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City of Melbourne advises that community facilities will reopen this week

City of Melbourne advises that community facilities will reopen this week
June 1, 2020

The City of Melbourne, one of the first local governments to close its facilities due to the Coronavirus crisis, has advised that it is to commence the staged re-opening of libraries, recreation centres, community sports fields and skate parks as lockdown restrictions are eased across Victoria.

Advising that select Council facilities will begin to re-open this week, with strict capacity and physical distancing rules in line with the best health and safety advice and Victorian Government restrictions, Lord Mayor Sally Capp today advised “we know people have been missing community facilities such as libraries and pools but safety is our first priority so will take a staged approach to re-opening.

“Pedestrian numbers within the city have increased by more than 20% in the past week compared to three weeks ago.

“However, we cannot rush back to the way things were. It’s vital we work together, follow physical distancing guidelines and maintain good hygiene practices to help keep our community safe.”

Chair of the People City portfolio, Councillor Beverley Pinder, said sporting fields are among the first to re-open after months of limited physical activity, stating “sport means so much to Melburnians and local clubs play a vital role in promoting health and wellbeing. Access to sporting fields will be given to clubs who are managing their own COVID-19 Return to Play Plan,

“Kensington Community Recreation Centre will re-open this Thursday 4th June with rules for patron limits and physical distancing. This includes limiting the number of people using our pools to two per lane and restricting access to change room facilities.

“Patrons will be able to enjoy a return to the rest of our recreation facilities at Melbourne City Baths, North Melbourne Recreation Centre and Carlton Baths when they re-open later this month. We will announce more details soon.”

The City of Melbourne will re-open City Library, Library at the Dock, Kathleen Syme Library, North Melbourne Library, Southbank Library and East Melbourne Library from Tuesday 9th June.

Chair of the Knowledge City portfolio, Councillor Dr Jackie Watts, said that the good news is that libraries are reopening with restricted patron numbers and reduced hours, adding “the safety of our staff and the community is vital as we re-open our much-loved libraries.

“Access to our libraries will be prioritised for people who are unable to access the internet at home, those facing social isolation and people experiencing economic hardship.

“Our libraries will provide access to computers, internet, printing, reserved books, limited access to collections and our City Library social worker.

“For people unable to return to our branches, I certainly encourage them to continue using our digital library services.

“Since COVID-19 restrictions began, we’ve experienced a huge surge in demand for e-library services, including a 76% increase in eBook loans and a 59% increase in eAudiobook usage. Evidence shows that Libraries are well understood as a fundamental resource to our community.”

Image: The YMCA-managed Kensington Community Recreation Centre will re-open this Thursday. Courtesy of City of Melbourne.

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