Information about easing of restrictions on community services.

Key points

Current restrictions on community services and local government facilities have eased.

  • Libraries, including toy libraries, are permitted to open, with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space, subject to the four square metre rule, in addition to those required to operate the library.
  • Community facilities are permitted to open with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space, subject to the four square metre rule, in addition to those required to operate the facility.
  • If you feel unwell, you should stay at home. If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested.
On this page

Summary of restrictions

Currently, restrictions on community services and local government facilities are: 

  • Libraries are permitted to open, with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space, subject to the four square metre rule, in addition to those required to operate the library
  • Toy libraries will reopen with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space
  • Community facilities are permitted to open with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space, subject to the four square metre rule, in addition to those required to operate the facility

Examples of community services and facilities are:

  • community centres and halls
  • youth centres
  • PCYCs (Police and Community Youth Clubs)
  • community clubs 
  • RSL clubs (sporting facilities component)

As always, we’re urging Victorians to use common sense in their activities. It’s up to all of us make this work. 

Can I go to a community centre?

Restrictions on facilities such as community centres, public halls and public libraries have eased.

Currently, these community facilities have been permitted to open with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space at any one time, in addition to those required to operate the facility. Density requirements (one person per four square metres) must also be complied with. See the business sector page for more information on the four square metre rule.

Density requirements must still be complied with (one person per four square metres). Make sure you observe appropriate physical distancing rules by keeping at least 1.5 metres from other people at all times.

Does this mean that other parts of our RSL or community club like our bar or gaming area can also reopen?

Areas that are used for the purpose of hosting community groups or services can reopen.

Bars can open for seated service onlyand may serve alcohol without a meal. Up to 20 customers are allowed per space, and up to 10 people per group. There must be 1.5 metres between tables. 

Gaming rooms and gaming venues remain closed, however TAB facilities within licensed premises are allowed to open, subject to requirements on the broader venue.

Density requirements must be met (one person per four square metres). Make sure you observe appropriate physical distancing rules by keeping at least 1.5 metres from other people at all times.

Can small group lessons resume at community centres such as knitting, or art?

Currently group lessons at community centres have been permitted to resume, provided there is no more than 20 people in each separate space, in addition to those required to operate the facility and density requirements (one person per four square metres) are complied with.

See the business sector page for more information on the four square metre rule.

Can my men’s shed now reopen?

Yes, provided there is no more than 20 people in each separate space, in addition to those required to operate the facility and density requirements (one person per four square metres) are complied with.

Are public libraries open?

Currently libraries have been permitted to open, with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space at any one time, provided the four square metre rule is adhered to. Library staff are not included in the 20 people limit.

Check with your local council to find out if your library has opened, the hours of operation and the processes your local council has in place to protect your health and safety.  

Can I have a BBQ at a community facility?

Yes, you may have a BBQ at a community facility. You should clean the BBQ and surrounding spaces before and after you use it. 

You shouldn’t gather in groups larger than 10 people. Ensure physical distancing is practiced and maintain at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

What restrictions apply if the community centre has indoor sport facilities? 

For information on indoor sporting activities visit Sport and exercise page

What restrictions apply if the community centre has a restaurant or cafe?

Restaurants or cafes within these facilities must adhere to the restrictions on restaurants and cafes. More information is available on the Restaurants and cafes page.

Does the four square metre rule apply to community facilities and libraries? Are community facilities and libraries required to record names?

Density requirements, also known as the four square metre rule apply, in addition to the limit on total people. 

Facilities are required to record the names of visitors who stay at the community facility or library for at least 15 minutes. For more information, see record keeping requirements page. Also see Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce COVID-19 transmission (Word).

Can toy libraries open?

Toy libraries are permitted to open, with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space, subject to the four square metre rule, in addition to those required to operate the toy library.

Are mental health face to face counselling services permitted? What about groups?

Currently, up to 20 people, plus the minimum number of people required to operate the service or support group, have been permitted to attend mental health and other face to face counselling services.

You should follow physical distancing rules – keep at least 1.5 metres from other people. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands often and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or tissue. 

Can I leave my house to do volunteering work?

You can continue to do volunteer or unpaid work if the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating.

You must keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others at all times, and ensure you practise good hygiene such as by washing your hands often and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or tissue.

If it can be done from home, it must be.

Information for current and prospective volunteers about how to support the community and stay safe is available on the Volunteer website.

How are you enforcing this? 

Directions will be enforced through spot checks by Victoria Police and use of emergency powers by DHHS and Authorised Officers to ensure compliance with the directions of the Deputy Chief Health Officer. 

As restrictions are eased, industry bodies, Victoria Police, WorkSafe, DHHS and Authorised Officers will work together under both the Directions and existing legislative and regulatory frameworks to boost education and remediation, in addition to driving enforcement and compliance with the Directions. 

Community members can raise concerns about compliance with directions through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. Workers can raise concerns via Worksafe on 03 9641 1555. And employers can talk to their industry regulator or Peak body for specific industry related support. 

A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Joint Intelligence Unit has been established to support comprehensive preparedness and responses to outbreaks and identify and manage outbreak risks.

The Department of Health and Human Services and WorkSafe will co-ordinate intelligence and information on businesses that are non-compliant. 

What are the penalties for noncompliance? 

Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:  

  • Refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions;   
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction   
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a direction by the Chief Health Officer to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system.