Supporting Our Community, Local Business and Visitors to stay COVID-safe

Hepburn Shire Council is working with the community, local businesses and visitors to support a COVID-safe reopening as part of our pandemic response for our region. Council’s role is to ensure the safety of our community while ensuring businesses have the support, they need to operate under Victorian Government rules.

With metropolitan Melbourne expected to soon open, Council is liaising with the local community and businesses to allow for the safe return of visitors to main streets across the Shire.

As a result, Council has prepared several different scenarios to facilitate the safe movement of pedestrians in order to ensure physical distancing can be maintained, while allowing for more outside dining to support our businesses.

Following the last easing of restrictions, our region experienced some challenges, in particular around Vincent Street Daylesford and at our local markets. Large numbers of people queuing for take away food and drinks made it difficult for pedestrians to use footpaths and walkways while ensuring physical distancing requirements were being followed.

So far, we have been very pleased to see our regional visitors and locals wearing masks and complying with the physical distancing guidelines.

We are already monitoring the visitor levels across our region; however, we know from our last experience there are certain “hot spots” around the Shire that will be impacted more than others.

The recently announced Victorian Government Outdoor Dining and Hospitality Package allows our hospitality businesses the opportunity to offer outdoor dining options to increase their number of permitted patrons, which Council fully supports. Options include extended footpath trading to further support their businesses.

We have prepared a range of traffic management plans for Vincent St Daylesford covering a range of scenarios to safely accommodate rising numbers of visitors to our Shire. We will also be monitoring the other towns across the Shire and assessing whether any further plans need to be considered to ensure safe movement and physical distancing requirements are met. We will continue with our signage and media to encourage all to be COVID-Safe.

Current actions:

  • Increased COVID-safe signage
  • Increased cleaning of amenities and supporting implementation of infrastructure to encourage physical distancing
  • Increased visitation of businesses by Economic Development and Environmental Health staff along with Victoria Police in high traffic areas to support operators and answer questions.

Currently there are no changes to traffic or car parking on Vincent St.

Phase 1

Existing traffic conditions remain in place in association with the current actions in place mentioned above to remain COVID-safe.

Plan – COVID – Restrictions Easing – Vincent St TMP – Phase 1

Phase 2 – 7 days a week

All current actions plus:

  • Removal of parallel carparking on both sides of Vincent St, reduction of speed limit to 20km/h, allowing pedestrians to safely use sides of road.

Trigger to implement – Increase in visitors identified and overcrowding impeding pedestrian flow potentially impacting community safety.

Plan – COVID – Restrictions Easing – Vincent St TMP – Phase 2

Phase 3 – Concept Plans only

All current actions plus:

  • Reduction of Vincent St to one-way traffic, reduction of speed limit to 20km/h. Centre parking would remain.

Trigger to implement – visitor numbers greatly impacting pedestrian flow and community safety.

Plan – COVID – Restrictions Easing – Vincent St TMP – Phase 3

Phase 4 – Concept Plans only

All current actions plus:

  • Closure of Vincent St from pedestrian crossing to roundabout at Central Springs Road. Parking at northern end of Vincent St between pedestrian crossing and Midland Highway would be retained.

Trigger to implement – pedestrian flow and community safety not contained by phase 3.

Plan – COVID – Restrictions Easing – Vincent St TMP – Phase 4

The decision to escalate plans will be made by Council on the recommendation of the Pandemic Municipal Operation Committee (PMOC) comprising Council, DHHS and VicPol.

For further information or feedback contact:

Hepburn Shire Council

For Police contact:

  • Police Assistance Line – phone: 131 444
  • For emergencies – phone: 000

 

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