The Chief Health Officer is restricting access to facilities where vulnerable Victorians live and receive care.

Key points

  • Residents of care facilities, including aged care, can have up to two support visits each day. Residents can have a total of two visitors for up to a total of two hours.
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Current restrictions

The Chief Health Officer is restricting access to facilities where vulnerable Victorians live and receive care. This will help protect elderly people, those with disability, people experiencing homelessness, and children and young people in secure welfare services from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). People who live in these care facilities are especially vulnerable to the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and may be critically at-risk if exposed.

  • Residents of care facilities, including aged care, can have up to two support visits each day. This is an increase from one visit per day.

Which types of care facilities are covered by this restriction?

This restriction applies to all the following care facilities, whether operated by government, the private sector or not-for-profit organisations:

  • residential aged care facilities
  • alcohol and drug residential services
  • homelessness residential services
  • disability residential services
  • specialist disability accommodation
  • secure welfare services 
  • short-term accommodation and assistance dwellings
  • Supported Residential Services (SRS)
  • Disability Forensic Assessment and Treatment Services (DFATS)
  • Thomas Embling Hospital.

What are the limits on visits in care facilities?

Each resident can have no more than two visitors per day across a maximum of two visits.

The visitors can come separately or together, for a single visit or for two separate visits

The total amount of visiting time must not be more than two hours. This can be one visit of no more than two hours or two visits totalling no more than two hours. For example, each visit may last an hour each.

Is there a time limit on visits?

The total length of time for visits in a day must be for no more than two hours. The only exception is if visitors are supporting end-of-life care to a resident of a facility.

Who can visit?

Subject to some other important conditions, you can visit a care facility if you are:

  • providing care and support to a resident of the facility
  • providing support to end-of-life care to a resident of the facility – in these circumstances, visits are not restricted to two hours and the number of people visiting is not restricted (but should be managed carefully)
  • viewing the facility as a prospective resident, in which case you can bring up to two other people with you.

Consider contacting the facility before visiting as they may have additional requirements. 

What other conditions apply to visitors?

Visitors must not enter any of the nominated care facilities if they:

  • are unwell with flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or fever
  • have had known contact in the last 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) 
  • have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees
  • are under 16, unless they are visiting a resident who is receiving end-of-life care, or they are visiting a secure welfare service, Supported Residential Service or an alcohol and drug residential service, in the company of an adult 

Are there any other conditions placed on visits?

Visitors must comply with all screening and infection control measures put in place by the facility.

You should maintain a 1.5 metre physical distance between you and the resident and all other people in the facility for the duration of your visit.

You will not be admitted as a visitor, staff or other worker to a residential aged care facility if you don’t have an up-to-date vaccination for influenza – this means after 1 May 2020 you need this year’s vaccine.

What are the restrictions on workers?

Subject to some important conditions, staff can enter the facility only if they are:

  • an employee or contractor at that facility
  • providing goods or services to the facility that are necessary for its effective operation (either as a paid worker or volunteer)
  • providing health care, medical or pharmaceutical goods or services, behavioural support services or other support services to a resident (either as a paid worker or a volunteer)
  • providing treatment under a treatment plan to a resident of a disability residential service (either as a paid worker or volunteer) providing education services to the resident of a secure welfare service (either as a paid worker or volunteer).

If emergency services or law enforcement personnel are required to attend the facility, they can enter at any time.

What if I don’t comply?

A person who ignores these conditions and restrictions will be liable for fines of up to $20,000, or up to $100,000 in the case of companies and other bodies corporate.

Where can I get more information? 

For updates, see our Coronavirus page

You can also call the coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398

If you require a translator to help you, call the translating and interpreting service on 131 450 and ask for the coronavirus hotline.