The Illawarra's public libraries will be closed until further notice, as the fight to keep COVID-19 from spreading further becomes more urgent.
Wollongong council has also close its Burelli Street headquarters to the public, and customer service will be over the phone only.
The mayors of both cities said the decision to close libraries and other services had been extremely difficult.
"I'm not happy about it, but this is getting very serious and we need to take action," Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
"As a community we need to support each other and take appropriate steps to protect one another from this virus. That not only includes following social distancing measures, and the NSW Health's guidelines for health and hygiene, but also making some difficult decisions about services.
"I appreciate some people may feel that the steps we've taken may seem extreme, but the decisions we're making proactively are focussed on looking after the most vulnerable in our community."
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said she wanted to make sure the community knew the council was "not abandoning them".
"I do not want people to think we've packed up and left the community - are are still here," she said.
"We will still support them and provide them with all the information we can at this time. This is about the balance of keeping the community and staff safe, and still providing support form the council."
Wollongong council will be closing the following services to the public:
- Our libraries - our online services will continue to be available through the Library's website, and mobile library services will continue.
- Wollongong Art Gallery.
- Wollongong Youth Centre.
- The indoor pool, gyms, spa and sauna and hall at Beaton Park and Lakeside Leisure Centres. Selected outdoor services and functions remain open.
- All community facility buildings.
- Wollongong Council's Friday Men's Shed
- Volunteering Illawarra.
The following key services will remain open:
- All outdoor pools with lifeguard services, including chlorinated pools, and the Continental, Thirroul and Port Kembla saltwater pools.
- Lifeguard services on all 17 patrolled beaches.
- Wollongong Botanic Garden remains open. However, the Friends of the Botanic Garden program, and all public programs, are suspended until further notice.
- Russell Vale Golf Course
- Wollongong Memorial Gardens and Cemeteries
- Wollongong Tourist Parks. However, the tourist parks offer reduced caravan and camping options with a focus on supporting those already using the facilities.