Mysterious circles have emerged in Melbourne parks in the past 48 hours just days after the city relaxed some coronavirus restrictions.
With Melburnians now allowed to leave their homes for two hours a day and the curfew eradicated, the circles are being used to urge people to leave their house and get some much needed Vitamin D as the weather warms up.
There are about 70 circles in parks in the Chapel Street precinct, including the suburbs of Yarra, Windsor and Prahran, in an idea Stonnington City Council has taken from New York City.
Melburnians are urged to use their two hours of freedom from the home to sit in the circle and catch up with friends while ordering a picnic hamper to support local businesses struggling amid the pandemic.
“With 26C forecast in Melbourne on Sunday, it’s a great opportunity to get out of the house. We’re itching to get out and most importantly we have to remember some of our businesses have made little to nothing since the middle of March,” Chapel Street Precinct Association General Manger Chrissie Maus told Yahoo News Australia.
She added it was important for people’s mental health to leave the house and enjoy the sunshine while also supporting the struggling local businesses.
“People are only allowed out for two hours so we have to make the most of every single minute,” Ms Maus said.
“The circles serve a purpose not only to keep people safe, but rebuild trust in the community and give back to businesses because they need every cent and will still be closed for another three weeks.”
Ms Maus said people who saw the painted social circles knew exactly what to do and could relax without the stress of being fined by police for not social distancing.
Stonnington Councillor Michael Koce said it was a new and innovative approach to managing public open spaces amid the pandemic.
“Sometimes it is the small and relatively simple ideas that are the most impactful,” he wrote on Facebook.
Melburnians are now allowed to socialise outside the home in groups of five people from two separate households after being confined to homes for six weeks.
People still can’t travel more than five kilometres from the home and must wear a mask at all times unless eating or drinking.
For more information about the park picnic hampers visit the Chapel Street Precinct.
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