THE City of Whittlesea has announced changes to services, vaccinations and testing rules in light of increased COVID-19 cases in Victoria.

A series of pop-up vaccination clinics will open from January 17 until further notice with no appointment necessary for first, second or booster doses from 9.30am to 2.30pm each week for people aged 12 and over.

Clinics include the Painted Hills Community Pavilion in Doreen on Mondays, Wollert Community Hall on Tuesdays, RCG Cook Community Pavilion in Thomastown on Wednesdays, Kirrip Community Centre in Wollert on Thursdays, and at 2 Manchester Crescent in Bundoora on Fridays.

The interval between second and booster dose vaccinations has been reduced to four weeks and will be reduced further to three weeks from January 31. For vaccination information and locations, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres.

People can now test for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test, RAT, and must report positive results to the Department of Health online at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/report or by calling 1800 675 398 and then isolate for seven days.

Standard PCR testing is still available at La Trobe University carpark 7A in Bundoora, Melbourne Pathology and Northern Hospital in Epping, Mernda Station in Schotters Road, RMIT East Campus carpark in Mill Park, and First People’s Health and Wellbeing in Thomastown.

The City of Whittlesea Customer Service Centre and planning and building counter at the Civic Centre in South Morang will be closed until January 31. To contact council during this time, people can call 9217 2170 or email info@whittlesea.vic.gov.au with the sharps drop-off service remaining functional.

Appointments for council’s maternal and child health service may need to be cancelled or rescheduled at short notice due to staff shortages as a result of COVID-19.

Priority is being given to babies under 12 months of age and 3.5 year-old appointments and staff will be in contact with appointment holders. For urgent concerns, people can call the maternal and child health 24-hour line on 13 22 29.

Home support for older residents has also been affected, with some services unable to be provided to ensure the provision of essential services. Staff will be in contact if services are interrupted and people can call 9407 5940 for any enquiries.

Masks are required indoors for people aged eight and over, as well as indoors – and outdoors when moving around – at major events with more than 30,000 people. They do not need to be worn when sitting down outdoors or in the home.

For full COVID-19 information from the City of Whittlesea, visit www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/health-safety/coronavirus-information-covid-19.