Our message to Victorians remains the same – if you can stay at home, you must stay at home.

The Victorian Government is directing all Victorians to stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Every Victorian must play their part. By staying at home and limiting contact with other people, we can protect the elderly, the at-risk, and our healthcare workers and each other.

There are five reasons that you can leave home:

  • shop for food and other necessary goods and services
  • access medical services or provide caregiving – for example, this includes shared parenting obligations or providing care and support to an unwell, disabled, elderly or pregnant friend or relative
  • attend work or education where you can’t do those things from home
  • exercise and participate in some recreational activities adhering to the rules
  • visit friends, family and loved ones while adhering to the rules

Some restrictions have been cautiously eased to allow people to look after their own, and others’ health, wellbeing and social connection. 

These new arrangements came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday, 12 May.

You can now:

  • Having family and friends visit you at home – with up to five visitors being allowed at your home at one time.
  • Gatherings of people for the purposes of non-contact sport and recreation in public settings, such as National, State and public parks – with groups of up to ten being allowed to gather.
  • Small gatherings of up to 10 people at some indoor facilities such as places of worship and community centres – along with those required to run the facilities.  The four-square metre rule applies in these settings.

Even as restrictions are gradually eased, it’s critical that you continue to keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others and you practise good hygiene.  If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus, it is vital you stay at home.

Visit the Directions issued by the Chief Health Officer page to view the Stay at Home directions.

On this page

Who does this apply to, and when?

Everyone in Victoria at all times until the 11:59pm on the 31st of May.

Is this compulsory, or voluntary?

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

Can I leave the house during the Stay at Home period?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, you can leave your home during this period:

  • to shop for food and other necessary goods and services
  • to access medical services or provide caregiving – for example, this includes shared parenting obligations or providing care and support to an unwell, disabled, elderly or pregnant friend or relative
  • to attend work or education where you can’t do those things from home
  • for exercise and participate in public recreational activities adhering to distancing and gathering rules
  • to visit friends, family and loved ones while adhering to the rules

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

As always, Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to leaving home under the above five reasons. We are all being asked to make sacrifices in order to save lives.

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

No. There are no limits on leaving your home if you need to at any particular times of the day or night.

For example, if you work night shift, or need to provide care to a relative or other person, you can do so as needed.

You can leave home to exercise at any time of day.

Shopping for food and other necessary goods and services

For more information on shopping, retail and restaurants, see Shopping, retail and food.

Work

Can I leave my house to go to work?

If your work cannot be performed from home, you can still go to work. When at work, you should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others and practising good hygiene.

At the same time, we’re urging Victorians: if you can work from home, you must work from home.

Actions for organisations, workplaces or employers

Organisations and employers who are responsible for a workplace or venue should be taking actions to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

For those organisations continuing to operate, the following actions should be taken:

Key actions

  • Encourage flexible working arrangements, including working from home and off-peak travel if it is necessary to be physically present at work.
  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Cancel all staff travel.
  • Plan for increased levels of staff absences.
  • Plan for what to do if staff arrive sick at work (e.g. identify an isolation room or separated area).
  • Display education materials that can be downloaded and printed from our coronavirus (COVID-19) section.
  • Keep staff informed of the actions you are taking.

Hygiene

  • Provide and promote sanitisers for use on entering buildings.
  • Increase environmental cleaning. 
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly, including desks, keyboards and change room surfaces.
  • In a change room, do not share items like towels and soap bars, and wash your hands after changing.
  • Open windows, enhance airflow, adjust air conditioning.
  • Ensure the highest hygiene practices among food handlers and canteen staff.
  • Purchase supplies to help limit infection, for example alcohol sanitisers and soap.

Physical distancing

  • Plan ways to enable physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres to reduce in-person contact for both staff and clients. 
  • In an enclosed workspace there should be on average no more than one person per four square metres of floor space. This is a directive by the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Victorian Government.
  • Provide a clearly visible sign for customers and staff stating how many people are allowed in your premises.
  • Avoid large indoor meetings and lunchrooms and use outdoor venues.

If you want further workplace-related information or assistance visit the Worksafe website or call 1800 136 089 (7:30am – 6:30pm).  

For those required to keep records, how long do records need to be kept?

Some workplaces, premises and facilities are required to keep records of people who have attended. Keep for 28 full days. This is two full incubation periods and makes it likely that records will be available should an investigation look back into who was potentially exposed, but would not be unduly onerous / invade privacy by keeping records for any longer than absolutely necessary to meet the purpose of the requirement.

Which workplaces and premises need to keep records?

The following workplaces, premises and facilities must keep a record of the people who have attended:

  • An indoor physical recreation facility or personal training facility offering outdoor services
  • A physical recreational facility that is exclusively used by a single professional sporting team
  • A community facility that is hosting a wedding or a funeral
  • An arena or stadium being used exclusively for training by a single professional sporting team or providing a venue for a professional sporting event 
  • A place of worship that is hosting a wedding, funeral or ceremony 
  • A hairdresser 
  • A swimming pool that is used by a single professional sporting team 
  • A residential property at which there is an auction or an inspection 

It is important to remember other restrictions are likely to apply to these facilities. 

Should the records be destroyed after a certain period?

Destroy after 28 full days from the date of the service provided to the individual. I.e. destroy after the required keeping period. This only applies to services where Records are not normally kept, i.e. this is special record-keeping introduced only by the Directions. No health records should be destroyed for example, that have their own normal statutory etc periods for required retention.

What if the person doesn't want to give their details?

Explain the purpose (to aid any future required contact tracing) in order to protect the health of the individual receiving the service. But not compulsory – the person must not be denied the service if they decline to provide their details after a clear explanation as to the rationale and purpose. It is not a matter that should cause a hairdresser (for example) to overly police the collection of private data, or cause an excuse to deny services (which might be denied on other grounds e.g. stigma or prejudice for example).

Study and education

Can I still go to my classes at TAFE, college or university?

Yes, if it is necessary classes are conducted on-site, but physical distancing must be applied wherever you are by keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others at all times. Avoid spending time in shared facilities such as libraries and campus study areas. Collaborative assignments and team study projects should be done using online tools. Study at home.

Can my child go to school?

For more information about distance learning, see the Department of Education and Training's Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice page 

Actions for childcare centres and kindergartens

Childcare and kindergartens may remain open if they choose. These settings should take the following actions now:

Key actions

  • Take all the actions listed under actions for an organisation, workplace of employers. 
  • Actively encourage sick children and staff to stay at home.
  • Reduce visitors to the absolute minimum. Exclude people from entering your facilities who are at a high risk, including the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Be mindful of children’s individual needs and limit making too many changes to their routines all at once. 
  • Identify a space that can be used to isolate students and staff who become sick.
  • Alert your agency or department about increases in child and staff absenteeism due to flu-like illnesses.
  • Keep parents and staff informed of the actions you are taking.

Hygiene

  • Implement the practice of all staff, children and parents/carers washing their hands with soap and water or use of hand sanitiser upon arrival at your service.
  • Continue this practice during the day especially before and after eating food and using the toilet.
  • Be a good role model for children and their parents/carers, and actively talk about the importance of washing hands.
  • For younger children increase the frequency of cleaning toys. 
  • Increase routine environmental cleaning. Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
  • Ensure the highest hygiene practices among food handlers.

Physical distancing

  • Consider whether any activities can be postponed, reduced in size/frequency or replaced. 
  • Cancel non-essential group activities.
  • Look at your setup when children are eating. Consider having less children at each table and use more tables to allow space between children.  Ensure there is no more than one child for every 4 square metres of space.
  • If you have limited tables and normally have all children eating at the same time, consider staggered timings of snacks and lunch over a longer period.
  • Consider the setup of your room and the placement of the activities. For table activities, set up the activity only at each end of the table. 
  • Set up more individual activities throughout the room. Rather than having all the books and blocks on one shelf, set them up in separate areas throughout the room where possible.
  • Wherever possible (e.g. weather dependent) and where you have appropriate staff numbers for adequate supervision, consider operating an indoor/outdoor program for the full day/session. This provides more space for the children and the setup of more activities for children to engage in.
  • If you are not able to run an indoor/outdoor program, consider spending more time outdoors and the placement of activities across the outdoor space. A greater range of activities will encourage children to spread out.
  • Rather than having mat group times, consider using informal opportunities to engage with the children/read books or story telling with one or two children at a time throughout the day. 
  • Look at the spacing of cots and highchairs, keeping them well apart.

Actions for schools

  • Schools will begin a staged return from remote and flexible learning from Tuesday 26 May 2020. All students will attend school as normal from Tuesday 9 June 2020. Further information about the staged return to school is available from the Department of Education and Training website

Actions for TAFE, colleges and universities

There is no recommendation for these settings to close at this time. However, educational settings are encouraged to provide distance learning where possible to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. These settings should take the following actions now:

Key actions

  • Take all the actions listed under Actions for an organisation, workplace or employers.
  • Provide access to online content remotely and participate in as many other classes as possible by audio-visual link or other remote means.
  • Workplace canteens and cafes may remain open for staff and students for take away only. Ensure physical distancing and the highest hygiene practices among food handlers and canteen staff.
  • Cancel non-essential group activities such as study visits, extra-curricular activities, camps and sporting events.
  • Continue to support clinical placements if the necessary risk assessments have been undertaken, after discussion with clinical supervisors and healthcare facilities.
  • Actively encourage sick students and staff to stay at home.
  • Implement a plan to identify students who have respiratory symptoms or fever, and isolate these individuals as quickly as possible.
  • Identify a space that can be used to isolate students and staff who become sick.
  • Student residences, residential colleges and students should consider the risks versus the benefits of students remaining. If they remain open, reduce accommodation densities and restrict the use of communal areas.
  • Student halls and residential colleges should implement a plan to identify students who have respiratory symptoms or fever and isolate these individuals as quickly as possible.
  • Keep students and staff informed of the actions you are taking.

Hygiene

  • Encourage personal hygiene, such as use of hand sanitiser by students at entry points.
  • Increase environmental cleaning. 
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly, including desks and keyboards.

Physical distancing

  • Plan ways to enable physical distancing of 1.5m to reduce in-person contact for both staff and students. 
  • In an enclosed space have no more than one person per four square metres of floor space on average and have fewer than 100 persons. This includes lectures and examinations.
  • Limit movements and contacts between student/class groups.

Exercise, and recreation activities

For more information about sports, community and recreation activities, see sport, cultural and recreational activities.

Caring for others and animals

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 medical professional, 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 needs to leave the house for one of the permitted reasons, or work or study at home
  • 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 school 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 or school, if you need to go to work or study
  • 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 your visit conforms to the Care Facilities direction
  • to visit someone in hospital, provided that visit conforms to the Hospital Visitors direction
  • to attend the funeral service of a relative or friend, noting that there is a maximum permitted number of mourners
  • to get married, or be a witness or a guest at a wedding, noting that the maximum permitted number of people is 10 plus the celebrant and couple
  • to attend pre-arranged private worship or small religious ceremonies of up to 10 people
  • 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.

Will telehealth services continue?

Yes, telehealth services will continue.

Can mental health face to face counselling services resume?

Yes. In addition to the existing available face-to-face support, small gatherings of 10 people, plus the minimum number of people reasonably required to operate the service or support group, may now resume.

You should follow the physical distancing rules and practice good hygiene including regular hand washing and hand sanitizing.

What about group-based community support services like Alcoholics Anonymous?

Small gatherings of 10 people plus the minimum number of people reasonably required to operate the service or support group may resume under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May.

That means community support services, including alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, family violence support groups including men’s behaviour change, parent groups and youth groups can now meet.

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?

Yes. You can arrange in-home child minding if you need to leave home for a permitted purpose, as outlined above.

As always, visitors to your home should observe appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres from other people.

Can I drop my children at childcare – or to someone’s house to have them minded?

Yes. You can use childcare services, or take them to the house of a friend or family member so they can be cared for.

Can I leave my house to do volunteering work?

Yes. Unpaid work can continue to be done while the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating. However, if the volunteer work can be done from home, it should be. You should also maintain appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and other people at all times and maintain sanitisation measures such as regularly washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.

Information for current and prospective volunteers about how to support the community and stay safe can be found at https://www.volunteer.vic.gov.au/covid19.

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

You should limit travel where you can, and only travel if you can drive there and back within one day.

If you do need to leave home to attend to your animals, you should comply with the public gathering requirements and practise good hygiene, including hand hygiene before and after handling animals and their equipment, bedding or food.

I am caring for an elderly parent/friend who lives alone. Can I visit them?

Yes. However, if you are preparing meals or providing other help for an elderly person, be mindful of the risks of transmitting coronavirus (COVID-19). Older people are especially vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are delivering meals, think about leaving a package on their doorstep without making physical contact. If you are doing cleaning chores or other housework, think about having them sit somewhere comfortable away from you while you work, so you are not in close contact. Make sure they are feeling well and ask them if they have enough of their regular medications whenever you visit. You must maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others at all times.

Can I leave my home to pick up a new pet?

  • You can adopt a pet. You should call ahead to an animal shelter
  • You can also collect a pet from a breeder or pet store however you must follow physical distance measures and good hygiene practices.

What about animal rescue activities?

Animal rescue activities are permissible. As always, we ask Victorians to maintain their physical distance, comply with gathering restrictions and use common-sense when it comes to leaving their home.

Visiting friends, family and your partner

Can I have visitors in my home?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, visits from friends, family, and partners are allowed.

You can have up to 5 people visit your home at any one time, in addition to those who normally live with you in the household. Children are counted as visitors in the total person limit.

If you are visiting someone's home you should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others and practise good hygiene. If you or your friends, family or partner are feeling unwell you should not visit anyone.  

Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to visiting friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing those you need to – if you need to.

You should ask yourself if having visitors is necessary or if you could use video conferencing, phone calls, text message or social media to stay in touch with people.

Can I have more than one set of visitors to my house a day?

You can, but Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to having friends and family visit - especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing those you need to – if you need to.

You should ask yourself if having visitors is necessary or if you could use video conferencing, phone calls, text message or social media to stay in touch with people.

Can anyone else visit my home?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, people can visit your home. However, there are still restrictions in place, you can now have:

  • up to 5 family or friends visiting at any one time
  • a tradesperson visiting to fix a fault in your home, such as plumbing, wi-fi or electrical
  • a person coming in to do child-minding or a child you are providing care to
  • a person coming in to provide services or care (for example, cooking or cleaning) or medical attention
  • medical or emergency services staff coming to your home to render assistance.

You need to ensure that there are no more than 5 visitors to your home at any one time in addition to your regular household members. You should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others and practise good hygiene measures.

My partner and I live separately from one another. Can we still see each other?

Partners living separately are able to visit each other at home. If your partner does not live with you and they are visiting, they are counted as part of the five people who are able to visit at any one time.  

Do babies and children count towards the total number of visitors?

Yes, children and babies count toward the total number of visitors.

Is it five visitors, or five people total in a house? If we have four people in our home, does that mean we can only have one visitor?

Under the new directions, you can have up to five visitors in your home, in addition to those who normally reside in the household. Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to having friends and family visit - especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing those you need to – if you need to.

You should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others and practice good hygiene. If you or your friends, family or partner are feeling unwell you should not visit people. 

I have two roommates. Are we each able to have five people over at the same time?

No. You can have a maximum of 5 visitors to your home, in addition to those who normally reside in the household.

Do I have to physically distance from the people I have in my home?

You should ensure appropriate physical distancing between yourself and visitors by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and practice good hygiene.

Does this mean I can’t hug my mum?

We know it’s really tough right now, but maintaining physical distance is important to keeping one another safe.

Can two families meet up even if it exceeds the total numbers of allowed people for an indoor or outdoor gathering?

No, for bigger groups you must find alternative ways to connect, including group video calls, email, phone, or social media.

Can grandparents now see their grandkids?

People who are at a higher risk include people aged 70 and over, or 65 and over with chronic health conditions, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 50 and over, or people with a compromised immune system are at higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms if they contract coronavirus (COVID-19).

Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to having friends and family visit - especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing those you need to – if you need to.

You should ask yourself if having visitors is necessary or if you could use video conferencing, phone calls, text message or social media to stay in touch with people.

We're having a BBQ in our backyard. What rule applies - the five or the ten?

Under the new directions, you can have up to 5 visitors to your home, in addition to those who normally reside in the household. Your home includes indoor and outside areas of the house.

Is there a time limit for visits?

No, there is no time limit. Under the new directions, you can have a maximum of five visitors in your home, in addition to those who normally reside in the household.

Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to having friends and family visit - especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing those you need to – if you need to.

You should ask yourself if having visitors is necessary or if you could use video conferencing, phone calls, text message or social media to stay in touch with people.

You should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others and practice good hygiene. If you or your friends, family or partner are feeling unwell you should not visit anyone. 

Can I stay overnight or for a few days?

No. You should not make visits that require overnight trips to friends and family – unless it is for providing care, as defined here at Caring for others and animals page.

You should instead use video conferencing, phone calls, text message or social media to stay in touch with people.

Is there a restriction on how far you can travel to see family?

There is no limit on the distance you can travel.

At the same time, it's important that people still limit their travel and minimise the potential spread of the virus.

It is not the time to be travelling long distances to visit family and friends if you need to stop and stay overnight.  This is about seeing those you need to – if you need to.

Victorians are being asked to use common sense when it comes to visiting friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable. You should think about using video, phone, text message and social media to stay in touch

Visiting people in hospital, nursing homes or care facilities.

You can visit people in care facilities but there are rules to keep people safe. For more information see Restricting access to care facilities - frequently asked questions

Can I meet a friend for coffee?

Cafés and restaurants are not permitted to offer table service, so sitting down for coffee with a friend at your local café is not an option. Going for a walk with friends or family members who don’t live at the same address as you and getting a couple of takeaway coffees is an alternative.

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, you can do this as a group of up to 10 people.

Physical distance has to be maintained by staying at least 1.5 metres apart. 

Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to having friends and family visit especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing those you need to – if you need to.

You should ask yourself if having visitors is necessary or if you could use video conferencing, phone calls, text message or social media to stay in touch with people.

Can I have a birthday party?

Under the new directions, you can have up to five people to your home to celebrate your birthday, in addition to those who normally reside in the household.

If you want to hold your birthday party outside in a park then you can meet up with friends, family and loved ones at the park but only in groups of up to 10 people.

You should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others and practice good hygiene. 

Can I leave home to attend a wedding?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, the only wedding you may hold is a small private one with the maximum of 10 guests present in addition to the celebrant and couple getting married. When the risk is over, you can have a bigger special celebration.

Children are counted in the person limit.

Can I leave home to attend a funeral?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, no more than 20 mourners are allowed at an indoor funeral service (not including the officiant or funeral staff). If you are unsure whether there is likely to be more than the permitted number of mourners at the funeral, you should contact the funeral director before attending. They may be able to offer you the ability to make an online tribute or view a live stream of the funeral service from home.

Funerals held outdoors can be attended by a maximum of 30 mourners in attendance. If a funeral is held at a private house then only 5 people, in addition to people who live at the household, can attend.

The person limit doesn’t include the officiant or people required to facilitate the ceremony, unless it is at a private house. Children are counted in the person limit.

Physical distance has to be maintained by staying at least 1.5 metres apart. 

Can I visit a cemetery outside of attending a funeral?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, you can visit a cemetery. If you do visit the grave of a loved one at the cemetery, please ensure that no more than a maximum of 10 people (including you) are gathered. Physical distance has to be maintained by staying at least 1.5 metres apart. 

Alternative ways to remember your loved ones while staying at home include lighting a candle or holding a virtual remembrance with family and friends.  

Transport and travel

For information on restrictions and advice for people travelling within Victoria, in Australia and internationally, see Travel restrictions and information on the Department of Transport’s page.

Will public transport continue to operate?

Yes. Public transport services are still available for people who need to work or attend education, or one of the other permitted purposes.

  • Ensure physical distancing at stations, stops and on buses, trams and trains by keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others at all times.
  • If you travel on a busy route, consider travelling outside of peak times to minimise risk. No travel should be undertaken for any other purposes.
  • Public transport service desks will not accept cash for payment to purchase or top up your Myki. You must either pay online, on the phone or use contactless payment methods.

Can I drive my car?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, you are able to go for a drive. At the same time, Victorians are being asked to use consideration and common sense when it comes to travelling. If you can stay home, you must stay home.

Can I learn to drive?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, driving for practice is now permitted, as well as attending driving lessons and flying lessons.

Can I have passengers in my car?

Carrying passengers in your car should be avoided, unless they live in your household. Cars represent an enclosed space where there may be a heightened risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and many other illnesses, such as influenza. Travelling as a passenger in a car, or carrying multiple passengers is strongly discouraged.

Can I use taxis and ride-shares?

Yes, but only for one of the permitted purposes for leaving home. The less time we all spend out of our homes, the faster we will all be able resume normal life again.

Can I organise private transport for my employees to get to work?

Yes. Charter buses or other forms of private transport can be used to get to work.

Actions for transport carriers

The following actions should be considered by transport providers, including airplanes, trains, trams, buses, taxis and Uber:

Key actions

  • Take all the actions listed under Actions for an organisation, workplace or employers.
  • Food and beverage takeaway services may continue at transport hubs e.g. stations and airports. See Requirements for shops, retail and restaurants.
  • Plan ways to reduce in-person contact for travellers and staff.
  • Actively encourage sick passengers to stay at home.
  • Use advertising space and announcements to support public health messages around coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Plan what to do if a passenger or staff member becomes ill. For airlines see:  https://www.health.gov.au/ 
  • Keep staff and travellers informed of the actions you are taking.
  • For drivers of public transport, including taxis, Uber, ride-hail services, trains, buses and trams:
    • You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy.
    • If you are unwell do not go to work.
    • Ask passengers to sit behind you to achieve as much separation as is reasonably possible.
    • Employ standard cleaning practices at the end of each shift, as part of good hygiene practice.
    • Use your discretion about reducing the risk of transmission.
    • If a passenger spreads droplets (e.g. by sneezing, coughing or vomiting), clean surfaces with appropriate disinfectant wipes so that the potential spread of infection can be minimised.

Hygiene

  • Provide and promote sanitisers for use on entering buildings or transport services, where possible.
  • Open windows and adjust air conditioning to increase airflow.
  • Ensure the highest hygiene practices among food handlers and canteen staff if relevant.
  • Increase environmental cleaning. Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
  • Airlines should ensure appropriate cleaning and disinfection activities are undertaken between each flight.

Physical distancing

  • Consider whether your transport service can be adjusted to increase separation of travellers and avoid queuing.

Property and homes

I have more than one home. Can I choose which one I stay in?

You can travel between your own two residences.

I had arranged to move to a new house – can I still go ahead?

Yes, you may leave home for the purposes of relocation.

Are auction houses restricted?

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, auctions at auction houses are permitted. However, gatherings must be restricted to 10 people only in addition to the people required to facilitate the auction and ensure physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres apart at all times.

Can I sell my house at auction?

Yes, under the easing of restrictions that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, you can put your home on the market for private sale or auction. However, only 10 people can gather for an auction at any one time, in addition to the people required to facilitate the auction.

If, in the process of selling your home, you need to have open-for-inspection sessions for prospective buyers, no more than 10 people are allowed at one time in addition to the estate agent, and density quotients apply. During inspections, physical distancing must be ensured by keeping at least 1.5 metres between everyone at all times. These new restrictions also apply to display homes that are intended to be used for residential purposes.

Does this apply to display homes and sales suites?

Display homes and sales suites, that are not intended to be used for residential purposes, must meet different requirements as an open retail facility – they must maintain physical distancing (1.5 metres apart), undertake regular cleaning, display relevant signage (i.e. that states the maximum number that can enter) and meet a density requirement (i.e. not allow more people to enter than the square meterage of the premises divided by 4). 

Can tradespeople come into my home?

Yes they can. You must ensure physical distancing by keeping 1.5 metres between you and the tradesperson at all times.

If you need help with house-cleaning, ensure the cleaner’s time in your home is kept to a minimum and observe appropriate physical distancing by keeping 1.5 metres between you and the cleaner at all times. If possible, remove yourself from the room where the cleaner is working.

Minimise physical contact by paying with a direct bank transfer or contactless payment.

Can I leave home to undertake essential maintenance of a property other than my place of residence?

Yes, you may leave your home to undertake these duties, as long as you can go there and back within one day. Physical distancing should be maintained by keeping 1.5 metres between you and anyone else on site. You should try to keep your time away from home to a minimum.

Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, you can also visit a friend or family member and help them with maintenance.

Accommodation including emergency accommodation

Does the Stay at Home direction apply to caravan parks?

If you are a permanent resident of a caravan park, the Stay at Home direction applies to you.

If you are an interstate tourist on a holiday visit to a caravan park, you must stay there and observe the requirements of the Stay at Home direction.

Does the Stay at Home direction apply to backpacker hostels?

If you are currently in a backpacker hostel, you should regard it as your home for the purposes of the Stay at Home direction. 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 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 Stay at Home direction wherever you are living. 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 Stay at Home direction.

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 info 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 Stay at Home direction, unless you have alternative accommodation to go to.

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.

What does this mean for people in disability accommodation?

If you live in a long-term supported disability accommodation facility, this is your normal place of residence for the purposes of the Stay at Home direction.  

Residents who have been residing elsewhere temporarily, should not return to the supported accommodation facility if they have the clinical symptoms of COVID 19, which include any new fever, chills or breathing problems, specifically cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.  These clinical symptoms are the clinical criteria for testing and residents should be tested for COVID-19 if they have these symptoms.

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 days quarantine period.

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 Stay at Home direction.  Short term or respite accommodation can continue to be provided where required to meet your care and support needs during the period of the Stay at home direction. 

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. You must observe the Stay at Home direction wherever you are living.   

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 Stay at Home direction. Placements can continue to change to best meet their safety and care needs during this time. Regardless of whether a child or young person is in kinship care, foster care or residential care they must comply with Stay at Home requirements.

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.