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Coronavirus Update
How Watergardens is responding to the COVID-19 situation.
Published 27 October

As we continue to navigate this quickly shifting COVID-19 period, we remain committed to keeping our community informed and providing a safe environment.

As an essential service provider, Watergardens remains open and trading, serving the essential needs of those that choose to visit us.


COVID-19 directives – what they mean for Watergardens

From Monday 9 November there will be changes at Watergardens as restrictions are eased across Metropolitan Melbourne. 

The Victorian Government has announced a further easing of restrictions, which have a direct impact on the way Watergardens operates. We are pleased to be able to begin to welcome back permitted retailers from Monday 9 November.

At this stage, the following goods and services are permitted to reopen, operating in strict adherence to their COVIDSafe plans and density requirements.
• Our gym and fitness retailers will reopen on 9 November, including for classes and personal training services, subject to a number of restrictions. 
• Our cinema is reopening on 12 November, admitting 20 customers per movie session, subject to a number of restrictions.
• Restrictions on our food and drink retailers has eased further:
- Indoor spaces can now welcome up to 40 patrons, subject to 4sqm per person. The cap of 10 people per indoor space remains.  
- Outdoor spaces can now welcome up to 70 patrons, subject to 2sqm per person. The cap of 10 people per group remains for outdoor spaces.  
These changes are in addition to those changes announced on Wednesday 28 October and from when the following goods and services have been open and trading, operating in strict adherence to their COVIDSafe plans and density requirements.

• Supermarkets and grocery shops, including all food and liquor shops
• Convenience stores and newsagents
• Pharmacies
• Medical centres for appointments that cannot be undertaken virtually
• Retailers working onsite for the purposes of fulfilling online orders
• Restaurants and cafes for delivery and contactless takeaway only
• Bank branches
• Medicare and/or Centrelink
• Locksmiths
• Laundry and dry cleaners
• Telecommunication services
• Maternity supplies
• Post offices
• Fuel retailing
• Hardware, building and garden supplies retailing for tradespeople
• Specialist stationery services for business use
• Disability and health equipment, mobility services
• Security services
• Building maintenance, cleaning
• Road transport (i.e. freight and couriers)
• Food and drink retailers for seated indoor and outdoor customers, subject to a number of restrictions. 

For further detail on what businesses can trade during easing restrictions, visit


Keeping you safe at Watergardens this Christmas

We know that 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us. While this year we face a different Christmas to the one we’re all used to, please be assured that our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our customers, staff and retailers remains our steadfast priority.

  • A strengthened focus on disinfecting commonly touched areas
  • Positioning of hand sanitiser stations at key points throughout the Centre
  • Installation of signage and floor decals across parts of the Centre, reminding our community to keep 1.5 metres between themselves and others at all times, and to always wear their mask while in the Centre

In addition to these longstanding measures, this Christmas we’re also introducing some new safety initiatives. These include:

  • Contactless wayfinding, allowing you to scan a QR code on your mobile to find any store in the Centre
  • Social Distancing Ambassadors located throughout the Centre, to ensure our community is adhering to social distancing directives
  • An Order and Collect service, allowing you to order from your preferred Watergardens stores and have your order delivered directly to your car. Visit here to find out more.
  • Extended pre-Christmas trading hours, giving you longer to shop.

How you can help 

We’ll be doing all we can to keep our community safe this Christmas, but we also need your help.  We ask that you continue to play your role in keeping our community safe. This means:

  • Social distancing – always keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others
  • Maintain personal hygiene by regularly washing your hands and using the sanitiser stations located throughout the Centre for your convenience
  • Wear a face mask, unless you have a valid reason not to, and follow all government directives and advice
  • Handle illness safely by coughing into your elbow or a tissue, and most importantly, stay at home if you’re feeling unwell.

    Planning your visit this Christmas

    To help you stay safe this Christmas, we strongly encourage you to plan your trip in advance and not linger unnecessarily in the Centre

    1. Avoid visiting the Centre at peak times such as during the middle of the day from Thursday through to Sunday. 
    2. Check store trading hours and individual conditions of entry in advance
    3. Pre-book health and other appointments
    4. Wear a face mask
    5. Take advantage of our Order and Collect service, which allows you to order from your preferred Watergardens stores and have your order delivered directly to your car. For more information, click here
    6. Most importantly, if you are feeling unwell or are awaiting test results, stay at home and seek medical advice.

      For more information on things you should consider to ensure a safe and pleasant shopping experience at Watergardens, click here.


      Watergardens Social Distancing Ambassadors

      We’re pleased to be able to welcome specially selected Social Distancing Ambassadors to Watergardens. These Ambassadors will roam our malls and provide a reminder of the need to keep a 1.5 metre distance from others.

      Our dedicated Ambassadors, dressed in an easily identifiable uniform, are trained to offer friendly and approachable direction to both customers and retailers around correct social distancing and responsible queuing. By fielding questions and reminding visitors to the Centre to maintain social distancing, these roving Ambassadors will relieve pressure in our malls. 

      Our security, cleaning and customer service staff will also take on the responsibility of dispensing social distancing advice to ensure maximum coverage across the Centre.


      Mandatory Face Masks 

      If you choose to visit us during this time, please remember that you must wear a face mask at all times when visiting our Centre, unless:

      • You are under 12
      • You have a medical condition that prohibits the wearing of a face mask
      • It’s not practical
      • For professional reasons.

      To help keep our entire community safe, please be sure to bring an appropriate face mask with you when you next visit Watergardens.

      Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we all adjust to these rigorous new measures and navigate the changes together with kindness and compassion.

      We have implemented a number of measures that assist us and our community in adhering to this directive, including:

      • All centre staff and contractors will be required to wear masks while at work, unless they have a valid reason not to.
      • Signage that clearly reminds our community they must adhere to the government mandate and not enter the Centre without a face mask unless they are exempt.
      • Close work with local police in monitoring our community’s adherence to this new directive, generally reminding our community of this new directive and asking those that aren’t wearing face masks, without a valid reason, to leave the centre.

      Where to buy a face mask at Watergardens

      The retailers listed below stock face masks, however please note stock availability is not guaranteed due to the current high demand. We recommend contacting the store before you visit to check whether they have face masks in stock.


      Keeping Santa safe

      Christmas is a little different this year. To find out more about the changes we’ve made to our Santa visits this year, please visit our Santa photography page. We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we navigate this festive season together, and look forward to seeing you at Watergardens soon.


      Centre Trading Hours

      While we are continuing to assess the evolving situation, and are prepared to respond if necessary, Watergardens trading hours are as follows:

      Monday: 9am – 5:30pm
      Tuesday: 9am – 5:30pm
      Wednesday: 9am – 5:30pm
      Thursday: 9am – 9pm
      Friday: 9am – 9pm
      Saturday: 9am – 5pm
      Sunday: 10am – 5pm

      Although many of our retailers are permitted to trade, some may have chosen to temporarily close or otherwise reduce their hours while under government restrictions. We encourage you to review our directory for the most recent information on individual retailers’ trading hours.


      Customer Service Desk

      Our customer service desk located near Big W is open to assist with information on services, gift card purchases and retailer details. Staffed hours are as follows:

      Monday: 9am – 5:30pm
      Tuesday: 9am – 5:30pm
      Wednesday: 9am – 5:30pm
      Thursday: 9am – 9pm
      Friday: 9am – 9pm
      Saturday: 9am – 5pm
      Sunday: 10am – 5pm

      For more information on how customer service can assist you, click here. 


      Further Store Updates

      Restaurants & cafes:

      Please note that our café and restaurant retailers are now permitted to serve dine in-customers, subject to restrictions. Details of café and restaurant retailers now serving dine in, and those still offering takeaway and food delivery is available here.

      Our customers can also take a seat and enjoy a meal in our food court seating areas. In line with government restrictions, our food courts will reopen with capacity capped at the lesser of 25% of total capacity, or one person per 8sqm, with customers limited to two people per table. We have allocated seating in our food courts to comply with these directions, so please ensure you only use the tables and seating available.

      Personal Services:

      Those retailers offering beauty and personal care services are also allowed to reopen for trade, with the requirement that only services where the client can wear a face covering for the duration of the service or procedure are permitted.


      In accordance with the Victorian Government directive gyms will reopen 9 November 2020. We recommend contacting the gyms or fitness studio directly, or visiting their website for more information.


       We will continue to provide updates in real time as they evolve.