APRIL 2: PUBLIC gatherings were restricted to two people and those over the age of 70 were “strongly advised” to self-isolate, following the national cabinet’s Stage 3 restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Public areas such as public playgrounds, outside gyms and skateparks were closed just before midnight on March 30.
APRIL 9: ABOUT a million families were expected to benefit from the federal government’s plan to partially subsidise childcare during the coronavirus pandemic. Announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the $1.6 billion Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package saw the federal government pay 50 per cent of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap based on a point in time before parents started withdrawing their children in large numbers, but only so long as services remain open and do not charge families for care.
APRIL 16: DEAKIN University dedicated $25 million to support international students at its Waurn Ponds, Geelong Waterfront and other campuses experiencing hardship because of the coronavirus. The federal government guaranteed $18 billion to help domestic students pursuing higher education, but international students received no such support.
APRIL 23: RETURNED and Service Leagues (RSL) across the country asked people on the Bellarine Peninsula to commemorate Anzac Day on April 25 in alternate ways, including the Light Up the Dawn initiative, due to the cancellation of their traditional services for the first time in more than 100 years because of the coronavirus pandemic.
APRIL 30: GEELONG’S Give Where You Live Foundation launched a new project aimed at sharing good news stories and useful information during the coronavirus pandemic. Titled Geelong’s Purposeful Acts of Kindness, the initiative intended to provide community inspiration and support to Geelong and its surrounds.
MAY 7: LEADING lobby group G21 prepared for the role it would play – alongside all levels of government, business and other bodies – to help the Geelong region emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. G21 chief executive officer Elaine Carbines said G21’s board assumed its regional planning and co-ordination role to identify the needs and opportunities across the community for what could ultimately be a long recovery process.
MAY 14: THERE was a slight easing of restrictions on people’s movement in the City of Greater Geelong as the state government continued to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus. As of 11.59pm on May 12, a fifth reason for leaving home was added – it was now okay to visit family and friends, with up to five visitors allowed at a home.
MAY 21: CAFES, pubs and restaurants in Victoria could re-open their doors in less than two weeks to serve meals to up to 20 customers in each enclosed space, and Geelong traders were cautiously optimistic about how it might work. The number of people per enclosed space could increase to up to 50 patrons by June 22 and up to 100 patrons by the second half of July.
MAY 28: PLAYGROUNDS were back in action and Victorians would be allowed to visit galleries, cinemas, swimming pools and many other facilities as of June 1 in a further easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions by the state government. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on May 24 that as Victoria’s rate of community transmission remained low, and the rate of testing remained high, his government was in a position to add several more changes to those already to come into effect.
JUNE 4: COASTAL properties prone to future flood events and climate change-induced sea level rise would be covered in change to existing planning scheme controls. The City of Greater Geelong council adopted amendment C394GG44, a new Land Subject to Inundation Overlay to help reduce future risks associated with climate change.
JUNE 11: THE siren sounded on senior footy and netball for this year across the Geelong region, with the Bellarine Football Netball League, Colac and District Football and Netball Leagues, Geelong Football Netball League and Geelong and District Football Leagues competitions officially cancelled because of the impacts of the coronavirus.
JUNE 18: Geelong Region Libraries Corporation (GRLC) re-opened their branches across the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast and Great region earlier in June. GRLC chief executive officer Patti Manolis said the organisation had been careful to ensure the venues were as safe as possible upon reopening. “The Geelong Regional Library Corporation has developed protocols in line with government advice, following best practice guidelines from the Australian Library and Information Association and the guidelines of Safe Work Australia. Before re-opening, all libraries were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to minimise risk of transmission.”
JUNE 25: A REVERSAL in the declining number of coronavirus cases across Victoria forced the state government to tighten some of its restrictions and hold back the easing of others for homes and businesses. The state recorded 25 new coronavirus cases on June 19, which Premier Daniel Andrews said was the highest level for Victoria in more than two months. Effective from June 22, the number of visitors you can have at your home was reduced to five, while families and friends could meet in groups up to 10 outside the home.