COVIDSafe Plan

We are following government health advice to make sure that everybody is kept safe while visiting Mt Martha Observatory. This is a summary of our COVIDSafe plans for public nights and for members attending the site.

These plans will be updated regularly to reflect changes in the government guidelines. This version was last updated on February 4th, 2021.

Public Stargazing Nights

The following rules apply to public stargazing nights:

  • If you feel sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to the Briars.
  • Group size is strictly limited and pre-booking and check-in is required to help with contact tracing.
  • Members can only attend public nights as volunteers. Numbers are limited and members need to pre-register by emailing welcome@mpas.asn.au.
  • Face masks are required indoors and where it’s difficult to keep a 1.5m distance, in line with Victorian government regulations.
  • Events will be held outdoors as much as possible.
  • Indoor spaces have clear signs with maximum occupancy numbers. Chairs will be placed 2m apart, and markings on the floor help with physical distancing.
  • All surfaces and equipment are cleaned and sanitised before and after the event.
  • Shared telescopes will be made COVID-safe with single-use plastic wrapping for eyepieces or by using video projection.
  • MPAS volunteers will be on site to make sure everyone follows these rules.

Members

Most importantly, if you feel sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to the Briars. If you start feeling unwell while attending, go home, get tested and let us know by email to welcome@mpas.asn.au.

Members can use the site if a COVIDSafe marshal is present.

  • Any member can act as COVIDSafe marshal after an induction by a committee member.
  • The COVIDSafe marshal is responsible for making sure the rules below are followed.
Checking In
  • Members must pre-register before coming to the Briars by sending an email to welcome@mpas.asn.au.
  • When you arrive at the Briars, you must check in by scanning the QR code in the vestibule or the observatory (or ask another member to check you in).
Physical Distancing
  • At most 50 people are allowed on site at the same time.
  • All indoor spaces have signs stating the maximum number of people in each space.
  • Chairs inside the auditorium (including at tables) must be set up to allow for 2 square meters of space per person, except for members of the same household.
  • Fitted face masks must be worn indoors and wherever it’s difficult to stay 1.5m apart, in line with Victorian government regulations.
Equipment
  • Members are encouraged to bring their own telescopes and/or eyepieces.
  • Any shared equipment (in particular eyepieces, focuser knobs, hand controllers) must be wrapped in cling wrap or clear plastic bags (provided on site).
Hygiene
  • Wash your hands regularly. Liquid soap, hand sanitiser, tissues and paper towels will be available.
  • Surfaces, such as handles, knobs, locks, taps, tables and chairs, hand rails etc. need to be cleaned before leaving the site using detergent or at least 60% alcohol solution. This will be supervised by the COVID-safe marshal.
  • The bins will be emptied at the end of each event. Latex gloves will be provided for handling of the bins.
  • The COVID-safe marshal updates the cleaning log posted on the wall of the vestibule.
Positive Cases of COVID-19
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and have attended the Briars, you should notify the society by email to welcome@mpas.asn.au or telephone one of the society committee members.
  • MPAS will notify DHHS of any positive cases and provide the recorded contact data to them. We will also notify those close contacts directly.
  • If instructed by DHHS to close the site, the buildings will be cleaned, safely closed and locked, and any necessary electrical appliances turned off. The site will remain closed for 14 days.