisations sessions, please call us on 03 9205 5285. 

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 from Thursday 9 July 2020 until further notice.

In the meantime, you can still contact us by:

Libraries

We are temporarily closing our libraries from 5pm on Wednesday 8 July, to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the community and our workforce.

Yarra’s five library branches at Collingwood, Carlton North, Richmond, Fitzroy and North Fitzroy (Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library) will close to the public until further notice.

As of Thursday 6 August, the Home Library and Binge Bundle services will cease, until further notice.

All library programs will continue to be delivered online as scheduled, including Digital Coaching and Resume Rescue.

Please keep your items at home. Returns chutes are closed until further notice.

Remember, we don't charge late fees and will renew items on your behalf. No items will be due for return until Sunday 30 August 2020 and will be renewed automatically if our libraries remain closed after this date.

Enjoy the library from home and access our wide range of online resources including ebooks, audiobooks, Boredom Busters, Stay-at-Home Storytimes and more.

Library staff are available to help with information and research enquiries. Call us on 1300 695 427, email us or contact us via Facebook.

Leisure centres

Our leisure centres will close from 9pm Wednesday 8 July until further notice:

  • Richmond Recreation Centre
  • Fitzroy Swimming Pool
  • Collingwood Leisure Centre
  • Collingwood Estate Gym

In line with Stage 4 restrictions, Burnley Golf Course is closed until further notice. Find out all you need to know on the Yarra Leisure website. 

To help you stay healthy, connected and balanced, Yarra Leisure has created the Wellness Locker, packed with fitness videos and workout plans, mindfulness tips, fun family activities and more.

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 will be sectioned off with tape to make it clear they are closed.

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 physical distancing.

You may want to report a suspected breach of public health restrictions, such as:

  • isolation – people using playgrounds or outdoor equipment or not physically distancing in parks.
  • mass gatherings
  • business breaches – including personal trainers operating in parks in breach of isolation rules.

Please contact the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or report a breach online.

Tennis, bowls and sporting pavilions 

Yarra’s sport and recreation pavilions are closed from 11:59pm Wednesday 8 July 2020 until further notice.

This now includes Mayors Park tennis and netball facilities, Fitzroy Tennis Club, Alphington Bowls Club, Burnley Golf Course and Ivanhoe Northcote Canoe Club which previously had remained open.

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.

In the meantime we're still here for you – get in touch by calling us on 03 9426 1455, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram

If you, a friend or loved one need urgent support, contact Triple Zero (000), Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Helpline (1800 551 800).

Business support

We are working to update our business community on what these changes mean. We are working with the Victorian Government and will update you as soon as we can.
 
We are committed to supporting our business community through this challenging time. If you run a business in Yarra, we've put together a list of resources to help you, including:

  • what businesses can open and what businesses must close
  • a map of more than 300 local shops still open for business
  • refunds on council health registrations and footpath trading permits
  • details on the commercial tenancy relief scheme to alleviate financial hardship faced by tenants and landlords.
  • free business mentoring and online workshops
  • free membership to the Victorian Chamber of Commerce 

Visit our business page for the latest information.

You can also contact our Economic Development team via email.

Events and venues

We’re following the Victorian Government’s advice on public gatherings when considering all event bookings.
 
From Monday 3 July 2020, we  are no longer accepting bookings for weddings. Bookings for funeral services (with up to 10 people) are still being accepted.

Our venues available for hire include:

  • Mark St Hall
  • Emely Baker Centre
  • Fitzroy Reading Room
  • Fitzroy Town Hall
  • Collingwood Town Hall
  • Richmond Theatrette 

Read more about how we are currently managing bookings.
 
We recognise the importance of events to our community, and are eager to work with event organisers to ensure all public safety requirements are met according to current regulations.

Major event permits

We have opened expressions of interest for major event permits to help event organisers to plan for the year ahead. Any permits issued will be subject to the current Victorian or Federal government restrictions at the time of the event.
 
Regularly check our Events page for current information.

Town hall and meeting room bookings

We currently are not taking new booking requests for our town halls and community spaces. All current bookings until 1 July 2020 have been cancelled and will be refunded in full. 

We are actively reviewing this and will provide more information as it becomes available.

Family and children's services

Long day care

During stage 4 restrictions, our long day service care will be only available to children of permitted workers, and vulnerable children.

For further information please refer to our official email to all parents from 10 August 2020.

If you have any questions or need any support from us, please contact your child’s service directly.

After school care

Collingwood College and Richmond West After School Care programs will not be operating between Monday 20 July and Friday 28 August.

If you would like to know more about our service, please email us or call 03 9205 5555.

Occasional care

Our occasional care service is suspended until further notice. If you have any questions, please email us or call the Connie Benn Centre on 03 9426 1500.

Vacation care

Yarra's winter 2020 Vacation Care program will be be operating at two sites:

  • Collingwood College
  • Richmond West Primary School. 

Both programs will be based on-site, with no outings, excursions or incursions (visitors). Visit Vacation Care for details.

Parent activity programs, external programs and playgroups

Parent activity programs and all external programs at Connie Benn Centre have been postponed until further notice. Supported playgroups have also been suspended until further notice. Contact your centre for more information.

First-time parent group

First-time parent groups are currently being offered as online sessions while face-to-face groups are suspended. Our Maternal and Child Health team will contact you with further details. 

Federal Government’s childcare subsidy

We will update you on this as soon as possible.
 
For more information in the meantime, visit Services Australia.

Maternal child health centres

In line with Victorian Government guidelines for the service, all two-week, four-week and eight-week appointments will be at your local MCH centre for a brief 15 minute appointment, followed by a phone consultation. 

Home visits will be replaced by a phone appointment. We will contact you via phone or SMS to confirm your appointment and location.

To help us with physical distancing, we ask that only one caregiver attends your appointment wherever possible. Please do not bring your other children to the MCH centre. 

At this stage, all other key age and stage appointments will be via phone, and first time parent groups will be offered online.

Get in touch with us on 03 9205 5599 for more information.

Toy libraries

All Yarra toy libraries are closed until further notice.

Immunisations

Our immunisation service will be running as normal, with extra precautions in place. Some locations have changed – please download our immunisation schedule for details.

So we can practice physical distancing, we've allowed more time for sessions and changed some of our venues. Read more about what we're doing to keep you safe at our immunisation sessions. 

Flu vaccinations

Our $15 flu vaccine protects against four currently circulating influenza strains. It does not protect against COVID-19.

We encourage everyone to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible this year, as getting infected with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time could result in serious illness.

Recycling drop-off centre

Our recycling drop-off centre located at 168 Roseneath St, Clifton Hill is closed until further notice.

If you have items that you were intending to drop off, we suggest that you use your recycling bin or store the items until the centre re-opens.

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 it 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 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.

Temporary closure of Clifton Hill recycle drop-off centre

The recycling centre will be closed until further notice.

If you have items that you were intending to take to the recycling centre, we suggest that you use your recycling bin or store the items until the recycling centre re-opens.