COVID-19: East Gippsland
COVID-19: East Gippsland
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 the DHHS 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.

COVID-19 restrictions eased

The Premier announced on 6 December the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions as part of the steps towards ‘COVID Safe Summer’. This includes changes that support the return of some of our services and facilities for the community.

Further announcements made on 31 December 2021, face masks are now mandatory indoors across Victoria (unless you have a lawful exemption).

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

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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.

Further information

What you can do

  • If you have any questions about any council service, please contact us on 5153 9500,  email 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.

Council's services

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 Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is open 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily.  

Caravan Parks

All caravan parks we operate are open.

For more information please see our Caravan Park information.

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.  

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 reopened 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.

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

  • 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 carry your face mask and keep 1.5m apart.

Raymond Island Ferry

The ferry is closed to pedestrians during cleaning times. The pedestrian area will be cleaned twice daily.

Pedestrian access is not available between:

  • 9.00am - 10.00am
  • 5.00pm - 6.00pm

EFTPOS only transactions. Masks are mandatory while using this service.

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.

Starting Thursday 29 October 6.00 am, the pools and Health Clubs of both the BARC and Aquadome will be open during the below times.

Opening hours

6am – 8pm weekdays

9am – 5pm weekends and Public Holidays

Bookings are essential for our Free Swim Friday sessions to ensure we meet our density limits.

Please visit the website to book.

Outdoor Pools are now open, operating times are weather dependant.


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 open.

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This page was last published on: 
Friday, January 22, 2021