Coronavirus (COVID 19) Community Information

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Residents of Melbourne may only leave their home for four reasons – shopping for food and essential goods, caregiving and medical reasons, work or study and exercise – and may not travel further than a 5km radius from home.

However, from 11:59pm Sunday 27 September, Melbourne will move to the next step on the reopening roadmap.

  • Public gatherings of up to five people from two households may meet outdoors.
  • Primary school, VCE and VCAL students return to classrooms from 12 October.
  • 127,000 workers return to work in permitted workplaces.
  • Childcare reopens.
  • Shopping limit lifted.
  • No curfew.

From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August, employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility. More details, and the permit form are available here.

From 11:59pm Wednesday 16 September, residents of regional Victoria will move to step three in the reopening roadmap.

  • No restrictions on residents leaving their home.
  • Residents encouraged to spend time with others outside where possible.
  • Visitors from one other household may visit another home, up to five visitors.
  • Schools return to onsite learning.
  • Hospitality venues reopen for outdoor dining, with seating limits.
  • Retail open, other than personal care. Hairdressing allowed.

All Victorians must wear a face covering when leaving their home.

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

Melbourne stage four restrictions apply to the following local council areas: The council areas impacted by stage three restrictions are: Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra Ranges, Yarra.

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The Victorian Government has announced a roadmap out of the current stage four restrictions. The complete roadmap is available here.

From 11:59pm 19 October and subject to case numbers, in Metropolitan Melbourne:

  • No restrictions on reasons to leave home.
  • Public gatherings of up to 10 allowed.
  • Household bubbles allowed.
  • Year 7 – Year 10 students return.
  • Hospitality venues re-open for outdoor gatherings
  • Staggered return of community sport.

From 11:59pm 23 November and subject to case numbers, in Metropolitan Melbourne:

  • Public gatherings of up to 50 allowed.
  • Home visitors of up to 20.
  • Retail reopen.
  • Further easing of restrictions on community sport, religious gatherings and special occasions.
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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).

Victoria has further expanded the criteria for coronavirus testing. Anyone who has any symptoms, no matter how mild, such as a runny nose or scratchy throat, 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 new, additional testing sites in regional Victoria. Use the map here (click the link and scroll down) to find your closest testing location.

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

You can reduce your risk of contracting COVID 19 by following social distancing guidelines, regularly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and avoiding unnecessary gatherings.

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.

The Government has waived the assets test at this time, meaning workers who lose their job will be able to keep their savings while still receiving a Centrelink payment.

However, the household income test will still apply. This means if you lose your job, but your partner earns above the income test threshold you will not be eligible for a 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.

There will also be two additional payments of $750 for a range of Centrelink recipients and concession card holders. For more details, visit the Department of Social Services website.

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 9890 7022 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. This measure will be enforced by police with assistance from Australian Defence Force personnel. 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 27 September 2020