Coronavirus Information

For the most up to date information on the Coronavirus, please visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services or call the dedicated hotline on: 1800 675 398.

The Federal Department of Health publishes an up to date page with the latest Coronavirus information, including cases numbers and related information.

This page is a helpful guide only.

(Last updated on 03 April 2020)

WHAT DOES CORONAVIRUS LOOK LIKE?

The most common symptoms reported, as set out by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, include:

– Fever.

– Breathing difficulties, breathlessness.

– Cough.

– Sore throat.

– Fatigue or tiredness.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have Coronavirus, please call the dedicated hotline on: 1800 675 398.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

SOCIAL DISTANCING.

To help mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, please ensure you maintain appropriate social distancing measures. This includes making sure you keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

You can report the non-compliance of social distancing through the Victorian Police Assistance Line on: 131 444.

Failure to comply with social distancing measures can result in on-the-spot fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses. Larger fines can also be issued through the courts.

STAY UP TO DATE.

To stay up to date on your iPhone or iPad, download the Federal Government’s Coronavirus App at the App Store. It includes up to date information, the latest news, and available support.

YOUR CONCERNS RAISED.

Soon after the Coronavirus health crisis hit our local community, James raised your concerns directly with the Premier, in Parliament.

You can read that speech in Parliament.

As always, it is important to remember that we are a community and to look after our neighbours. If James can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact the Brighton Electorate office on (03) 9592 1900 or contact him directly at: james.newbury@parliament.vic.gov.au

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS – Stage 3 Restrictions.

(30 March 2020)

From Monday 30 March, Victoria, in line with the rest of Australia, has agreed to close more places of social gathering. These measures will be reviewed in four weeks.

On public gatherings:

– The ten person limit on social gatherings has been reduced to two persons in public spaces.

– (Exceptions on the two person rule include your household, employment or education).

– Daily exercise is allowed.

– Playgrounds, outside gyms and skate parks will be closed.

– Boot camps will be reduced to two persons.

Further advice has been given that you must stay at home, unless you are:

– Shopping for what you need.

– Seeking medical care.

– On the basis of compassionate needs.

– Exercise.

– Work and education (if you cannot work or learn remotely).

Further strong advice has also been provided to certain at risk people:

– People 70 years and over must stay at home for their own protection, as much as is practically possible.

– People 60 years and over with chronic illness, must stay at home as much as is practically possible.

– People 50 years and over who are indigenous, must stay at home as much as is practically possible.

Additionally, all non-urgent public dental procedures across Victoria will be placed on hold for three months. Suspended services include general dental care, routine denture services, specialist care, oral health promotion, teaching clinics and day surgery procedures.

EARLIER RESTRICTIONS – Stage 2 Restrictions.

(25 March 2020)

From midnight Wednesday 25 March, Victoria, in line with the rest of Australia, has agreed to close more places of social gathering:

– All elective surgery in private and public hospitals (exclusive of Category 1 and Urgent Category 2) will be cancelled.

– Weddings (restricted to five people; the couple, the celebrant, and the witnesses).

– Funerals (restricted to ten people, with exemptions in hardship cases).

– Food courts in shopping centres (takeaway only).

– Auctions, gatherings in auction rooms, real estate auctions and open house inspections.

– Personal services including beauty therapy, waxing, tanning, nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas and massage parlours.

– Amusement parks, arcades, zoos, outdoor and indoor play centres, community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, spas and wellness centres.

– Social sporting activities.

– Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, and libraries.

– Community centres, swimming pools, as well as community facilities including halls and PCYC’s.

To find out more, please visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

EARLIER RESTRICTIONS – Stage 1 Restrictions.

(23 March 2020)

From midday Monday 23 March, Victoria, in line with the rest of Australia, has agreed to close certain places of social gathering:

– Pubs.

– Clubs.

– Nightclubs.

– Crown Casino.

– Licensed clubs in hotels and pubs

– Gyms.

– Indoor sporting venues.

– Places of worship.

– Cinemas.

– Entertainment venues.

– Weddings and funerals (Restricted to comply with social distancing measures).

– Restaurants and cafes (Restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery).

– Visitation to patients in Public and Private Hospitals (Restricted visitation).

To find out more, please visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

INITIAL RESTRICTIONS – Victorian State of Emergency.

(16 March 2020)

A State of Emergency was declared in Victoria on 16 March 2020, to combat the Coronavirus. The State of Emergency will be in force for the next four weeks to assist with measures designed to ‘flatten the curve’ of the virus and help the health system manage it.

The State of Emergency will provide the Chief Health Officer with the powers to enforce 14-day isolation requirements for all travellers entering Australia and cancel mass gatherings of more than 500 people.

Mass gatherings have the potential for serious public health consequences if they are not planned and managed carefully.

The following directions for gatherings are now in effect in Victoria:

– Organising, attending or allowing of non-essential outdoor mass gatherings of 500 or more people is prohibited.

– Organising, attending or allowing of non-essential indoor mass gatherings of 100 or more people is prohibited.

SCHOOLS – TERM TWO ARRANGEMENTS.

On 7 April, the Victorian Government announced that schools will recommence on Tuesday 14 April with a pupil-free day, with students to begin classes on Wednesday 15 April. During term two, all children who can learn at home must learn from home – with exceptions only in extremely limited circumstances. On-site learning will only be available for children whose parents can’t work from home and students without access to a suitable learning environment at home.

VCE students will still receive an ATAR score, but there will be a number of changes to the academic timetable for VCE and VCAL students:

– The GAT test will move from June to October or November.

– End of year exams will be postponed until at least December.

– School based assessment tasks will be reduced where possible to relieve some pressure on students as they move to remote and flexible learning arrangements.

– Universities will be asked to delay the start of the 2021 university year to account for impacts of coronavirus on senior secondary students.

VCE study scores will continue to be a combination of school-based assessment and external exams. VCAL students will have more time to complete their courses and this will be consistent with the revised dates for the VCE.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority is also examining a compressed end-of-year exam schedule – including slightly shortening each exam – in recognition of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

To find out more, please visit the Victorian Government announcement.

SCHOOLS – EARLY SCHOOL HOLIDAYS.

Victorian government school holidays will be brought forward to begin on Tuesday 24 March, to allow teachers and staff to prepare flexible and remote learning programs for students. Term Two is still scheduled to begin as normal, unless medical advice changes before that time.

COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES.

National Cabinet has announced a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus. Further details on this moratorium are yet to be announced.

This moratorium will be based on a common set of principles across Australia:

– A short term, temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent to be applied across commercial tenancies impacted by severe rental distress due to coronavirus;

– Tenants and landlords are encouraged to agree on rent relief or temporary amendments to the lease;

– The reduction or waiver of rental payment for a defined period for impacted tenants;

– The ability for tenants to terminate leases and/or seek mediation or conciliation on the grounds of financial distress;

– Commercial property owners should ensure that any benefits received in respect of their properties should also benefit their tenants in proportion to the economic impact caused by coronavirus;

– Landlords and tenants not significantly affected by coronavirus are expected to honour their lease and rental agreements; and

– Cost-sharing or deferral of losses between landlords and tenants, with Commonwealth, state and territory governments, local government and financial institutions to consider mechanisms to provide assistance.

To find out more information, please read the National Cabinet Statement.

Stage 3 – Further Detail on Commercial Tenancies.

(3 April 2020)

National Cabinet has made further progress on commercial tenancies and greed that a mandatory code of conduct guided by certain principles will be developed and subsequently legislated by State and Territory Governments to apply for tenancies where the tenant is eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper assistance and is a small- or medium-sized enterprise (less than $50 million turnover).

The principles that guide the code will be:

– Where it can, rent should continue to be paid, and where there is financial distress as a result of COVID-19 (for example, the tenant is eligible for assistance through the JobKeeper program), tenants and landlords should negotiate a mutually agreed outcome.

– There will be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants.

– There will be a prohibition on termination of leases for non-payment of rent (lockouts and eviction).

– There will be a freeze on rent increases (except for turnover leases).

– There will be a prohibition on penalties for tenants who stop trading or reduce opening hours.

– There will be a prohibition on landlords passing land tax to tenants (if not already legislated).

– There will be a prohibition on landlords charging interest on unpaid rent.

– There will be a prohibition on landlords from making a claim to a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent.

– Ensure that any legislative barriers or administrative hurdles to lease extensions are removed (so that a tenant and landlord could agree a rent waiver in return for a lease extension)

For landlords and tenants that sign up to the code of conduct, States and Territories have agreed to look at providing the equivalent of at least a three month land tax waiver and three month land tax deferral on application for eligible landowners, with jurisdictions to continue to monitor the situation. Landlords must pass on the benefits of such moves to the tenants. In cases where parties have signed to the code of conduct, the ability for tenants to terminate leases as mentioned in the National Cabinet Statement on 29 March 2020 will not apply. Mediation will be provided as needed through existing State and Territory mechanisms.

To find out more information, please read the Prime Minister’s Media Statement.

OVERSEAS TRAVEL – COMPLETE BAN.

From 25 March 2020, the Federal Government has restricted Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents from travelling overseas. If you are arriving from overseas, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

To find out more, please visit the Department of Home Affairs.

OVERSEAS TRAVEL – MANDATORY QUARANTINE ON RETURN.

As of 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving into Melbourne from overseas will be quarantined for two weeks in hotel rooms and other accommodation facilities after submitting an Isolation Declaration Card.

Interstate travellers can return to their home states after fulfilling the mandatory 14 day quarantine requirements.

CURRENT DIRECTIONS.

– A stay at home direction was signed on 30 March 2020, ordering anyone in Victoria to stay at their usual place of residence, other than to work or study, buy essential goods and services, medical care or compassionate needs or exercise in accordance with public gathering guidelines.

– A restricted direction activity was signed on 30 March 2020.

– A direction to detain all people arriving in Victoria on or after midnight was signed on 28 March 2020.

– A prohibition gatherings directions was signed on 25 March 2020.

– An isolation (diagnosis) direction was signed on 25 March 2020.

– A direction for hospital visitors was signed on 23 March 2020.

– This follows a direction for aged care, which was signed on 21 March 2020.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – JOBKEEPER PAYMENT.

On Monday 20 March, the Federal Government announced the introduction of a JobKeeper Payment Scheme, which will provide certain workers with a fortnightly payment of $1,500. The $130 billion scheme will assist up to 6 million Australians.

For more information about the package, visit:

– Information for employees

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – WORKER AND BUSINESS SUPPORT PACKAGE. 

The Federal Government has announced an additional $66.1 billion economic support package. This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.

For more information about specific parts of the package, visit:

Income support for individuals

Payments to support households

Temporary early access to superannuation

Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates

Reducing social security deeming rates

To find out more information, visit the Federal Department of Treasury.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE RELIEF PACKAGE.

On Thursday 2 April, the Federal Government announcement the new Early Childhood Education and Care relief Package. From Monday 6 April weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care subsidy, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs. Payments will be made until the end of the 2019-2020 financial year and families will not be charged fees during this time.

For more information about the package, visit the Federal Department of Education.

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT – ECONOMIC SURVIVAL PACKAGE.

The Victorian Government has announced a $1.7 billion support package.

Details of the package includes:

  • $500 million Working for Victoria Fund aimed at Government employment opportunities, job-matching, retraining, hardship support.

You can register, as a worker, in the Working for Victoria Fund.

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT – FREE SESSIONAL KINDER.

Parents will be able to send their children to sessional kindergarten for free during Term Two and sessional providers will be given the funding certainty. The funding will provide approximately $485 per child for Term Two for each child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program. To be eligible for the additional funding, these services must not charge families and allow children to attend fifteen hours a week of kinder for free.

To find out more, please visit the Victorian Government announcement.

BANKING – HOME LOAN PAYMENT DEFERRALS.

The major four Australian banks have announced that home loan customers experiencing financial challenges, due to Coronavirus, will be also to pause their repayments by up to six months.

You can contact the major banks on the following numbers:

ANZ: 1800 351 548 | CBA: 133 095 | NAB: 1300 683 106 | Westpac: 132 032

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT – EMERGENCY FOOD PACAKGES.

Emergency Food Help.

Victorians who are required to self-isolate, due to the Coronavirus, are eligible to receive a two week supply of essential goods.

The relief packages will include items like: long life milk, pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and sugar. Personal care packages will also be provided. They will include items like: soap, toothpaste and deodorant. Households with young children may be eligible to receive nappies and baby formula.

The emergency relief package program is being coordinated by the Red Cross and Foodbank Victoria.

Packages can be access through the Coronovirus Hotline: 1800 675 398.

GROCERY SHOPPING MADE EASY.

Woolworths offers Priority Assistance Delivery of groceries to vulnerable people, including seniors and those with a disability.

To find out more information, visit Woolworths.

Woolworths also offers delivery of a Woolworths Basics Box, for vulnerable customers, that includes essential products. The box is available to the elderly, people with a disability, those with compromised immunity, and people in mandatory isolation.

The box includes basic meals, snacks and a few essential items.

To find out more information, visit Woolworths.

Coles offers a Community Hour, between 7am and 8am on Monday to Friday.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, is dedicated to the elderly and others in need.

Tuesday and Thursday is dedicated to emergency services and heath care workers.

To find out more information, visit Coles.

FREE PHARMACY HOME DELIVERY.

From Monday 20 March, free pharmacy home delivery will be offered by Australia Post to support those isolating themselves at on the advice of a medical practitioner, people over seventy years of age, and people with chronic health conditions.

To find out more information, visit Australia Post.

BAYCISS – COMMUNITY SUPPORT.

The Bayside Community Information and Support Service (BayCISS) is committed to staying open and providing phone support, home delivery and other essential services during this difficult time. If you find yourself needing family counselling, education support programs, legal advice and emergency relief services, please get in touch with the centre.

BayCISS is also accepting donations of non-perishable food items such as long life milk, cereals,  pasta, rice, canned vegetables, and pasta sauces. If you are able to donate any of these items, please contact BayCISS.

To find out more information, visit BayCISS.

BayCISS Hampton East Centre
Address: 12 Katoomba Street, Hampton East, VIC 3188.

Phone: (03) 9555 6560 or (03) 9555 9910

Castlefield Community Centre
Address: 505 Bluff Road, Hampton, VIC 3188.
Phone: (03) 9598 0662

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – JOBKEEPER PAYMENT.

On Monday 20 March, the Federal Government announced the introduction of a JobKeeper Payment Scheme, which will provide certain workers with a fortnightly payment of $1,500. The $130 billion scheme will assist up to 6 million Australians.

For more information about the package, visit:

Information for employers

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – WORKER AND BUSINESS SUPPORT PACKAGE. 

The Federal Government has announced an additional $66.1 billion economic support package. The Federal Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.

For more information about specific parts of the package, visit:

Boosting cash flow for employers

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

Increasing the instant asset write-off

Backing business investment

Supporting apprentices and trainees

To find out more information, visit the Federal Department of Treasury.

To find more information, support, and resources for businesses affected by the Coronavirus, call 13 28 46 or visit Business Victoria.

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT – ECONOMIC SURVIVAL PACKAGE.

The Victorian Government has announced a $1.7 billion support package.

Details of the package includes:

  • $556 million the Government will provide full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million.
  • The same businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021.
  • $500 million Business Support Fund for businesses in the hardest hit sectors.
  • $100 million waiving of rent for businesses in Government buildings.
  • $30 million waiving of 2020 liquor licensing fees.
  • Commitment to pay State Government invoices within 5 days.

To find out more information, call the Business Victoria Coronavirus Hotline on 13 22 15.

You can register, as a business, in the Business Support Fund.

BANKING – LOAN PAYMENT DEFERRALS.

The major four Australian banks have announced that they will defer loan repayments for small businesses, affected by the Coronavirus, by up to six months. This announcement is welcome news in Victoria, where the 600,000 small businesses are the backbone of our economy.

You can contact the major banks on the following numbers:

ANZ: 1800 351 548 | CBA: 132 607 | NAB: 1300 769 650 | Westpac: 132 142

BAYSIDE CITY COUNCIL – SUPPORT PACKAGE.

On 24 March 2020, Bayside Council adopted the following support packages for small businesses:

  • An immediate 6 month (50%) rebate on fees for Food Act registrations.
  • An immediate 6 month (50%) rebate on Street Trading permits.
  • Provision of 3 month rent deferral to commercial tenants of Council owned buildings in certain cases.
  • Extension of Council’s hardship policy to property rates on Commercial properties and simplification of the application process.

Bayside Council will continue to review the current COVID-19 situation and adjust its response as required. The Council has mobilised staff to visit traders to check on their welfare and explain what Council is doing. They will also be working with businesses to assist them in adjusting their business models where possible.

To find out more information, visit Bayside City Council.

HELP WITH MENTAL HEALTH.

Our mental health is as important as our physical health, yet our focus is often on our physical health. It is just as important to look after our mental health.

The impact of the Coronavirus can lead to feelings of anxiety and concern. But try to remember that health professionals and governments are working to contain the virus and keep our community safe.

The Federal Government’s mental health portal, Head to Health, provides a source of information and guidance.

To find out more information, visit Head to Health.

Beyond Blue provides resources in recognition that people may have feelings of anxiety, distress and concern in relation to the Coronavirus.

To find out more information, visit Beyond Blue.

Lifeline understands that the Coronavirus can cause people to feel afraid, worried, anxious or overwhelmed.

To speak to someone at Lifeline, call: 13 11 14.

Headspace provides information that might be helpful to manage any changes to daily life as a result of containment measures for the Coronavirus.

To find out more information, visit Headspace.

KEY CONTACTS

Coronavirus Hotline

1800 675 398

Business Victoria

13 22 15

Business.gov.au

13 28 46

Victoria Police Assistance Line

131 444

Brighton Electorate Office

03 9592 1900