Released 12/05/2020 - Joint media release
ACT playgrounds and parks will be reopened from midnight Friday 15 May, and limited library services will be available from Monday 18 May as COVID-19 restrictions start to ease.
Minister for City Services Steel said that the ACT Government is pleased to be able to reopen public spaces, but urged the community to take personal responsibility for maintaining strict hygiene and social distancing.
"We ask that Canberrans using these reopened public spaces stay vigilant by washing hands and wiping any equipment, distancing yourselves from others and avoiding crowding," Minister Steel said.
Minister Steel said that local children and families are keen to get back to the playground after being closed six weeks ago due to COVID-19.
"Families visiting playgrounds do so at their own risk and parents must ensure their children wash their hands before and after use, as if the last child using it had the virus.
It is important to remember that limits on all outdoor gatherings in the ACT remains at a maximum of 10 people (including children), unless they are from the same household.
Libraries ACT will from Monday 18 May initially reopen three of its branches, Dickson, Gungahlin, and Woden, with others to follow at a later stage. Restrictions around the number of people visiting at one time will be in place (1 person per 4 square metres) and time limits for visits will also apply. The three libraries will be open from 10.00am-5.30pm on weekdays.
Library patrons will be asked to keep their visit to under 30 minutes and at this stage we cannot allow people to sit down inside the branches unless they have pre-booked one of the 30 minute computers. Hand sanitiser will be provided and visitors will be expected to use it upon entry.
"Libraries play a vital role in allowing people to reach friends and family through internet access so this is a positive step to reconnect the community," Minister Steel said.
"With more Canberrans wanting to occupy themselves at home, reopening libraries will enable Canberrans to borrow books and other resources with safety measures in place."
Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman said Canberrans were welcome back to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and the playgrounds at Casuarina Sands, Cotter and Pine Island.
"I am excited to announce that all areas of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve are now open with exception of the Visitor Information Centre, Nil Desperandum Homestead and the Koala enclosure which are receiving some upgrades, Minister Gentleman said.
"The team have been busy repairing infrastructure damaged by fire and floods and upgrading various sections of the reserve. Some new additions include and new viewing platform on Cascades and Lyrebird trail, path upgrades for the Sanctuary and the Ribbon Gum Theatre has also been painted and revamped.
"I know many Canberrans are eager to start enjoying our parks and reserves again, however we need to maintain distancing, good hygiene and respect the 10 person outdoor meeting limit.
"Our bushfire recovery efforts continue. Namadgi remains closed for safety reasons along with Molonglo Gorge Recreation Area so there's less space for Canberrans looking to head to parks and reserves. This means we need to be even more vigilant with distancing and if an area looks too crowded, we might have to come back another day."
The following public reserves and open spaces will reopen at midnight 15 May:
- outdoor fitness stations
- skate parks
- dog parks (with the exception of Forde dog parks which is currently closed for refresh works)
- Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
The following areas and facilities will remain closed:
- Namadgi National Park including the Namadgi National Park Visitor Centre
- all campgrounds including Cotter Campground, Blue Range Campground, Northern Border Campground,
- Kowen Campground and all campsites in Namadgi National Park
- cottages within ACT parks and reserves.
For more information please visit: www.covid19.act.gov.au
- Statement ends -