Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Bellingen Shire Council response to the Coronavirus

Updated 12 October 2021

This page provides the Bellingen Shire community with information about coronavirus (COVID-19). For the latest COVID-19 updates, alerts and resources, please visit the NSW Health website

Important update

From Monday 11 October public health restrictions are easing, however the community is still subject to the Public Health Order.

The Public Health Order lists certain types of premises that are not open for unvaccinated adults.  

It is vital that people monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and, if they appear, immediately get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Information on individuals or businesses who are or may be contravening public health orders should be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Proof of vaccination

The NSW Government has set out the requirements for proof of vaccination in the Public Health (COVID-19 Self Isolation) Order (No 3) 2021, clause 19A:

fully vaccinated person means a person who

(a) has had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or

(b) has a medical contraindication certificate issued to the person.

An unvaccinated adult means a person who

(a) is more than 16 years of age, and

(b) is not a fully vaccinated person.

Vaccination evidence for a person means

(a) evidence from the Australian Immunisation Register that the person

     (i) has had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or

     (ii) has a medical contraindication that prevents the person from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, or

(b) a medical contraindication certificate issued to the person.

Examples of (a) include an online immunisation history statement, a COVID-19 digital certificate from the Australian Immunisation Register or information displayed on the Service NSW mobile phone application. 

Council services

Council is maintaining normal services where possible, however as New South Wales enters the first stage of reopening following COVID-19 lockdown on Monday 11 October, Bellingen Shire Council will alter the ways in which some services are provided in line with the most recent Public Health Order.

NSW Health’s Public Health Order will see rules change for individuals and businesses, including Council, and will particularly impact unvaccinated adults in terms of the ways goods and services are provided across the state.

The key Council services impacted by the new regulations are:

  • Council’s three Branch Libraries at Dorrigo, Urunga and Bellingen
  • Council’s two Swim Centres at Bellingen and Dorrigo
  • The Bower House Reuse Shop at the Raleigh Waste Management Facility
  • Council’s three Visitor Information Centres at Dorrigo, Urunga and Bellingen
  • Council’s Community Halls

Council would also like to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation with onsite signage and staff directions during this time to ensure we can continue to provide the services our community relies in a controlled and safe environment.

Bellingen Shire Council's Customer Centre

Like other essential services our community relies on such as banks and pharmacies, Council’s Bellingen Customer Service Centre at 33 Hyde Street, Bellingen, does not fit into the category of premises that require mandatory vaccination, however residents are reminded that the Customer Service Centre is open under reduced operating hours from 10am – 2pm and customers are still required to check-in to the premises using a QR Code and wear a mask.

By phone

You can call Customer Service between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday on 02 6655 7300 

 

Waste Services

Regular household three-bin kerbside collections continue as normal. Waste facilities at Bellingen, Dorrigo and Raleigh will continue to operate albeit under Covid restrictions. 

Bellingen Shire Branch Libraries

 

To ensure compliance with the most recent Public Health Order, those wishing to visit our Shire’s libraries must be fully vaccinated, use QR Code check-in points and provide evidence of vaccination status (fully vaccinated) to library staff upon request.

For residents who are not fully vaccinated, Council will continue to provide a ‘Click & Collect’ service, with external collection points available which do not require that you enter the library, however you are politely requested to ensure that you wear a face mask when using this service.

For more information, visit the Library web page .

Bellingen Shire Swim Centres

To ensure compliance with the most recent Public Health Order, those wishing to visit our Shire’s two Swim Centres must also be fully vaccinated, use the QR Code check-in points and provide evidence of checking in and vaccination status (fully vaccinated) to Swim Centre staff on entry.

Please note that swimming lessons, squads and aqua aerobics programs will continue. However, please make sure you are familiar with the revised entry terms and conditions before arriving. These can be found on the Y NSW website. For the Bellingen Swim Centre simply go to - Bellingen Shire Swim Centre | The Y (ymcansw.org.au) and Dorrigo Swim Centre - Dorrigo Swim Centre | The Y (ymcansw.org.au).

Bellingen Shire Council Facilities Staffed by Volunteers

Council facilities staffed by volunteers, including Council’s three Visitor Information Centres at Dorrigo, Urunga and Bellingen, The Bower House Reuse Shop at the Raleigh Waste Management Facility will remain closed until proof of vaccination is no longer an entry requirement and Council will continue to work with Community Hall Section 355 Committees on a case-by-case basis.

Visitor Information Centres:

As Council’s Visitor Information Centres rely on volunteers to provide tourism information services to visitors to our Shire, and the vaccination requirements and compliance to manage these facilities is challenging, Council has made an important decision for our Visitor Information Centres to remain closed until the compliance regarding vaccinations is more manageable for our volunteers.

So, what does this mean for our visitors? Council staff will continue to provide information and support to our visitors via the Bellingen Visitor Information Centre by calling 6655 1522 where staff can advise patrons where they can access brochures and other holiday information and draw their attention to The Bellingen Dorrigo Urunga Facebook page, which is also a good source of information.

Bower House Reuse Shop @ Raleigh Waste Facility:

The Bower House Reuse Shop at the Raleigh Waste Management Facility will remain closed until proof of vaccination is no longer an entry requirement and Council will continue to work with Community Hall Section 355 Committees on a case-by-case basis.

Essential Services

Essential services including kerbside waste collection and water and sewer will continue. Waste facilities at Bellingen, Dorrigo and Raleigh will continue to operate albeit under Covid restrictions. 

 

Council meetings and public forums 

For Council meeting information, see Ordinary meeting dates, agendas and minutes

  

Election postponed

The NSW Government has postponed the local government election until 4 December 2021. Bellingen Shire Council’s current Mayor and Councillors will continue to hold their civic office until this time. 

 

Bellingen Shire Pandemic Response Group

The Bellingen Shire has a Covid Response Group who work collaboratively together to support our community comprising Council, our local Doctors and Pharmacists, the Neighbourhood Care Network, Chambers of Commerce, Services and Support Action Group. Visit bellingenshireconnects.com.au

 

More coronavirus information

We encourage our community to follow the Public Health Order. For information visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19

 

Information regarding individuals or businesses who are or may be contravening the current NSW Health Order should be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

For the latest information on coronavirus, visit:

Australian Government Department of Health

NSW Health