Council announces services reopening in phase 1 of COVID-19 recovery

14 May 2020

Blue Mountains City Council is pleased to announce the reopening of some essential community services, in line with the NSW Government’s phase 1 lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Several services will reopen over the next week, with changed operating hours and strict physical distancing protocols.
Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “We know the community is excited to start getting back to normal, and we are too. 

“This is the first phase of changes Council will be rolling out to start bringing services back for the community.

“All the changes we have made, and will make moving forward are in line with the NSW Government’s guidelines and restrictions, and with the safety of the community and Council staff at the forefront of our minds.”

What is opening in phase 1?
From Friday 15 May all playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment and sporting fields will be open again for the community to use. BBQ facilities and skate parks will remain closed at this stage.

From Wednesday 20 May, the following facilities will reopen:

  • Council’s Customer Service counter at Katoomba (including Service NSW) will reopen for face to face service from 9am-4pm Monday – Thursday only. Our Customer Service team will still be available via phone and email on Fridays to help with customer queries and services.
  • Glenbrook Swim Centre, with reduced operating hours and a limit of 10 people on site at one time. Residents will need to make a booking to use the pool, to help us maintain the restrictions and avoid queues.
  • Blaxland Waste Management Facility will return to normal 7 day a week operating. The Katoomba Waste Management Facility will extend its operating hours to four days a week, Wednesday - Saturday. The limit of 2 people per vehicle, and 4 vehicles on site at one time remain in place.

If you’re planning to visit a Council facility, please ensure you follow the instructions of staff and any signage, and remember to adhere to physical distancing and:

  • Make sure you wash your hands before and after you use any equipment or touch public surfaces. The safest thing to do is assume the person before you has the virus.
  • Do not go out if you’re sick or have had contact with someone who may have contracted COVID-19. Staff at Council facilities will turn you away if you have flu-like symptoms, even if they’re mild.
  • Cashless payments are preferred at all Council facilities during this time.
  • We will be limiting the number of people who can visit our open facilities, and you may be asked to wait outside until space becomes available.

“While restrictions are starting to ease, we remain cautious in our approach and will make decisions based on the best medical advice.

“Going back to normal will be a slow process, and it needs to be if we are to keep everyone safe, and continue our winning strategy over COVID-19.

“Not all facilities will reopen straight away, and restrictions will continue to be in place around opening hours and the number of people permitted at each site. These things are in place to protect you and ensure we can keep Council services open, and continue to open more as time goes on.

“I also understand that it may seem odd to some why certain things are reopening when others aren’t.

“Let me reassure you this is not an arbitrary decision Council has made. The decision to open these services and not others is based on our ability to maintain social distancing and meet the additional cleaning and safety requirements in order to stay open for the community.”

Council will review services regularly and continue to look for ways we can provide essential services safely. As each phase of restrictions are announced by the NSW Government, Council will also be announcing further changes and opening more services when it is safe to do so.

What is still closed?
At this stage, the following Council facilities remain closed:

  • Libraries – while the Australian Government plan allows for libraries to open in phase one, the NSW Government has not included them at this stage. Council is adhering to the plans and restrictions set out by the NSW Government.
  • Council Leisure Centres, indoor pools and gyms – while Glenbrook Swim Centre will reopen from 20 May, all other Council pools and centres will remain closed at this stage.
  • Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub (Springwood) and the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre (Katoomba).
  • All BBQ facilities and skate parks.
  • All public halls.
  • Springwood Customer Service Counter.
  • All face-to-face workshops have been cancelled, or are being held online.
  • Bushcare activities have been suspended.
  • Echo Point, Katoomba.
  • Lincolns Rock, Wentworth Falls.
  • Visitor Information Centres at Glenbrook and Echo Point, Katoomba (information line available on 1300 653 408).

Get more information, including Council’s online services.

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