Foreshore camping at Mornington Peninsula Shire Council-managed reserves in Rye, Rosebud and Sorrento will restart on January 2, a month earlier than the council had previously forecast. Campers who have booked for January will be contacted to determine if they wish to reactivate their booking. No casual bookings will be accepted at this stage.
It is estimated the campgrounds will operate at about 80 per cent capacity to support social distancing and to ensure there’s adequate space between sites. Campers will be asked to observe COVID-safe measures such as maintaining a guest register for each site, complying with density rules in amenity blocks, and wearing masks where appropriate.
Shire CEO John Baker said ongoing concerns about beachgoers and campers mingling had underpinned the choice of a restart date. “We determined that the large numbers of people who gather on the beach between Christmas and New Year, plus New Year’s Eve activities, posed a significant risk of overcrowding in and around the campgrounds,” Mr Baker said. “We have been cautious with our deliberations and believe we have reached the right balance between public safety and allowing the camping season to continue. We have been monitoring the situation on a weekly basis with the health and well-being of our community, campers, visitors and staff at the forefront of our thinking.”
While saying he was “delighted” that camping could resume earlier than had been expected, Mr Baker added: “I implore our campers to do the right thing to ensure a safe and successful season.”