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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.


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


Victoria's roadmap to COVID Normal

COVID-19 restrictions eased

On Sunday 25 October, the Premier announced the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions as part of the steps towards ‘COVID Normal’. This includes changes that support the return of some of our services and facilities for the community.

For more about current COVID-19 restrictions, visit the DHHS website.


Bushfire recovery

The Bushfire Recovery Centre in Service Street, Bairnsdale, is open. We encourage you to use phone or email and only where these options are not possible an in-person appointment at the recovery centre can be made. Contact 5153 9500 and press ‘1’.


Business and tourism

All economic development, tourism, event and drought assistance services will continue to be delivered, but remotely.

The Lakes Entrance Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is open 9am to 5pm daily. The Bairnsdale VIC remains closed.


Caravan parks

All caravan parks we operate are open to regional Victorian guests only.

For more information please see our Caravan Park website pages.


Customer service centres

Our customer service centres are now open.

  • Corporate Centre, Bairnsdale
  • Bairnsdale Business Centre (Pyke Street) - closed
  • Lakes Entrance
  • Mallacoota
  • Omeo
  • Orbost
  • Paynesville

We are also still able to service the public through online services, telephone and email. Transactions can be taken over the phone and through our website, and this is encouraged.

Our call centre is open from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm Mondays to Fridays.

VicRoads agencies – appointments only available at Omeo, Orbost and Mallacoota.

Bendigo Bank, Centrelink agency – available, no appointment required at Omeo.


Environmental health and building services inspections

Where inspections are to occur on private property, we will discuss requirements with individual property owners. This may include the rescheduling of non-urgent or non-essential inspections.


Fire preparedness - metro Melbourne 

As of 22 October, we’ve started issuing ‘Letters of Support’ for Melbourne residents wanting to visit their East Gippsland properties for fire and flood preparation works, as announced by the Victorian Government this week.

We are getting through the hundreds of requests already received and issuing ‘Letters of Support’ where applicants meet the eligibility criteria, considering relevant bushfire or flood overlays.

Some of these property owners will be able to visit their properties to start relevant clean ups as early as this weekend.

The letters of support come with a number of conditions, including a 72-hour window to visit, including travel time. Letters of support will be accompanied by a letter from the Chief Health Officer and Chief Commissioner outlining the holder’s responsibilities while in regional Victoria.

Monitoring of visitors and ensuring requirements are met will remain the responsibility of Victoria Police.

Any new requests we receive will be actioned within 2-5 business days.


Face masks

Face masks are available for vulnerable people (an initiative of DHHS) by phoning us 5153 9500. Face masks will be posted on request.


Forge Theatre

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


Library services

All our libraries reopen Wednesday 21 October with normal opening hours, however we ask that you please follow the restrictions in place. There will be a limit on the number of customers at each library. You will need to provide proof of address and provide a name and contact phone number for contact tracing (if needed).

Library sessions will be for a maximum of 30 minutes, and computer use capped at 30 minutes.

Libraries will continue to offer a click and collect online service. For the Bairnsdale Library, book an appointment by phoning 5152 4225 or email


  • Loans on books have been extended to 16 December 2020 so that you can abide by Chief Health Officer directives.

  • Library e-resources are available to download and can be found on our website under ‘Libraries’.

  • Online programs Storytime (Tuesdays 10.30 am) and Rhyme Time (Wednesdays 10.30 am) will be available via our website, Facebook and YouTube channels.
  • Please contact us for any library related help you need including technical issues with downloads. 


Our planning team will continue to be available by telephone, email and video-conferencing appointments during business hours. Planning permit applications, certification applications, requests for plans and requests for information are to continue to be made via email and electronic lodgement. Pre-application meetings are encouraged. Payment of fees will continue be via telephone.



All playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment are open. Please remember to wear face masks and keep 1.5m apart.


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

EFTPOS only transactions.


Recreation health clubs and indoor pools

We are excited to let you know that with the latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions our Recreation Centres will be able to open further at the end of this week.

Starting Thursday 29 October 6am, the pools and Health Clubs of both the BARC and Aquadome will be open during the below times. Bookings are essential.


Opening hours – bookings only

6am – 8pm weekdays

9am – 5pm weekends and Public Holidays

(Closed for deep clean 1-2pm each day)


Our booking structure will be as per previous arrangements - you can book a 1-hour timeslot throughout the day, except for during the deep clean time.

Bookings will open as follows:

Wednesday 28 October at 10am: Aquatics and Gym

Friday 30 October at 10am: Group Fitness


Sessions will be capped at 20 patrons in the aquatic area and capped at 10 patrons for the gym and group fitness.


If you would like to reactive your membership, please contact your Centre direct.


Hydrotherapy / Physiotherapy

You do not need to attend with a health care worker. You can book a session within public access time from Thursday 29 October – no therapy plan required


Group Fitness – Our outdoor programming will continue this week with an inside timetable to recommence on Monday 2 November.

Booking structure will be as per last reopening.


Swim Lessons – Swim lessons (AM/PM) are due to recommence Monday 9 November. To enrol please fill out our online enrolment form and we will contact you.


After School Care – will recommence from Wednesday 4 November.

Creche – will remain closed for now. We will seek expressions of interest before reopening is considered.


Please contact us at the BARC on 5152 5710 or the Lakes Aquadome on 5155 3333


School crossing supervision

Schools remain open to children of essential workers. We will continue to provide supervision on school crossings following social distancing protocols.

Some crossings at individual schools may be closed. This decision will be made in conjunction with individual schools and will be communicated to parents and caregivers.



All waste services continue. Payment is by EFTPOS only.

Tip shops at all of Council's waste facilities, including transfer stations, are closed.


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.

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.


Community newsletters

Coronavirus_Newsletter- 19 June  

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




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