All playgrounds and BBQ areas on the Gold Coast are now officially off-limits, with locals being urged to stay home in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Mayor Tom Tate confirmed all 600 of the city’s kids playgrounds have been shut, along with 389 BBQ areas and 347 pieces of outdoor gym equipment across the region.
The Mayor said signs will be put up alerting people to the closures over the next five days, and is trusting the public will adhere to the rules.
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“Signage and goodwill of the people… I mean I’m asking people to go ‘this is closed’, so please take note of the signage,” he said.
“I think the message now is that COVID-19 is very very serious, you only need to have a look at the stats in Italy, the UK and the US… We’re fortunate that we’re a bit further away.
“Contamination at the moment, I understand, is mainly from people travelling back from overseas.
“Being an island nation, we’re in good shape. But the response is that if we tell you it’s closed, it’s for a very good reason and we’re in it together on this.”
Due to the evolving coronavirus situation, a number of other changes have also been made to several other city services.
The City will not take any park bookings for at least two months, while City Community Centres will close from midnight tonight – except for the delivery of essential education, health and social services.
The city’s free tree scheme has been suspended, along with the bushfire hazard reduction burn program.
“This is due to the risk that smoke generated may cause health issues for those effected by respiratory issues which may be exacerbated by the COVID-19 virus,” the Mayor said.
“The efforts during this period will go into mechanical vegetation works along the boundary between houses and bushland in areas considered the highest priority by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.”
Those heading to the tip are being reassured that our Waste and Recycling Centres have undergone some changes to ensure the health and safety of locals, including increased social distancing measures.
“Only every second customer parking bay will be available,” the Mayor said.
“This may increase waiting times, so please only attend Waste and Recycling Centres if absolutely necessary.”
Tourist parks across the Gold Coast have also been closed, however they do remain open for essential travel only.
This excludes South Stradbroke Island camping which has been closed, while Tipplers Café remains open for take-away only.
“All non-essential travellers have been requested to cancel their bookings in line with the Federal and State Government requirements… This includes Easter school holidays.”
Sadly, the city’s Ferry Service HOPO has also been temporarily closed for the “safety and well-being of staff and guests”.
Council says this will be reassessed every 14 days.