SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will continue to operate under its new normal arrangements despite an easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Victoria.

Chief executive Kerryn Ellis said the decision was consistent with the government’s message “if you can stay home, you must”.

The customer service centre will continue to provide phone, mail and internet services. Caravan parks, playgrounds and skate parks will remain closed, and parks and recreation reserves will be open for exercise subject to social distancing.

Council halls will be opened for essential gatherings only and boat ramps have reopened to allow for recreational boating.

Ms Ellis praised council staff and the South Gippsland community, but warned the pandemic was not over yet.

“I am extremely proud that as an organisation we have been able to continue to provide our services with minimal disruptions to the community,” Ms Ellis said.

“This is a credit to our staff and I would like to thank them for their hard work and commitment during this time.

“The South Gippsland community should also be proud of their efforts during this pandemic. It is only by listening to health advice and taking action that we are now in the current position where restrictions can be slowly relaxed.”

She called on people to continue to follow the government advice to stay home if they could, wash their hands regularly, and keep using social distancing measures.

She also encouraged people to download the COVIDSafe app.

“Having the confidence to find and contain outbreaks quickly will mean governments can continue to ease restrictions while still keeping Australians safe.”