Information about the restrictions that apply in metropolitan Melbourne.

First Step

11.59pm on 13 September 2020

First Step commences at 11.59pm on 13 September

What does this mean I can do

From 11:59pm 13 September, metropolitan Melbourne has moved to the First Step of easing restrictions.

  • The curfew is 9pm until 5am. You must be at your home during these hours. The only reasons to leave home between 9pm and 5am are work, medical care and caregiving.
  • The four reasons that you can leave home remain, however some changes have been made to restrictions:
    • shopping for food or other essential items
    • exercise and outdoor activity (applies to outdoor exercise, and with only one other person or members of your household)
    • permitted work
    • caregiving, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment.

As much as you can, you must stay at home. When you leave home, you must use a face covering, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.

Your questions answered

First Step restrictions: metropolitan Melbourne

From 11:59pm 13 September, metropolitan Melbourne has moved to First Step restrictions.

These changes have been introduced as part of easing restrictions safely and slowly in metropolitan Melbourne. You can view the roadmap to re-opening

This means that you cannot leave your home unless you are doing it for one of the following four reasons:

Necessary goods and services:

  • Necessary goods and services include the supermarket, pharmacy, bottle shop, petrol, post office, food stores, liquor store, or pet store. Supermarkets will continue to stay open to allow people to buy food so there is no need to stock up on groceries. Other retail shops will only be available for delivery or click and collect.
  • You can only travel up to 5km from your home. You should stay as close to your home as possible, for example shopping at the nearest supermarket. For some people the nearest essential goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider.
  • Only one person per household can leave home to get necessary goods and services. They can leave once a day, which means people can’t do multiple shopping trips. You should limit the time you spend away from home. If you are unable to leave a child, children or a person in your care at home unattended, then they may accompany you.
  • If you are taking a child, children or a person in your care with you when you shop, you should not leave them in the car unattended while you shop. Leaving children unaccompanied in a vehicle is an offence in Victoria.

Exercise:

You can leave home to exercise but there are limits:

  • You must not travel more than 5km from where you live to exercise.
  • You can exercise with members of your household or a friend or family member as long as you both do not travel more than 5km. Please use common sense and limit the number of people you see in person right now. It is safer to connect with friends and family using phone calls, social media and video calls. If you are exercising with someone else, you should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between you. Don’t hug, kiss or shake hands.
  • You must limit your exercise to twice a day and for no more than two hours in total.
  • If you are a parent or guardian who is caring for a child or someone who cannot be left unattended then they may go with you.

Care and health care:

  • You can leave home to receive health care or attend medical appointments. If you need to see a doctor or health care professional, you should do so. Do not put off getting medical care. Your doctor or health care professional can provide advice on how to stay safe.
  • 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. Wear a face covering.
  • You can leave home to accompany someone for essential medical treatment if you are a parent, guardian or necessary support person.
  • You can take a pet to the vet.
  • The 5km limit does not apply to care and health care.

Work:

  • You must continue to work from home.
  • All administrative functions, even in essential services, need to be undertaken remotely from
  • If you are a permitted worker your employer needs to issue you with a Permitted Worker Permit so you can travel to work.
  • To find out more, visit Creating a COVID Safe workplace on the Business Victoria website.
  • The 5km limit does not apply to work.

Additionally:

  • You can still visit an intimate partner or maintain shared parenting arrangements for children.
  • If you live alone or are a single parent you can create a social bubble with one other person.
  • You can leave home if there is an emergency.
  • You can leave home if there is family violence, or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you. Safe accommodation and support for family violence is available. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you do need to leave home, you must wear a face covering, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. Always wash your hands before you leave and when you return home. Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

Never, ever go out if you are unwell, unless it is to get tested and then you must go straight home.

If we all do this, we can protect our loved ones, friends, colleagues, health care workers and the community.

Who does this apply to, and when?

First Step restrictions apply to all people living in metropolitan Melbourne area. If you don’t live in this area, then from 11.59pm 16 September Third Step restrictions apply to you. The definition of metropolitan Melbourne is based on the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which sets out the local government areas that form metropolitan Melbourne. The local government areas where metropolitan Melbourne restrictions apply 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
  • Yarra Ranges

I live in Mitchell Shire – what restrictions apply to me?

If you are in Mitchell Shire, from 11:59pm 16 September Third Step restrictions apply to you.

Is this compulsory or voluntary?

It is compulsory. The Public Health Commander of Victoria has issued a lawful direction as part of the current State of Emergency.

Can I leave the house during the First Step?

If you live in the Melbourne metropolitan area you need to stay home. You can only leave your home from 5am to 9pm. You can only leave your home for four reasons:

  • to shop for food and essential goods or services
  • to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
  • to exercise
  • for permitted work.

You may leave your home between 9pm and 5am for reasons including work, medical care and caregiving.

You may also leave your home in an emergency or if required by law.

Is there a limit on how far I can go if I am out for one of the four reasons?

You should not travel further than you need to. Please use common sense and consideration when it comes to these activities and stay close to home.

If you are leaving home to exercise or for shopping, you cannot travel more than 5km from your home.

How is 5km defined?

From 6pm on 2 August you are not allowed to travel more than 5km from your home for shopping or exercise. You can travel further than 5km from your home for permitted work, medical care and care or compassionate reasons.

The easiest way to work out how far you can travel is to use the tool below. This tool shows the 5km circle that you can travel within for shopping or exercise.

If the nearest location to buy essential goods and services is more than 5km away, then you can leave home to travel there.

The purpose of the 5km limit on how far you can travel for goods and services or exercise, is to limit how far people are travelling within metropolitan Melbourne. By staying close to home, we can all help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Do I need a permit to leave home?

You only need a permit to leave home if you are a permitted worker who needs to leave home for work or you are providing childcare. Visit permitted worker permits for more information and to apply.

You do not need a permit if you are leaving home to exercise, buy necessary goods or services, for caregiving, to receive medical care, to have a coronavirus (COVID-19 test), or in an emergency.

Are there limits on the time of day I can leave the house?

Yes, a curfew applies from 6pm on 2 August. That means from 9pm until 5am you must be at your home. The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be for work, medical care and caregiving. You can leave home if there is an emergency or if there is family violence, or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk.

What are the exceptions to leaving your home during curfew hours?

You may leave your home between 9pm and 5am for reasons including work, medical care and caregiving. You may also leave your home in an emergency. You can leave home if there is family violence, or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk.

My mail is delivered to a post-box that is more than 5km from my house. Can I travel to collect my mail?

You can leave home to collect your mail from a post box or from a post office.

Can I letter box drop campaign materials for my local government elections?

You can drop campaign materials, or letter box, as part of local government elections. As an employee or volunteer you can only travel to the local government ward in which you live or within 5km of your normal place of residence. You can not enter any homes. You can only leave home to letter box for up to two hours a day. This can be across two sessions.

As a candidate you can travel to and within the local government ward that you are the candidate for.

Accessing medical services

Can I leave my home to access medical services?

Yes. If you are unwell it is important that you see a healthcare professional. You may leave your home for any of the following personal reasons:

  • to get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • to visit a doctor or other health professional or care service, or to obtain medicine and medical supplies
  • to donate blood.

You may access these services anywhere in Victoria.

Can I see my medical specialist or consultant?

Yes. Do not delay your appointment if you need urgent or essential specialist care or treatment that cannot be provided via telehealth. 

Your medical specialist or consultant can assist you in determining if you need in person care or treatment during current restrictions. This could include ongoing or regular care essential for health reasons and where the care must be provided in person (for example, if a physical examination is required). 

Your general practitioner (GP) can refer you to a medical specialist or consultant for urgent care or treatment, if they determine it is required. Medical specialists are able to hold patient consultations when a primary health physician has deemed it to be essential for that patient during current restrictions.  

If you feel unwell and are experiencing any symptoms, please get tested and stay at home until you receive your results.  

Can I attend an appointment with an allied health professions (e.g. physiotherapist, dentist)?

Selected allied health providers can still operate under current restrictions. Information on permitted allied health providers and the permitted work premises where they can work can be found here.  

Face to face appointments with allied health professionals should only be for critical care and not for routine care. Critical care means your appointment is needed to prevent a significant change or deterioration in your ability to function in your daily life or remain living within your own home.

Routine care includes any appointments or check-ups which could safely be postponed until restrictions are eased. There are no restrictions on the delivery of allied health services using telehealth.  

There are no restrictions on GP visits. You are encouraged to continue to see your doctor as needed. 

Can I leave my home to access allied health services?

Yes - for critical care only.  

If your service provider operates in metropolitan Melbourne, you should check they are currently operating under current restrictions. Information on permitted allied health providers and the permitted work premises where they can work can be found here.

Can I see my dentist or optometrist?

Face to face appointments can only be for critical care and not for routine care. There are no restrictions on the delivery of Allied Health services via telehealth. More information about the services Allied health workers are permitted to provide under current business restrictions can be found here.

Can I see my orthotist/prosthetist?

Yes - if the service from your orthotist/prosthetist is part of a plan of care with a medical practitioner.  However, face to face appointments can only be for critical care purposes (such as fitting or removal of a brace or orthosis to address immediate acute injuries or prevent complications). 

Are AHPRA registered health workers, social workers, speech pathologist, audiologists, dieticians and any other health workers able to operate?

Yes, these workers can operate to fulfil a care plan endorsed by NDIS, TAC, Workcover or DVA, or to provide services that prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care (e.g. a requirement for specialist input/review, an increase in care needs and/or alternate accommodation, avoiding a hospital admission or emergency department presentation). 

Can health professionals involved in the repair/maintenance of assistive technology (such as hearing devices, prostheses and wheelchairs) undertake repairs or maintenance?

All Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registered health professionals (such as audiologists, optometrists, occupational therapists and orthotists/prosthetists) may continue to operate to provide services that prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence that would result in more care being required. 

Caregiving or compassionate reasons

What are the ‘care or compassionate reasons' for being able to leave my home?

You may leave your home for any of the following personal reasons:

  • to visit a doctor or other health professional or care service, or to obtain medical supplies
  • to donate blood
  • if you have shared parenting obligations and need to transport children between homes, under an informal or court-ordered arrangement
  • to provide child-minding services at someone’s home because that person is a permitted worker and doesn’t have anyone else in the household who can supervise their children
  • if you are the parent or guardian of a child and you wish to visit the child because they are in the care of another person or organisation, or you have obligations in relation to the care and support of the child
  • to provide childcare or early childhood education or schooling to a child who lives in the care of the State or family or family violence service
  • if you have carer responsibilities, for example, picking up or dropping off children in a foster care or respite care arrangement
  • to drop off or pick up a child at personal or private childcare, early childhood education facility or school, as permitted
  • to provide care and support to a relative or other person – such as shopping, cooking or house-cleaning –because of their old age, infirmity, disability, sickness or chronic health condition, they are pregnant or have health or mental health concerns
  • to visit someone in an aged care facility, disability accommodation or other residential care facility, provided you comply with the Care facilities direction
  • to visit someone in hospital, provided that visit conforms to the Hospital visitor direction
  • if there is family violence, or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you. Safe accommodation and support for family violence is available. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.aufor help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I care for my elderly relatives or friends - can I take them for exercise?

If you are a carer for someone, such as your elderly parents, then you can provide support to help them exercise as part of care giving. You and your parent must wear a face covering when you go out for exercise, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.

We have children in a shared custody arrangement. How does this affect them?

All shared custody arrangements, whether informal or court-ordered can continue as normal.

You are permitted to leave the house to take children from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home.

Can I get a baby-sitter to come to my home or to someone’s house to have them minded?

Yes.  Permitted workers whether they are working onsite or from home, may maintain existing arrangements for in-home child minding. These arrangements can be paid or unpaid.

New arrangements are not permitted and only one person may enter the house at any one time for the purposes of providing in-home child minding.

People in at-risk cohorts, such as grandparents or elderly relatives, are strongly advised not to participate in in-home child minding arrangements and should limit their movement as much as possible.

Can grandparents or other family members care for my children while I work?

Yes, but only if you are a permitted worker, you have a prior arrangement and it is necessary. You should avoid having grandparents or elderly family members caring for your children to reduce the risk of vulnerable people being exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19).

People who live in Melbourne can leave home for care or caregiving and may travel beyond 5km from home or outside metropolitan Melbourne for this purpose. There is a general requirement when leaving home to ensure you do not travel for an unreasonable period of time. 

Can I drop my children at childcare?

Yes. Permitted workers whether they are working onsite or from home, may maintain existing arrangements for in-home childcare if their children cannot otherwise be cared for during work hours by the employee or another responsible member of the household. These arrangements can be paid or unpaid.

New arrangements are not permitted and only one person may enter the house at any one time for the purposes of providing in-home childcare.

People in at-risk cohorts, such as grandparents or elderly relatives, are strongly advised not to participate in in-home childcare arrangements and should limit their movement as much as possible.

Are there any additional reasons to access childcare outside of permitted work?

In an emergency, if your safety is at risk (including family violence), or if you or someone in your immediate household is seeking urgent medical care, you may access childcare.

This includes both paid and unpaid care, including through family and friends.

In an emergency, you may access childcare if your safety is at risk (including family violence), or if you or someone in your immediate household is seeking urgent medical care. This includes both paid and unpaid care, including through family and friends.

Can I visit someone who has recently lost a loved one?

Although it is extremely difficult, you cannot visit a relative or friend to provide comfort in person. This is to help keep them, and you, safe.

You should check in on them and stay in touch by calling, using social media, or by video chat. 

You can only visit someone to provide care and support –such as shopping, cooking or house-cleaning – because of their old age, infirmity, disability, sickness or chronic health condition, or that they are pregnant or have health or mental health concerns.

Looking after animals and pets

Can I take my animal to the vet?

Yes, you can take an animal to the vet if there is a genuine animal welfare issue. 

You should stay close to home where possible, but you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider. 

You should check in with your veterinary clinic ahead of your appointment as clinics are operating with new rules to ensure they meet physical distancing requirements. You are also required to wear a face covering.

If you are unwell, or are in quarantine or isolation, contact your veterinary practitioner by phone for advice on what to do to ensure your animal gets the care it needs. You must not leave home.

During curfew hours (9pm -5am) you may only leave home to seek emergency veterinary care for your animal. 

Can I leave home to pick up a new pet?

Yes. You can leave your home to collect a pet you purchased prior to the date this clarification was provided by government on 13 August 2020. If you are adopting from an animal shelter or pound, you are not required to have already purchased your pet.

Once you collect your pet, you must return home immediately afterwards. Animal shelters and pounds are open by appointment only. You should contact the location to arrange an appointment and ensure you can follow their processes for reducing the risk of transmitting coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you are picking up a pet you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face covering.

In metropolitan Melbourne, the collection of new pets must not take place during the curfew period of 9pm - 5am.  

You may travel more than 5km from your home to collect a pet, but the travel cannot be unreasonable. As with other necessary goods, it must be the closest practical location. 

Can I leave home to care for animals located on property other than my place of residence?

Yes, including on property greater than 5km from your usual residence, but you should limit travel where you can.

If you need to leave home to attend to your animals, the restrictions travel with you and so you need to abide by the same rules as if you were at home. You should wear a mask and practise good hygiene, including washing and sanitising hands before and after handling animals and their equipment, bedding or food.

I live in metropolitan Melbourne. Can I travel more than 5km from home to care for animals and/or insects or feed livestock located on property other than my place of residence?

Yes, you can leave home to care for your animals or insects, if it is necessary to do so and you are not able to make alternative arrangements. This includes travelling beyond 5km from home or leaving Melbourne for this purpose. Please be mindful that you may be required to provide evidence (about your animals/insects and their location) for leaving restricted areas as police are conducting spot checks.

If you need to leave home to attend to your animals or insects, the restrictions travel with you and so you need to abide by the same rules as if you were at home. You should wear a mask and practise good hygiene, including washing and sanitising hands before and after handling animals and their equipment, bedding or food.

Am I allowed to take my dog out for a bathroom break?

Yes. You may leave your apartment to take your dog for a bathroom break; you should, however, stay as close to your home as possible and return to your apartment as soon as your dog has relieved itself. You should seek to minimise separate trips as much as possible, so consider taking your dog out when you exercise or shop for necessary good and services. You must wear a face covering, unless an exemption applies.

Can I walk someone else's dog?

Walking pets that you do not live with is only permitted where there is a genuine animal welfare concern and the owner is physically unable to complete these activities themselves.

I am a dog walker in metropolitan Melbourne, can I continue my work?

No, dog walkers cannot operate. If a pet’s welfare is impacted due to an urgent requirement for walking, the owner should consult with a veterinarian.

Can I look for my lost pet at the council animal shelter or pound?

If you have lost a pet, first call your council to check and if your pet is there, follow their instructions to arrange for its return. 

If your pet is in a pound outside of metropolitan Melbourne, you can go and collect it, however the metropolitan Melbourne restrictions travel with you, and so you need to abide by the same rules as if you were at home (i.e. First Step restrictions apply to you). 

Visit the Business Victoria website for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector guidelines

Can I take or surrender a pet to a council animal shelter or pound?

Yes, under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, council animal shelters and pounds must accept surrendered animals. 

If you have found a lost pet or need to surrender a pet, first call your council and follow their instructions.

Can I still call wildlife rescue?

Yes. Wildlife rescue services continue to operate under current restrictions for emergency rescue, care and transport of injured wildlife.

Can wildlife rescue and care networks continue to operate?

Yes. The emergency rescue, care and transport of injured wildlife can continue. If you are conducting wildlife rescue or care you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face covering.

Can pet rescue, rehoming groups and community foster care networks continue to operate?

Yes, pet rescue, rehoming groups and community foster care networks can continue to operate with some limitations.

Pets can still be transported to and from a place of care, including to a foster carer, if there is a genuine animal welfare issue. In-person prospective home inspections or meet and greets are not permitted. Virtual home inspections or meet and greets may provide a useful alternative.

For those people undertaking activities on behalf of your organisation outside of their homes, the organisation must issue a permitted worker permit.

Workplaces that remain open must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that is regularly updated (unless there are fewer than five workers at the work premises).

During curfew (9pm to 5am) animals cannot be transported unless for emergency veterinary care.

Are pet breeder services allowed to deliver?

Yes, pets purchased prior to the date this clarification was provided by government on 13 August 2020, can be delivered to their new home. You must discuss the requirements for the new pet via video or phone prior to the delivery, to minimise the time the hand-over takes. The person delivering the pet must have a Permitted Worker Permit to be able to carry out the delivery. Pets purchased after this time cannot be delivered during First Step restrictions.

Always maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and other people when delivering a pet and wear a face covering.

When will pet grooming open?

Pet groomers will be permitted to provide contactless service to their clients when metropolitan Melbourne enters into the Second Step. Pet owners will be able to drop off their pets to the venue, and then pick them up when the service is completed, similar to other forms of “click and collect” services.

When can mobile pet grooming resume?

Only pet groomers working out of retail facilities will be allowed to operate from the Second Step. Mobile pet groomers will be able to operate when metropolitan Melbourne moves into the Third Step.

Can I use a pet grooming service in regional Victoria if it’s the one I normally use and the one that’s closest to me?

Under the Second Step, you can travel into regional Victoria to use a pet grooming service at a retail store if it is your nearest provider. This does not include mobile pet grooming services or businesses that operate on residential properties. Where possible, you should postpone pet grooming if it will require you to travel beyond 5km unless the grooming is for animal welfare reasons. 

There isn’t a pet grooming service within 5km of my home, what should I do?

For some people the nearest pet grooming services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider. 

Accommodation including emergency accommodation

Does the First Step easing of restrictions apply to caravan parks?

If you are a permanent resident of a caravan park in metropolitan Melbourne, the current restrictions apply to you. You can stay in a caravan park if you are a resident, for emergency accommodation or for work purposes.

If you are an interstate tourist currently on a holiday visit to a caravan park in metropolitan Melbourne, you must stay there and observe the requirements of the current restrictions while you are residing at that location.

Does the First Step easing of restrictions apply to backpacker hostels?

If you are currently in a backpacker hostel, you should regard it as your home for the purposes of the current restrictions. You should avoid spending time in communal areas of the hostel. You may leave the hostel to board a flight out of Australia.

Always observe physical distancing requirements at the hostel by keeping at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and other people at all times.

If I am in community accommodation, does this mean I can’t leave where I am?

You must observe the current restrictions. wherever you are living in metropolitan Melbourne. If you are currently in a family violence refuge, youth refuge or other form of temporary crisis or respite accommodation, you can move to alternative accommodation if you have an alternative option.

Once you move from temporary accommodation, this becomes your new normal place of residence for the purposes of the current restrictions.

Can I leave my home if I fear for my safety or the safety of my children due to a family violence situation?

Yes. If you or your children are escaping harm or are at risk of harm from family violence, you can leave your home to seek support and assistance. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you.

Family violence frontline services, including crisis accommodation, continue to operate to support women, children and families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.

There are options for accessing safe housing if you need to leave a violent situation or you are not safe in your home.

Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information visit Family violence support during coronavirus.

What about people in a family violence refuge or other emergency accommodation?

If you are in a family violence refuge or temporary accommodation, such as a hotel or motel, arranged for you by a family violence support service, and don’t have an alternative safe accommodation option, you can remain there. You should regard this accommodation as your normal place of residence for the purposes of the current restrictions, unless you have alternative accommodation to go to.

If you are in short term or respite accommodation, you can return to your usual place of residence or other safe accommodation option when you are able to do so. Once you move from short term or respite accommodation, this becomes your normal place of residence for the purposes of the current restrictions.

Can I leave my home to attend court to apply for a family violence intervention order?

Yes. People are permitted to leave their home to attend court to seek protection from family violence.

All Magistrates’ Courts are open and are continuing to hear family violence matters, including Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) applications.

You can apply for an FVIO online.

You can also phone the Court to discuss your options. You can find your local court here.

FVIO applications can still be made in person at the Court if that is the safest option. For more info visit the Magistrates’ Court frequently asked questions.

Can I leave my home to attend court or in relation to a legal matter?

Yes. People are permitted to leave their home to attend court or for purposes relating to the administration of justice. This could include visiting a police station, court or law enforcement or justice system premises.

What does this mean for people in disability accommodation?

If you live in a long-term supported disability accommodation facility in metropolitan Melbourne, this is your normal place of residence for the purposes of the current restrictions.

Residents who have been residing elsewhere temporarily, should not return to the supported accommodation facility if they have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID 19).

Residents who have been notified by the Department that they are a close contact of a confirmed case should not return anytime during their 14 day quarantine period. They must wait until cleared to return by DHHS.

If you are in short-term or respite accommodation, you can return to your usual place of residence or other safe accommodation option when you are able to do so. Once you move from short-term or respite accommodation, this becomes your normal place of residence for the purposes of the current restrictions.

Short-term or respite accommodation can continue to be provided where required to meet your care and support needs during the period of the current restrictions.

The same requirements apply for people accessing short-term or respite accommodation, who do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

There may be changes to the operation of the short term or respite accommodation service to meet physical distancing requirements.

What does this mean for children and young people living in out-of-home care?

If a child or young person is currently living in out-of-home care, including residential care units, this is considered their normal place of residence for the purposes of the current restrictions.

Placements can continue to change to best meet their safety and care needs during this time A child or young person in kinship care, foster care or residential care in metropolitan Melbourne must comply with restrictions. Current restrictions do permit children in out of home care to leave home for contact visits with parents.

Are there any other special reasons that allow me to leave my home?

You can leave your home in an emergency, or if you are required by law to attend either a police station, court or law enforcement or justice system premises.

How will these rules be enforced?

Directions will continue to be enforced through spot checks by Victoria Police and use of emergency powers by the Department of Health and Human Services and Authorised Officers to ensure compliance with the Public Health Directions.

Industry bodies, Victoria Police, WorkSafe, and Authorised Officers will work together to inform Victorians about the directions, as well as undertake enforcement and compliance activities as needed.

Community members can raise concerns about compliance with directions through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. Workers can raise concerns via WorkSafe on 1800 136 089. And employers can talk to their industry regulator or peak body for specific industry related support.

A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Joint Intelligence Unit has been established to support comprehensive preparedness and responses to outbreaks and identify and manage outbreak risks. DHHS and WorkSafe will co-ordinate intelligence and information on businesses that are non-compliant.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:

  • Refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk direction
  • Refusing or failing to comply with the Public Health Directions to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system. Individuals who do not wear a face covering and do not have a lawful reason can be fined $200.