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Wollongong City Council

Play it safe this weekend

Friday 15 October 2021

We’re encouraging our community to play it safe when out and about this weekend.

While Monday 11 October marked the change to selected COVID-19 restrictions for the double vaccinated in our community, we are asking our residents to remain cautious.

“We have seen a welcome reduction in infection rates and high numbers of people who have had their double vaccinations in Greater Sydney and regional NSW, but we are still very much in the thick of a challenging time in our city,’’ Wollongong Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“Up until the end of last week, we’d had more than 600 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Wollongong over the previous two weeks. This in in contrast to the first 12 weeks of this outbreak where we had close to 600 cases between 18 June and mid-September.

“We are faced with a real challenge as a community and this local community transmission is of great concern to Council. It’s why we’re taking a cautious approach to changes to our services and it’s why we’re asking our community to be mindful if they’re out and about this weekend.’’

Our beaches are open as normal and we have reopened the car parks at Flagstaff Hill, Mt Keira Summit Park, Sublime Point and Bald Hill after discussions with NSW Police, and turned our public barbecues on.

At our pools people need to book in for a swim, and in line with the updated Public Health Order, all those in the pool grounds over the age of 16 are required to be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine and customers will need to show proof of vaccination on arrival.

From Monday 18 October, there will be further changes to services in our libraries, community centres, leisure centre and tourist parks. See: Libraries, community centres and tourist parks reopen next week.

Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said as Council monitored closely the community transmission, testing and vaccination rates we are also working on our opening up plan.

“I know there are a lot of people in our community who are keen to return to the “new normal” and we’re working on the plans that will support that,’’ he said.

“For example, while community sport can not be undertaken through the current Public Health Order we are preparing the grounds and working with sporting clubs on their COVID-safe plans to support this re-start as soon as it’s permitted.

“Similarly, we’re also looking closely at the services our popular libraries provide so that we can meet the needs of our whole community as we move forward. It’s important to get the balance right as while there are people keen to get back in and pick their next read off the shelves, there are others in our community who aren’t feeling comfortable with this.’’

Cr Bradbery said with the change to restrictions to double vaccinated people, we should anticipate more people enjoying our city’s public spaces this weekend.

“We’re well aware that it’s likely we’ll see some daytrippers in our city this weekend as well as others meeting up with family and friends,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“We’re prepared and ready to see more people in our parks, greenspaces and foreshore areas. Our waste services crews have scheduled extra collections and pick-ups, our parks crews have been working around the wet weather to mow popular areas and our lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers are ready for the weekend ahead.

“I’d just like to remind people to do the right thing. Our Compliance Officers will be on duty to ensure people do the right thing when it comes to safe and appropriate parking and I encourage people to park in the correct places and follow parking rules to avoid fines. If you’re worried about traffic, please monitor Transport for NSW’s Live Traffic website or social media channels, if you’re out and about remember to keep your distance from others and follow the updated health orders.

“And we still need to remember, if you’re feeling unwell to get COVID-tested and stay home.’’