News | 2 August 2020

New Coronavirus rules for Victoria

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New information. Coronavirus rules in Victoria. Virus emoji. Map of Victoria with Melbourne in red.

The Victorian government has just announced new coronavirus rules for everyone in Victoria. Metro Melbourne has moved to Stage 4 restrictions, and rural areas are moving to Stage 3. Here’s what is changing…

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Update: Wednesday August 5

Worker permits

The Victorian government announced yesterday that essential workers will need to carry a permit when they are out and about to demonstrate that they are allowed to moving around.

For doctors and nurses and other health care workers a hospital ID tag will do.

Everyone else will need to carry the permit – just in case they are stopped.

This will include disability support workers.

Employers and employees will both need to sign the document.

This will start from 11.59pm tonight.

👉 You can find the worker permit form (docx) on the Department of Health and Human Services website, the Department of Justice website, and the Business Victoria website.

Disability support workers

Disability support workers are considered essential workers. They are able to travel more than 5km from their home to support people. They are also allowed to work outside of the curfew hours – between 8pm and 5am.

They can also go with you when you exercise – but again you can’t go anywhere more than 5km from your home.

They can also help you go shopping – or do the shopping for you.

But they will need to carry the permit whenever they are out, and travelling to and from work.

Pandemic leave payment

Workers in Victoria who have tested positive to Coronavirus and have to isolate can apply for a payment of $1500 to cover their costs while they can’t work.

But you can only apply if you don’t have access to sick leave through your employer.

This is particularly important for casual workers.

👉 There is more information on the Services Australia website.

👉 There is also more information on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Update: Monday August 3

As promised there have been more announcements from the Victorian government today about the news rules for everyone living in metro Melbourne.

These things will stay open during the stage 4 lockdown:

😷 Supermarkets and other places that sell food like butchers, bakers and fruit and veg shops.

😷 Petrol stations.

😷 Chemists and news agencies.

😷 Banks and post offices.

These businesses will close from 11.59pm on Wednesday:

😷 Retail shops. But some places will be allowed to have click and collect, and some places will still have home delivery.

😷 Some manufacturing.

Other workplaces – like meatworks and building sites – will still be open but will have to reduce the numbers of workers who are on site.

This lockdown will run for six weeks until September 13.

There was a lot of detailed info released to the media this afternoon. This is just a summary.

The Premier has also said there will be more information coming out over the next few days.

And the Prime Minister has just announced that workers in Victoria will now be eligible for a payment of $1500 if they have to self isolate and don’t have any sick leave.

This is very important change for people who are casual workers.

👉 You can find some news coverage here

👉 The Premier’s statement is on the Department of Health and Human Services

👉 Full list of all businesses with info about whether they are open, closed or restricted (Word doc – table).

Sunday August 2 announcements

In metropolitan Melbourne:

😷 You are only allowed to leave home for four reasons – work, care, exercise and shopping.

😷 Shopping will be restricted to one person from a house once a day – and only at shops that are in a 5km radius from your house. But if your closest supermarket is more than 5km that’s ok – you are allowed to travel to whichever one is closest. 

😷 There will be a curfew from 8pm – 5am each night. You will only be able to be able to leave your house to get care, give care or to go to work.

😷 Exercise will be limited to one hour a day and only within a 5km radius of your home. Recreational exercise – like playing golf or tennis – will no longer be allowed. 

😷 School will return to remote learning for Year 11 and 12s from Wednesday. Special schools will be open but only for those students who cannot be at home.

😷 Kindergartens and child care centres will now also only be open to children of essential workers.

😷 The Premier has said “common sense” rules will apply. For example if you can’t shop by yourself you can have someone with you. Or if you have children you can all exercise together. 

😷 The restrictions will apply until September 13.

In regional Victoria:

😷 Regional Victoria will move to Stage 3 restrictions from 11.59pm on Wednesday night. That means there will only be four reasons to leave home – work, exercise, care and shopping.

😷 All students will return to remote learning from Wednesday.

😷 The Premier has said he will make more announcements tomorrow about changes to work and workplaces. But he stressed that essential services – like food and chemists -would remain open.

👉 You can read news coverage from ABC here

👉 Or a helpful explainer from The Guardian here

👉 The Department of Health and Human Services website has the statement from the Premier here

Please look after yourself

This is the news that we have been expecting – but we know it doesn’t make it any easier. We are sending light and love out to everyone in our community. These changes will be very tough for everyone.

And in case you need more support, here are some places you can call:

National Coronavirus hotline – 1800 020 080

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Disability Information Helpline – 1800 643 787

Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 7 pm (AEST).

Remember this hotline is just for people with disability and their families. It is staffed by the good folks at Ideas Disability Information who are really on top of all things disability.

They can help you with any question you might have. If you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start they will do all the hard work for you and get you the info and help you need. Just give them a call. Or check out their website for plenty of helpful COVID-19 information:

NDIS Coronavirus hotline – 1800 800 110 then press 5

There are special teams of NDIA staff available to answer your questions and help with your plan. Just press 5 after calling the NDIS contact centre. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (local time).

Mental health & Medicare

The Health Minister Greg Hunt MP has announced that people affected by the new restrictions can get more support for their mental health. Normally, people can visit their GP and get a mental health care plan (which provides you with up to 10 Medicare subsidised sessions with a mental health professional like a psychologist). Now there are an extra 10 more therapy sessions subsidised by Medicare for people who are affected by the new lockdown rules.


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