Current COVID-19 restrictions in plain English (Victoria)
The Victorian government is trying to control and stop the spread of the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and there are a number of restrictions in place. For the latest and most up-to-date information, you should regularly check the Victorian State Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website by clicking here.
All of Victoria – mandatory face coverings
No matter where you live, all Victorians must now wear a face covering when they leave home. For more information on face coverings see the DHHS website by clicking here.
Metropolitan Melbourne – stage 4 ‘stay at home’ restrictions – first step towards ‘COVID normal’
As of 14 September, Melbourne’s stage 4 ‘stay at home’ restrictions will continue but there will be some changes as we move to a new strategy and the FIRST STEP towards ‘COVID normal’.
The curfew is still in place but has been extended to 9pm (from 8pm) to 5am. This means that a person cannot leave their house during this time unless there is an emergency, for permitted work, health, care, or safety reasons.
If you live alone or if you are a single parent of a child under the age of 18, you can now choose ONE person who can visit you. That one person must also choose you, and then you can visit each other. Each of you can only choose one person.
Outside of the curfew, from 5am – 9pm, you can only leave your home for one of the following four reasons:
- To shop for necessary goods and services
You can only travel up to 5km from your home and only one person per household can leave home to get necessary goods and services and only once a day (this means you can’t do multiple shopping trips in a day).
- To exercise
You must not travel more than 5km from where you live to exercise for a maximum of two hours each day. You can exercise with one other person not from your household such as a friend, family member, or neighbour, or a household can meet outdoors for two hours. If you have children you can’t leave alone at home, you can take them with you.
- For health, medical and caring purposes
You can leave home to receive health care or attend medical appointments. You can leave home to care for a sick or elderly relative. If you are providing care for someone you should try to keep 1.5 metres between you when you can. You can leave home to accompany someone for essential medical treatment if you are a parent, guardian or carer. You can take a pet to the vet.
- To work or for education
Only if you can’t work or study from home. If you can work or study from home, you must continue to do so. Only permitted workers can travel to work.
You can still visit an intimate partner. Shared parenting arrangements can continue for children.
You can leave home if there is an emergency or if you are experiencing family violence and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you.
Regional Victoria – ‘stay at home’ restrictions – step two towards COVID normal
As of 14 September, there will be some changes in regional Victoria as we move to a new strategy and next steps (STEP TWO) to move towards ‘COVID normal’. If you live in regional Victoria there are only four reasons that you can leave home:
- to shop for food and essential goods or services
- for health, medical and caring purposes
- to exercise – there are no limits on how much time you spend exercising outside. Personal training is also permitted as long as it’s outside and there is maximum two people plus the trainer. Outdoor pools and playgrounds are open
- for work or study, if you can’t do it from home.
Some public gatherings are permitted outdoors with a maximum of five people from two households. Children under the age of 12 are not included in this limit.
If you live alone or if you are a single parent of a child under the age of 18, you can now choose ONE person who can visit you. That one person must also choose you, and then you can visit each other.
Retail shops will reopen and there will be a staged return to classrooms for schools. Childcare centres and kindergartens will be open.
For all of us, the most important points to remember are:
- we must continue to practice physical distancing (1.5 metres) when we are in public, in shops and businesses
- we must continue to work from home if we have already been working from home
- we must continue to practice good hygiene – washing hands and using hand sanitizer
- anyone experiencing any symptoms – no matter how mild – should get tested. If you live in a ‘hot spot’ area you should get tested even if you don’t have any symptoms. It’s free for everyone (regardless of visa status). Find out more about getting tested here.
People who do not follow the rules and restrictions in place can be fined by the police. It is important you understand the rules and restrictions in place for where you live, so you don’t put yourself or your children at risk or get fined.
DHHS has more information on their website to help you learn and understand the rules. Click here to visit the DHHS website.
A list of some important FAQ’s for women and families is included below:
If you suspect you may have coronavirus you can call the dedicated hotline which is open 24 hours, 7 days: 1800 675 398
If you need help understanding English and need an interpreter, please call 131 450 (TIS National), then request the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. There is no cost to use an interpreter.