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COVID-19: East Gippsland - the way we do business now

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the reliable source of up-to-date information on the coronavirus COVID-19.


You can follow them on social media, or regularly check their website for updates.

The department will have updates on the number of known cases, their locations and how to limit your risk of exposure.


Thermometers available for accommodation operators

We are distributing thermometers to accommodation operators to enable on-site temperature testing over the school holidays to assist in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Infrared thermometers are available for collection from 1pm on Thursday 2 July and available for accommodation operators who hold a Council-issued health licence (6 or more guests).

For full details on eligibility and how to collect a thermometer, click here.

This is a Victorian Government initiative.


East Gippsland - the way we do business now

East Gippsland Shire residents, businesses, Councillors, staff and the communities in which we live have been hit hard over recent years – by below average rainfall;  timber, fishing and farming industry transitions; the 2019/20 summer bushfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic.


We have been there for our community through all these events and now we have a plan for our gradual transition out of the Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Victorian Government.


Our plan, East_Gippsland -_The_way_we_do_business_now is designed to be dynamic and will be reviewed in response to government announcements and other changing circumstances. It will build on what we have learned about delivering our services since the pandemic began and sets out what Council will do to emerge from Stage 3 restrictions in a way that benefits our community, supports our people and continues to safeguard the health and wellbeing of both.


Our decision to reopen facilities and services is in line with advice from the Chief Health Officer and the Victorian Government’s easing of restrictions


What we know

  • Public playgrounds, outdoor communal gym equipment, skateparks and dog off-leash parks are open. Physical distancing and group limits remain.
  • We have completed a deep clean of our playgrounds, but these will not be cleaned daily.
  • Toilets associated with playgrounds are open.
  • We continue to recommend that people do not use public water fountains and bubblers.
  • We ask members of the community to be diligent with their hygiene practices in public areas.

We will announce details of when and how other services, not reopening as listed below, will reopen ASAP and provide these details via our social media channels and website.


Caravan Parks

Recreation Centres

Visitor Information Centres

Customer Service Centres 

Bushfire Recovery Centre 


Library services

  • The Bairnsdale Library has returned to normal opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 6pm; Saturday, 9.30am – 12pm.
  • Sanitisers will be available at entry and exit points, as well as various locations throughout the library.
  • Customers to be able to access and browse our collection and make selections without the assistance of staff, if sanitisers are used.
  • In order to ensure we comply with Victorian Government requirements some restrictions will still apply inside the library:
    • From 22 June, 20 people are allowed in the library building at any given time
    • The name and contact details of people entering the library will be recorded to assist with contact tracing should it be required.
    • Internet facilities (available computers and access on personal devices) will be available for a maximum 30 minutes per customer.
    • Restricted numbers and social distancing rules apply – please be patient and follow the visual aids.
  • Our contactless library and online services, included story time, rhyme time and e-books, will continue.
  • Satellite libraries (at customer service centres) will remain closed until further notice as part of a staged re-opening process.
  • The mobile library service remains suspended until further notice.

Caravan parks

As of 22 June, Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park and Eagle Point Caravan Park will reopen communal facilities. With eased restrictions all non self-contained campers can return. It is highly encouraged people continue to book in advance. All communal facilities previously closed to the public will reopen. Non self-contained campers can also return.

For the safety of our guests and staff, additional cleaning and sanitising are being undertaken regularly and social distancing measures will continue to be in place.

Visit our caravan parks section for more information.


Recreation centres 

From 22 June the recreation centres will progressively reopen areas of the facility including pool hall, health club, group fitness, school holiday program and stadium.

The Lakes Entrance Aquadome and Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre will operate from 6am to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm on weekends.

Bookings are essential to ensure the facilities stay compliant with COVID-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, if people do not pre-book sessions they will not be permitted entry.

Sessions can be booked via the website for the following week. Bookings close at 5pm the day prior.

Pool Hall / Health Club session times:

Pool hall and gym access will be available for members and casual users within operating hours.

All pools are available for use and are not limited to lap swimming, but spas and saunas remain closed.

  • Session duration: 1 hour (45 minutes activity time, 15 minutes to leave facility and to allow spot cleaning process to occur)
  • Number of bookings per session: 20 people per area / per session max.
  • Deep clean: 1 hour in the middle of the day when both the pool hall and health club will be unavailable to the community while a deep clean is completed.

Morning entry will be staggered:

  • Pool hall bookings will commence at 6am weekdays, and 9am weekends.
  • Health club sessions will commence from 6.15am weekdays and 9.15am weekends

Toilets and showers will be available, although we highly encourage people plan to shower at home. All showering etc must be completed within the booked one-hour session.

Group fitness:

Group fitness will return with a revised program. Timetables will be released for each site by COB Thursday. Bookings are required via our website the day prior. No walk-ins.

Children’s services:

The BARC holiday program will commence 29 June. The program will run with no excursions. This program will be subject to bookings with sessions capped at 20.

Aquadome and BARC creche and after school care will reopen for term three – 13 July.

Learn to Swim:

Further information is to come. It is intended to be able to provide this service by early in term three.

BARC stadium:

Bookings will be available for groups for 20 people maximum in the stadium space. For bookings contact 5152 5710.


Memberships will be reactivated on the first visit through LINKS and fortnightly direct debit will resume. Members will stay on suspension until they re-enter a facility.


Visitor Information Centres

The Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance Visitor Information Centres re-opened on 6 June. Opening details (subject to change due to demand and volunteer capacity) until 28 June as follows.



20-21 June: 10am - 4pm

22-26 June: 10am – 4pm

27-28 June: Closed


Lakes Entrance:

20-21 June: 10am – 4pm

22-26 June: Closed

27-28 June: 10am – 4pm

Visitor enquiries and bookings via phone and email continue to be available.


Customer service centres

Our customer service centres are open and operating normal business hours, with safety guidelines in place for the community and staff.

We are now preparing to return other services, including library satellite services, and more information will be provided ASAP.


The Bairnsdale Corporate Centre and customer service centres at Omeo, Orbost, Lakes Entrance, Mallacoota and Paynesville re-opened on 9 June.

Standard operating hours apply: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.

Mallacoota’s standard hours are Mondays and Tuesdays, 10am to 2pm; Wednesdays to Fridays, 2-5pm.

The Pyke Street Business Centre remains closed to the public.

  • We encourage contactless payments.
  • If you can continue to do business over the phone or online, we encourage you to.
  • Assistance from our planning, rates and other teams will continue via telephone and/or appointment only.
  • Library services at customer service centres will continue on a pre-order ‘click and collect’ basis from the library online catalogue or telephone. Staff will be happy to select items for customers. Library items can be collected any time during standard hours (no appointment necessary).
  • VicRoads services at Omeo, Orbost and Mallacoota and Centrelink services at Omeo are available by appointment only. Please contact Council on 5153 9500 and ask for your local service centre to make the appointment. 
  • We are complying with COVID-19 requirements, so customer numbers in each facility are restricted. We ask you to comply with the instructions provided at each centre. Some locations will have alternative access doors. Social distancing and good hand hygiene apply. We may ask for your name and phone number to support contact tracing (information will be kept for 28 days).

Bushfire Recovery Centre

The Bushfire Recovery Centre in Service Street is open to walk-in traffic.

Through the Bushfire Recovery Centre, you can access financial and legal support services, financial and personal counselling, and business support. To speak to the helpful team at the Bushfire Recovery Centre, call 5153 9500 and press 1.


What you can do

  • If you have any questions about any council service, please contact us on 5153 9500,  email feedback@egipps.vic.gov.au or visit our website.
  • Please continue to practice social distance and good hand hygiene.
  • If you have questions in relation to the easing of restrictions in general please visit the DHHS website.

Community newsletters


Coronavirus newsletter - 12 June  

Coronavirus newsletter - 5 June  

Coronavirus newsletter - 29 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 22 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 15 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 8 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 1 May

Coronavirus newsletter - 24 April

Coronavirus newsletter - 17 April

Coronavirus newsletter - 9 April

Coronavirus newsletter - 7 April  

Coronavirus newsletter - 3 April

Coronavirus newsletter - 31 March

Coronavirus newsletter - 27 March

Coronavirus newsletter - 24 March

Coronavirus newsletter - 20 March


Changes to council services


Forge Theatre

The Forge Theatre is closed until further notice (refunds or credits available).


Raymond Island Ferry

The ferry is closed to pedestrians during cleaning times. The pedestrian area will be cleaned three times each day.

Pedestrian access is not available between:

  • 9.30 -10.30 am
  • 1.30 - 2.30 pm
  • 5.30 - 6.30 pm

Business Victoria COVID-19 hotline

To help businesses with COVID-19 questions, call 13 22 15. 


How is COVID-19 spread?

It is spread through close contact with an infected person. Close contact means greater than 15 minutes face-to-face or the sharing of a closed space for more than two hours with a confirmed case.


A close contact could include any person meeting any of the following criteria:

  • living in the same household or household-like setting (for example, a boarding school or hostel)
  • direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a confirmed case 
  • a person who spent two hours or longer in the same room 
  • face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes with the case in any other setting not listed above.

What are the symptoms? 

Many people who contract COVID–19 will suffer only mild symptoms. However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. 


The most common coronavirus symptoms reported include:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue or tiredness

If you feel unwell

You need to call ahead before visiting your doctor or emergency department. This allows the medical centre to put infection control measures in place.

DHHS also has a self-assessment chart to help you decide if you should be tested.


More information

To find out more about COVID-19, including how to self-isolate and latest media releases on the issue, visit the DHHS website.



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