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Covid-19 closes camp grounds across Victoria

By Simon Ruppert

While a weekend under the stars in Victoria's wilderness might seem like a good way to avoid the Covid-19 pandemic, camping is the latest activity to be restricted.

At the direction of the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, Parks Victoria closed all designated campgrounds and accommodation throughout Victoria last Wednesday.

Designated campgrounds are any sites that have infrastructure such as toilets, fire pits or barbecues.

Non-essential travel should be avoided, and social distancing practices must be adhered to.

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Parks Victoria offer the following guidelines:

● All accommodation and designated campgrounds managed by Parks Victoria are now closed. All existing bookings will be fully refunded, and no further bookings will be taken. A designated campground includes any formed area that has infrastructure such as toilets, fire pits, or barbecues.

● All people camping in designated campgrounds have been requested to leave immediately. Rangers are patrolling to enforce this.

● Any day visitors to parks and reserves are actively encouraged to disperse widely and adhere strictly to social distancing guidelines.

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Compliance with this directive is enforceable under section 203 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and penalties apply.

Other areas within parks will remain open to allow for exercise, however, social distancing must be practised and those with flu-like symptoms must follow the advice from the Chief Health Officer of Victoria and remain at home.

Parks Victoria chief executive officer Matthew Jackson said the organisation had arrangements in place to ensure business continuity, including ongoing urgent recovery efforts in bushfire-affected parks, essential maintenance and firefighting.

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“Closing all designated campgrounds across Victoria for all overnight camping and accommodation will help protect the health and safety of visitors and staff,” Mr Jackson said.

“We have a complete list of bookings and will provide full refunds as quickly as possible.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation, so we request anyone visiting a park to please check the latest conditions and closures at this link before visiting.”

● For up-to-date information, click here.

● For more information on affected visitor sites, click here

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