Coronavirus Latest News

The Department of Health and Human Services is the lead Victorian agency responding to the outbreak of coronavirus disease, and is working around the clock with health services, Commonwealth and international agencies to keep the Victorian community safe.

For the most accurate information and guidance about the current outbreak of the coronavirus disease, please go to www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.

This is a rapidly changing situation, so please visit the DHHS website listed above for regular updates. Additional cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 are expected in Victoria as this illness continues to spread across the world.

Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) updats

DHHS have released transmission reduction measures, also known as social distancing measures, which outlines actions to help reduce the risk of infection and slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community. The measures include specific information for employers, organisations, childcare centres, kindergartens, schools, universities, TAFEs, health services and the transport industry. 

More recent updates as of 30 March:

Stage 3 restrictions, effective from 11.59pm 30 March:

  • Gatherings restricted to no more than 2 people except for members of your immediate household and for work or education
  • Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms will also close
  • Previous advice about staying home will become enforceable

These restrictions will continue for 4 weeks and be reviewed as required. A breach of these directions could face on-the-spot fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses

There are only 4 reasons to be out:

  • shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies
  • medical, care or compassionate needs
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely

Existing measures previously announced and still in place include:

  • Enclosed spaces in the following facilities are to be closed as of midday Monday 23 March 2020:
    • Licensed premises in hotels, clubs and pubs (excludes accommodation) - off-licensed premises such as bottleshops as excluded
    • Entertainment venues such as movies, casinos and nightclubs
    • Restaurants and cafes - home delivery and take away services are still able to be provided
    • Places of worship
    • Indoor sporting venues such as gyms, recreation centres, sporting clubs
  • Although the Prime Minister announced there is no change to the medical advice in relation to schools, the Victorian Premier has brought forward the end of school for term one to Tuesday 24 March 2020 inclusive. Parents may choose to keep their children home from school at their own discretion. 
  • The decision to re-open schools after the term 1 holidays to be determined following advice from the Chief Health Officer.
  • Victoria will implement a shutdown of all non-essential activity across the state over the next 48 hours
  • Essential services include health services, supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, petrol station and convenience stores. Freight, logistics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain open.  
  • The Prime Minister announced that from 9pm 20 March 2020, Australia will extend its travel ban to include all foreign nationals. This means anyone not an Australian citizen, Australian residents, or their dependents will be denied entry to the country. Australians returning home from overseas will still need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date they arrive in Australia. This follows the announcement that international flights into and out of Australia will be banned from 30 March 2020. This ban is indefinite.
  • All Australians are advised to NOT travel overseas indefinitely.
  • The Governor-General has accepted the Commonwealth Government’s recommendation that he declare a “human biosecurity emergency” under the Biosecurity Act 2015 given the risks COVID-19 poses to human health and the need to control its spread in Australia

Some of the key measures for organisations and employers include:

  • Cancel, postpone or reduce the size/frequency of activities, such as ceremonies, assemblies or celebrations.
  • Cancel non-essential activities such as business travel, study visits, extra-curricular activities and sporting events.
  • Encourage flexible working arrangements including working from home and off-peak travel.
  • Provide alcohol sanitisers and/or soap to help limit infection.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly, including desks and keyboards.
  • Open windows, enhance airflow, adjust air conditioning.
  • Where possible, avoid large indoor meetings and lunchrooms and use outdoor venues
  • Plan for increased levels of staff absences and what to do if staff arrive sick at work.

For daily updates regarding progress on the coronavirus visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Your mental health

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about and your community stronger.

Further Information

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 or complete a virtual self assessment here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-self-assessmentPlease keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.  

If you suspect an individual or business is failing to comply with the restrictions set out by Australian and Victorian Government, please contact the Victoria Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

Visit the Department of Human Health and Services website for the latest updates.

 

This page was last updated 2 April

 

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