Coronavirus (COVID 19) Community Information

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From 11:59pm Sunday 22 November, Victoria will take further steps to reopen.

  • 15 visitors allowed in your home each day.
  • Outdoor gatherings move to 50 people.
  • Masks still required indoors. When outdoors, carry a mask with you and wear it when you cannot physically distance from others.
  • Religious gatherings increase to 150 people indoors and 300 people outdoors, subject to density requirements.
  • From 13 December, 30 visitors will be allowed in your home.

For more information on the current restrictions, please visit the Victorian DHHS website.

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The Victorian Government has an interactive coronavirus self-assessment tool that you can complete to help inform your decisions about seeking medical assistance. https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-self-assessment

You can also call the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

These are the main symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing

If you have a serious symptoms, you should call 000 and inform the operator of any relevant history (ie: recent travel overseas, close contact with a person who tested positive to coronavirus etc).

Anyone who has any symptoms, no matter how mild, is encouraged to get a test. You can get a test at the locations listed here. Vulnerable Victorians who have symptoms will be access a test in their homes. Find out more about call-to-test here.

If you are tested, you must self-isolate until you get the result.

The Victorian Government will make a payment to people who are tested but do not have sick leave. To access this payment, call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

There are more details on the definition of close contact here.

To reduce the risk of unnecessary exposure of patients and health professionals to the virus, the Government has expanded telehealth, to allow GPs and other health professionals to consult with patients by phone or video call. Please ask your GP to make a telehealth appointment.

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The coronavirus pandemic is something many of us have never experienced anything like. It is important to manage your mental health at this time.

It’s normal to experience worry about coronavirus. But excessive worrying can affect your mental health. There are some good tips from experts on managing anxiety here.

If you or anyone you know needs help, support is available from a number of organisations and I encourage you to reach out if you need to.

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To support workers who are looking for work or who lose their job, a number of Centrelink payments will be supplemented, including;

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Youth Allowance for jobseekers
  • Parenting Payment Partnered
  • Parenting Payment Single
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
  • Austudy
  • Abstudy

If you are currently a Centrelink recipient, your payment will be automatically supplemented.

If you are not currently a recipient, you will need to apply for a payment through Centrelink. Visit my.gov.au for more details.

Employees who are stood down, but remain employed, casuals whose hours are cut and sole traders who lose income may be eligible to receive a Centrelink payment.

To apply for payment, you will also require a Centrelink Reference Number (CRN). If you do not have a CRN, you should get together your identity documents and call 132 850. More details of identity requirements can be found here.

Users with myGov accounts will now be able to register their intent to claim online without a pre-existing CRN or having Centrelink accounts already linked to their myGov account.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact the National Debt Helpline for free financial counselling. The Government has also expanded the no interest loans scheme to assist Australians purchase essential items like whitegoods etc.

If you have any problems accessing the coronavirus supplement, claiming a payment or any other Centrelink matter, please contact senator.ciccone@aph.gov.au or call 03 9894 2098 for assistance.

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There are a number of measures to support small and medium businesses to keep their doors open and their workers employed.

Employees of businesses who are experiencing difficulty may access support through a Federal Government funded wage subsidy. For more details of the JobKeeper payment, visit the Australian Tax Office website.

The Victorian Government has announced it will pay JobKeeper to Victorian casual public sector employees whose jobs have been affected by coronavirus and who were ineligible for Commonwealth support. See here for more details.

The Federal Government will pay small and medium size businesses and not-for-profit organisations that employ workers at a minimum of $20,000 up to $100,000 to support cashflow and help pay their overheads.

There will be relief for businesses experiencing financial distress during the coronavirus pandemic, including changes to the thresholds for creditors to issue statutory demands and the time businesses have to respond to them. There will also be changes to the Corporations Act to assist directors.

The instant asset write-off threshold will increase from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million.

The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

There is also commercial tenancies support available for businesses. See below in the renters and landlords section.

For more information on the support available for small business, please visit the Commonwealth Treasury website or the Australian Tax Office.

The Federal Government has provided coronavirus-related health and safety advice for a range of industries. Please find that advice at the Safe Work Australia website.

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The National Cabinet has agreed to a range of measures to support renters and landlords, both residential and commercial.

In Victoria, the measures include:

  • a temporary ban on evictions
  • a temporary ban on rental increases
  • land tax relief for landlords assisting tenants affected by coronavirus
  • rent relief for tenants affected by coronavirus

Tenants and landlords who struggle to strike a deal over rent reductions will be given access to a fast-tracked dispute resolution service, with Consumer Affairs Victoria or the Victorian Small Business Commission mediating to ensure fair agreements are reached.

There are more details about the measures here

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Australians are advised not to travel at all at this time. Australians who are currently overseas are encouraged to urgently return home.

For more details and specific country advice, visit the Smart Traveller website.

Travellers returning home after midnight 28 March will be required to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks after arrival. That means you;

  • do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
  • ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
  • do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
  • do not need to wear a mask in your home, but do wear one if you have to go out (for example to seek medical attention)
  • should stay in touch by phone and online with your family and friends.

For more details on self-isolating, visit the Federal Department of Health’s website.

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The best way to help each other right now is to carefully follow the advice of medical officers on social and physical distancing. This will help stop the spread of the virus.

Do not go out if you don’t have to.

Keep a physical distance of 1.5 to 2 metres from others.

Wear a mask.

Cough or sneeze into a tissue and immediately throw it away, or cough or sneeze into your upper arm or elbow.

Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.

For more information on how to achieve physical distancing, visit the Victorian Department of Health’s website

Don’t visit elderly or vulnerable people but do call and check in on them. Maybe you can help by leaving shopping on their doorstep or going to the pharmacist on their behalf.

This page was last updated 22 November 2020

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