News and updates


Regional Victoria entered Step 3 of the Victorian Government's pathway to COVID Normal on September 16, which means there are no longer any restrictions on the reasons to leave home, however social distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene remain important to staying COVID-Safe.

All Victorians are now also required to wear a fitted face mask when they leave home, no matter where they live. 

The Roadmap to Recovery(PDF, 160KB)
The Roadmap for Reopening Businesses in Regional Victoria

Restrictions are subject to changes at any time. Go to or call the 24-hour hotline 1800 675 398 for the latest updates.

Case numbers for Surf Coast Shire

From the Victorian Government

You can stay up to date on the current case numbers in Surf Coast Shire by viewing the Victoria case numbers by location’.

View the latest information about active cases
View the full Victorian case numbers by location and current high-risk locations and outbreaks.

(Please note: Council only has the numbers as published by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which reports based on municipality. For privacy reasons, the department does not provide us with specific details of each case) 

How to stay informed about COVID-19 developments

The Department of Health and Human Services remains the lead Victorian agency dealing with the coronavirus disease, so we encourage you to stay informed directly through:

From the Commonwealth Government

  • “Coronavirus Australia” app, available on Apple and Android devices
  • WhatsApp channel, which you can access by entering into your internet browser.
  • Head to Health website (how to maintain good mental health during the coronavirus pandemic)

Other information sources

Where and when to be tested for COVID-19

Feeling unwell?  Get tested

Anyone experiencing symptoms, however mild, should be tested for COVID-19.
The symptoms are:

  • Fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle soreness. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered.

For more advice or to find out where to get tested:

Local testing locations: 

  • Torquay Community Health Centre (open 9.00am - 5.30pm seven days a week).
    Address: 100 Surfcoast Hwy, Torquay
    Phone Number: (03) 4215 7800
  • Lorne Community Hospital (open for testing between 9am – 4pm daily, by appointment only).
    Address: Albert Street, Lorne
    Phone Number: (03) 5289 4300
  • Colac Hospital (Emergency Department is open 24 hours/7 days a week):
    Address: 2-28 Connor St, Colac
    Phone Number: (03) 5232 5100
  • Barwon Health (Emergency Department is open 24 hours/7 days a week):
    Address: Bellerine Street, Geelong
    Phone Number: (03) 4215 0000

Children 0-5 years of age will need to attend a screening at a hospital testing station. 

Reporting wrong-doing

Victoria Police are out in force keeping Victorians safe. To report people suspected of not following restrictions set by the Chief Health Officer, please call 131 444. Alleged breaches can also be reported online at

Tell us how you have been affected by COVID-19 in our COVID-19 Impact Survey.

Latest news from Surf Coast Shire Council

Emergency Preparation permit applications now open.

Melbourne-based landowners with property in the Surf Coast Shire can apply for permission to visit their property to undertake an Approved Emergency Preparedness Activity, such as getting their property ready for fire season or preparing for risk of flood.

The free application process is via an on-line form (see below).

Those who wish to apply should allow five working days from lodging their online application to receiving their written approvals.

Due to high volumes we recommend people apply well in advance of their planned travel date.

As an alternative to travelling we encourage property owners to use local contractors where possible.

For those who receive a permit you must continue to follow the Melbourne restrictions while in Surf Coast Shire.

Anyone who is unwell must not travel, even if they have a permit from Council.

Other things to note prior to application:

Apply for an Emergency Preparation Permit

Our preference is to issue your permit via emaiI, which you can show to authorities from your smart phone.

If you are unable to receive a permit by email please note the postal service to Melbourne may take up to three weeks.

Further details about Melbourne-based landowners visiting Regional Victoria can be found at

Surf Coast Shire Council is very much looking forward to once again welcoming our Melbourne community members when restrictions allow. Until then we are grateful to everyone for being patient and kind and for striving to do the right thing to keep our vibrant Surf Coast community open and safe.

Advice on how to prepare your home for the summer fire season is available here.

Fire Prevention Notices

A Fire Prevention Notice is different to the Emergency Preparation permit. Fire Prevention Notices are issued when Council’s Fire Prevention Officer identifies, through an inspection, that there is a fire risk that requires the attention of the landowner. Council programs these inspections to occur in late Spring, and so Fire Prevention Notices are unlikely to be issued before late November.

Watch the latest video message from Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Rose Hodge:

Watch Dr Rob Gordon, a clinical psychologist who has spent the past 30 years working with people affected by emergencies and disasters, explain the value of community leaders in the COVID-19  pandemic:

COVID-19-related media releases from Council

11 August, 2020: Deans Marsh artist brings light relief with virtual Krazy Koala Kids Show 

6 August, 2020: Sam's COVID story

17 July, 2020: Council urges caution and compassion during latest phase of COVID-19 pandemic

16 July, 2020: Council's PORTAL Postcards project spreads its wings

30 June, 2020: Winchelsea’s Globe Theatre repurposed for COVID-19 testing blitz

24 June, 2020: Council establishes COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Grants Program

4 June, 2020: New program a win-win for local businesses  

27 May, 2020: COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Guidelines adopted

26 May, 2020: Playgrounds, skate parks back in action – with restrictions

22 May, 2020: Australian National Surfing Museum now running virtual tours for schools

19 May, 2020: Isolation CD hits the right note for youth

12 May, 2020: Council reopening recreation spaces with gathering and hygiene restrictions

11 May, 2020: Jan Juc outdoor performance space designs complete

11 May, 2020: Olympic gold medallist to speak at National Volunteer Week webinar event

8 May, 2020: Local road upgrades get underway 

8 May, 2020: Council and medical professionals encourage COVID-19 testing

5 May, 2020: All in this together: help is available

28 April, 2020: A community focus - draft budget adopted

28 April, 2020: COVID-19 support package adopted

27 April, 2020: Taking the lead: youth leadership program launches

24 April, 2020: COVID-19 support package a key feature of Council’s draft Budget 2020-21

23 April, 2020: Council postpones new waste system  

23 April, 2020: First-Time Parent Groups go online  

23 April, 2020: Special Council meeting 

22 April, 2020: Council and Surfing Victoria unite on ANZAC weekend message: spread out to stop the spread

9 April, 2020: Surf Coast Arts Trail to take a new format this year  

8 April, 2020: Council's Easter message: Stay home to stay safe

1 April, 2020: Changes to beach car park and access road changes

31 March, 2020: Buy Surf Coast website makes it easy to support local businesses

30 March, 2020: Beach, road, car park closures seek people to stay at home

26 March, 2020: Council seeks people to stay home

25 March 2020: Council targeting accommodation pandemic risk

24 March, 2020: Council suspends kindergarten terms  

17 March, 2020: Cash-free transfer stations to target infection risks

17 March, 2020: Council meeting cancelled and further changes in services

16 March, 2020: Supporting our community

13 March, 2020: Surf Coast Shire Council initial actions on COVID-19 advance