COVID-19 Update

Last updated: 11:45 am 22 October 2020

This website is currently being updated.

The Victorian Government has announced its roadmap for reopening Victoria. For more information about the roadmap, visit: Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to reopening.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

From 11:59 pm 27 September, metropolitan Melbourne has moved to the Second Step of the roadmap for reopening.

From 11:59 pm on Wednesday 16 September, the Victorian Government has announced changes to restrictions in regional Victoria.

Face coverings remain mandatory for all of Victoria.

 

Restrictions and closures

Check individual park pages before you travel.

Restrictions and closures are in place for the following parks:

Northern Victoria

Western Victoria

Eastern Victoria

Metropolitan Melbourne

Bushfire-affected sites will remain closed, and seasonal road closures also still apply.


Common questions

Can I stay at a caravan park or camping ground?

Camping in metropolitan Melbourne is not permitted.

Regional Victorian can visit camping grounds and caravan parks in regional Victoria.

You can book accommodation with the people you live with, your intimate partner, or the household that is part of your bubble (your household can book accommodation with up to five members of your bubble household).

For regional Victorians, you can travel across regional Victoria to get to a camping ground, however you cannot travel to areas with higher restrictions such as metropolitan Melbourne. You can travel through metropolitan Melbourne to get to a destination in regional Victoria so long as you do not stop, unless it is for a permitted reason.

Visit the DHHS website for more information.

Camping is permitted for people who live in regional Victoria with the following restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Bookings for campgrounds and accommodation will have availability capped at 60% of normal capacity to allow for reduced occupancy and physical distancing.
  • Parks Victoria will collect contact details which can be used as a source of contact tracing if necessary.
  • Personal hygiene is the responsibility of all campers and visitors in parks. Visitors are advised to bring hand sanitizer, masks, etc.
  • Booking openings for the remainder of 2020 will be staged within initial bookings open from Friday 18 September until 19 December, capped at 60% occupancy
  • Roofed accommodation (e.g. huts, cabins) will be open for bookings from Monday 21 September.

If you are a resident of regional Victoria and currently have a camping booking, it is still valid, and you do not need to contact us. Please be aware that there may be restrictions or changes in place at the campground to allow for physical distancing.

Visitors can also currently book camping throughout 2021 except for Summer ballots and peak season bookings


How do I book a campsite in regional Victoria?

Visitors can book a campsite by visiting our camping page. Note that campsites can only be booked by residents in regional communities for stays from Friday 18 September until 19 December at this stage, and are subject to availability.
Summer ballots and peak season bookings have not yet been released, however, to subscribe to updates you can sign up here.


Can I stay at remote camping sites that do not require booking (dispersed sites)?

For regional Victorians, dispersed camping is allowed in regional Victoria, but only with the people you live with, your intimate partner, or the household you have formed a bubble with (your household can stay at campsites with up to five members of your bubble household). Physical distancing limits of 1.5 metres must be followed.


What park facilities are open?

In metropolitan Melbourne:

  • Playgrounds are open. 
  • Gym equipment and fitness stations are open. 
  • BBQs, drinking fountains and water bubblers remain closed.
  • Toilets remain open with increased cleaning requirements.

In regional Victoria:

  • Outdoor kitchens, BBQs, drinking fountains and water bubblers and other facilities are open.
  • Gym equipment and fitness stations are open. 
  • Toilets are open with COVID-19 cleaning standards.

Visitors are responsible for their own hygiene. Park visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitiser as soaps are not provided, wear masks, and practice good hygiene. 


Can I go bushwalking?

In metropolitan Melbourne, you can leave home for outdoor exercise within 5km of your home or permitted workplace twice each day for up to one hour each time (two hours maximum per day) and with no more than one other person or your household. You can leave your home to exercise in a park or forest if you live or are a permitted worker within 5km of that park or forest and meet the requirements above.

If visiting parks, forests and other public land:

  • Up to 10 people can meet outdoors for outdoor exercise, recreation and social interaction (infants < 12 months are not included in the cap)
  • Wear a face mask and maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others

Check that the park is open before travelling.

If you live in regional Victoria, you cannot visit public land or parks in metropolitan Melbourne for the purposes of exercise or recreation.


What can I do in a Melbourne park?

In metropolitan Melbourne, you can leave home for outdoor exercise within 5kms of your home twice each day for up to one hour each time (two hours maximum per day) and with no more than one other person or your household. Playgrounds, day visitor areas and toilet facilities are open.

You can meet and gather socially in a park with no more than one other person or your household twice each day for up to one hour each time (two hours maximum per day).

Piers and jetties managed by Parks Victoria in the metropolitan Melbourne area will remain open for exercise only.


Is recreational boating permitted?

Yes, individuals are able to go recreational boating and fishing.

This activity is required to be done within 5km of your home and a 2-hour time limit applies. You must maintain physical distancing and group limits apply.

Everyone must wear a fitted face mask covering your nose and mouth when they leave home, unless a lawful exemption applies.

Commercial shipping, commercial boating, land, port and waterway management functions and emergency access are exempt from these restrictions.

Check the Better Boating Victoria website for further information on boating.


Can I go fishing?

Yes. Fishing is permitted within 5 km of your home or permitted workplace.

You must observe the following rules:

  • Wear a face mask and maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with.
  • Maximum of 5 people from a maximum of 2 households.
  • Up to two hours per day total, split into a maximum of two sessions.
  • If you live in metropolitan Melbourne you cannot visit regional Victoria for fishing.


Can I go hunting?

No. From 11:59pm on 13 September 2020, if you live in metropolitan Melbourne, you cannot leave home to go hunting.


Can I go canoeing or kayaking?

Canoeing and kayaking is permitted within 5 km of your home or permitted workplace.

You must observe the following rules:

  • Wear a face mask and maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with.
  • Maximum of 5 people from a maximum of 2 households.
  • Up to two hours per day total, split into a maximum of two sessions.
  • If you live in metropolitan Melbourne, you cannot visit regional Victoria.


What recreation activities are not allowed in Melbourne parks?

From 11:59pm, 2 August 2020 in metropolitan Melbourne no outdoor recreation is allowed. This includes but is not limited to golf, camping, caravanning, trail bike riding, hunting, recreational driving and recreational flying.


Can I exercise or take part in recreational activity in parks within regional Victoria?

There are no restrictions on reasons to leave home or distance you can travel in regional Victoria but if you can stay home, you must stay home.

If visiting parks, forests and other public land:

  • Up to 10 people can meet outdoors for outdoor exercise, recreation and social interaction (infants < 12 months are not included in the cap)
  • Wear a face mask and maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others
  • For regional Victorians, travel is allowed across Victoria, but you cannot travel to metropolitan Melbourne

Check that the park is open before travelling.

If you live in regional Victoria, you cannot visit public land or parks in metropolitan Melbourne.

For example, in regional Victorian parks, people living in regional Victoria can:

  • hunt and fish, providing you comply with standard licencing requirements, regulations, legislation and policies.
  • go fishing and boating, maintaining a 1.5 metre distance between people.  
  • surf and swim at beaches that are open for exercise and recreation.
  • go horse riding.
  • go bike riding, providing you adhere to physical distancing requirements and ride in parks where bike riding is permitted.

While exercising outside you should avoid sharing exercise equipment and bring your own hand sanitizer and other hygiene supplies. 


Can I go bike riding?

From 11:59 pm on 2 August in metropolitan Melbourne, you can leave your home or permitted workplace to exercise outdoors in a public space, either alone or with one other person from within or outside your household. This includes walking, running, hiking, bike riding and other types of exercise such as yoga in the park.

If you live in regional Victoria, you are permitted to go bike riding within regional Victoria, providing you adhere to physical distancing requirements and ride in parks where bike riding is permitted.


Can I visit the beach?

In metropolitan Melbourne you can visit the beach if it is within a 5km radius from your home or permitted workplace. Swimming at beaches in metropolitan Melbourne is allowed. Lifesaving clubs are closed, and Life Saving Victoria beach patrols have ceased for the season. You are only allowed to exercise outside with one other person, including members of your household.

For people living in regional Victoria, you can travel to a beach in regional Victoria. But you cannot visit a beach in metropolitan Melbourne.

In regional Victoria:

  • You can go to the beach with a group of up to 10 people (infants < 12 months are not included in the cap)
  • Maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others
  • You can swim or surf at the beach

Check that the beach is open before travelling.


Will volunteer activities be taking place?

Volunteering activities on the Parks Victoria estate will not take place in metropolitan Melbourne.

In regional Victoria, up to ten people can participate in volunteer activities that are approved by Parks Victoria and follow Volunteering Safe Work practice.


Can I book a ranger-guided education program for my class?

Face-to-face ranger-guided education programs and learning activities across Victoria will remain suspended during Term 4, 2020. Digital engagement will continue to be provided at some sites as an alternative during this time.

Please contact education@parks.vic.gov.au with digital engagement requests, and if we can match your curriculum needs we will put you in touch with the most appropriate team.


Will self-guided school excursions be taking place?

Self-guided excursions and field trips can only take place in regional Victoria. Schools will individually manage the process for self-guided excursions and field trips, in line with guidelines from the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Health and Human Services.

School excursions by regional schools in regional Victoria have exemption from restrictions that apply to public community gatherings.

We ask that all educators and Licensed Tour Operators (LTOs) register their programs through ParkConnect, record all attendee details, ensure good hygiene practices, and practice physical distancing.


Can school camps be held on Parks Victoria managed land?

Rural and regional schools can undertake school camps in these areas when schools return to face-to-face learning in Term 4.

Camps will be limited to single schools from rural and regional Victoria and can only take place outside metropolitan Melbourne.

Schools in metropolitan Melbourne are not permitted to undertake school camps.

Check the Department of Education and Training website for more information and advice for camp operators.


Will bush kinders be taking place?

In both metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria, Bush Kinders run by formal early childhood centres and kindergartens can continue, where the program is a part of their regular and agreed upon outdoor learning. These Bush Kinder groups are exempt from gathering limits. We ask that all educators register their programs through ParkConnect, record all attendee details, ensure good hygiene practices, and practice physical distancing.

In metropolitan Melbourne, Bush Kinders led by Licenced Tour Operators (LTOs) are not running.

In Regional Victoria, LTOs can lead Bush Kinder programs but are limited to groups of up to 10 people.


Will Junior Ranger programs be taking place?

Junior Ranger programs are not running in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria parks. You can participate in activities online by visiting the Junior Rangers website


Can I hold a wedding ceremony in a park?

From 11:59pm on 5 August, if you live in metropolitan Melbourne you are not permitted to participate in a marriage ceremony, unless you have a reason on compassionate grounds.

In regional Victoria, weddings are allowed for up to ten people (including the couple, two witnesses and a celebrant). You should not attend a wedding if you are feeling unwell.

A permit is required to hold an event in a park, subject to park opening status and site suitability.


Can I book my event in a park?

No events are permitted in parks within metropolitan Melbourne.

In regional Victoria, you can book your event for up to ten people.


Can I travel with a Licensed Tour Operator?

Licensed Tour Operators will not be permitted to operate in metropolitan Melbourne parks.


Are cafes on the Parks Victoria estate open?

Café operators on the Parks Victoria estate are open for takeaway only.


Are retail outlets on the Parks Victoria estate open?

Retail outlets will be closed in parks within Metropolitan Melbourne.

Retail outlets within Regional Victoria will remain open for takeaway only.


Can I use cash to pay at Parks Victoria cafes and retail centres?

Yes, however, we encourage the use of cashless payments wherever possible.


How is Parks Victoria maintaining hygiene of its assets?

Some shared facilities remain closed. Park visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitiser as soaps are not provided, wear masks, and practice good hygiene.


How will you enforce physical distancing?

Directions will continue to be enforced through spot checks to ensure compliance with the directions of the Chief Health Officer.

People can raise concerns about compliance with directions through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. Workers can raise concerns via Worksafe on 03 9641 1555. And employers can talk to their industry regulator or peak body for specific industry related support.


What are the penalties for noncompliance?

Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $4,957 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:

  • Refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions;
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a direction by the Chief Health Officer to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,0000 for businesses are possible through the court system. Individuals who do not wear a face covering and do not have a lawful reason can be fined $200.


For up-to-date health information, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au


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