Public spaces re-open but social distancing remains

15 May 2020

City of Newcastle is encouraging residents to continue social distancing as parks, playgrounds, skateparks and beaches re-open in line with a relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.
 
Under a new Public Health Order, from today outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed across the state and leaving the home for leisure will be permitted.
 
“I’d like to thank and commend the Newcastle community for their co-operation and understanding in observing social distancing rules and stay-home orders over the past couple of months,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said. 
 
"From today we have removed restrictions on outdoor spaces and re-opened playgrounds, skateparks and outdoor equipment including basketball and netball courts.
 
“We ask the community to continue to respect the NSW Government health restrictions by maintaining social distancing and continuing to practise good hygiene to ensure everyone can enjoy our public spaces. 
 
“It is everyone’s responsibility to adhere to the restrictions, so when there’s 10 people at a skatepark or basketball court, users are encouraged to respect everyone’s right to access the facility.”
 
Blackbutt Reserve’s open space areas will re-open to the public ahead of the Carnley and Richley Reserve playgrounds on Saturday following scheduled maintenance Friday. Animal encounters, wildlife exhibits and shows remain suspended under the current social distancing and public gathering restrictions. 
 
The red-and-yellow flags are back up at Newcastle Ocean Baths, Merewether Ocean Baths; Nobbys, Bar and Merewether beaches in line with winter-season patrols, with lifeguards continuing to encourage social distancing while monitoring swimmers.
 
More information will be known soon on organised sport as the City follows the national guidelines for the resumption of sport and recreation activities, and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment https://ais.gov.au/health-wellbeing/covid-19
 
The NSW Office of Sport is working on the development of guidelines for each sport in line with the AIS Framework.
 
While continued restrictions on gatherings mean the City’s cultural facilities, such as libraries, Newcastle Museum, Civic Theatre and the Art Gallery, remain closed, a range of experiences are being offered online, from Art Gallery exhibitions to animal feeding at Blackbutt. 
 
Civic Digest Café will resume table service for up to 10 patrons, in line with the easing of restrictions on hospitality businesses, and continue its takeaway service.
 
While the City’s face-to-face customer service desk remains closed, customers can instead access support between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, on (02) 4974 2000, on webchat or via our online Customer Request Form.