Melbourne sign, with city at the back

People living in Victoria will need to be aware of the restrictions (rules) in place to try to stop the spread of the COVID-19. Victoria is now in a State of Disaster. IDEAS updates this information so that you can have the latest news. (Updated August 13) 

This blog has the key need to know information. Please check back, as we add to it as changes happen.
 
If you need help call the COVID-19 Disability Information Helpline for free on 1800 643 787.  8 am - 8 pm, Monday to Friday.
Our Information Officers are taking calls and can find information where ever you live. They will have the most up to date information.

Click here to go to Easy English Information

Major changes came into place for Victorians: 

  • August 2nd for people living in Melbourne.
  • August 5th for people living in Regional Victoria.

These will be in place until Sunday 13 September.

Below are the key rules. If you need more information see COVID-19 Restrictions in Detail

Quick links to topics in this article 

Metropolitan Melbourne Rules
Worker and Childcare Permits
Regional Victoria Rules
Escaping Violence
Masks
PPE - Community Services
Mental Health
Money
Food
Testing
School
NDIS
Easy English
Local Government Areas 


Metropolitan Melbourne Restrictions (Rules)

 For Melbourne, new restrictions will took effect from 6 pm Sunday 2 August.  These are known as Stage 4 Restrictions.

A curfew will be in place from 8 pm every evening. Curfews will be in operation from 8 pm to 5 am every evening. People are only allowed to leave their house for work and essential health, care or safety reasons.

Outside of these hours, you are only allowed to leave your house for 1 of the following four reasons:

  • To purchase food and necessary supplies. This must be done within a 5km radius from where you live. Only 1 person per household can leave for essential goods, and only once per day. For some people the nearest goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation, you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider. If you are unable to leave home because it would mean leaving a young child or at-risk person at home unattended, then they may accompany you.

  • Exercise once a day for up to 1 hour within a 5km radius of your home. Gathering sizes will be limited to 2. If you are unable to leave home because it would mean leaving a young child or at-risk person at home unattended, then they may accompany you.
  • For care and health care including accompanying someone for essential medical care if you are a carer, guardian or necessary support person. The 5km limit does not apply to care or caregiving.

  • Work. Study at TAFE and university must be done remotely. The 5km limit does not apply to work.
  • Schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of permitted workers. Kinders and early childhood centres in metropolitan Melbourne will only be open for vulnerable children and children whose parents are permitted workers.

 

Victorian Worker and access to Childcare permits.

Employers now require their staff to attend a worksite must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility. 

Most children in metropolitan Melbourne will not be able to attend child care for the next 6 weeks. Children of permitted workers without any other option and vulnerable children will still be able to access childcare. 

Under Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne, permitted workers are able to access childcare and kinder if there is no one else in their household who is able to supervise their child.

This may be for a range of reasons including the other parent could be a full-time student and must attend onsite, has a disability, or be working from home such that they cannot supervise the child, or there may be no other adults in the household.

Early childhood care and education services in regional and rural Victoria can continue to operate as normal under Stage 3 restrictions, with appropriate safety measures in place.

Permitted workers 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 child care.

We have more Infomation on this, including impacts for  Self-Managed NDIS participants. at Victorian Worker and Access to Childcare Permits

Regional Victoria including Mitchell Shire moved to Stage 3 restrictions from 11:59 pm Wednesday 5 August

 This means you must stay home except for the following four reasons:

  • For food and essential supplies
  • For study or work
  • For care and healthcare
  • And for exercise or outdoor recreation

When outside your home, you must wear a face covering.

No visitors are allowed at your home, and you are only allowed to gather with one person from outside your household in public.

Business Restrictions 

On August 3rd, the Premier announced that business would be in one of 3 categories. 

First: supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, newsagencies, post offices —plus everyone involved in our frontline response — will continue to operate.

Second: Industries where onsite operations will have to cease for the next six weeks including retail, some manufacturing and administration. These businesses will all need to close by 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, unless they have specific circumstances that mean they need longer to shutdown safely.

Retail stores will be permitted to operate contactless 'click and collect' and delivery services with strict safety protocols in place, and hardware stores can remain open onsite, but for tradespeople only.

The third and final list is made up of industries that are permitted to operate — but under significantly different conditions.

Whether it's our food production, waste collection or supply chain logistics we need some things to continue — but they've got do so safely.


For more details - Guide for Business 
Plus you can call us if you need to know more. 

 

If you are escaping family violence, you can also leave your home

You can always leave home in case of an emergency.
If you are in danger please call the Police - 000.
1800RESPECT will continue to operate as per usual during the COVID-19 health emergency. They are open 24 hours to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. Free Call: 1800 737 732

See also Bullying, Abuse, Domestic and Family violence, how and where to get help and support

 

Masks or Face coverings mandatory for all of Victoria

Since 11:59 pm on Sunday 2 August, face coverings have been mandatory for all of Victoria.
If you leave your home you need to wear a mask. For more information about face masks see our update here. It includes videos, information in community languages, how to make masks, where to get masks, official information from the Victorian Government and specific disability information about Autism, communication and sensory needs.

PPE for Community Services

In addition to mandatory masks, on 10th August - New advice has been Issued about PPE for Community Services Providers for prevention of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and can be found at Community Services All Sector. The guide will be updated regularly and contains recommendations for the situation and what PPE is required as determined by risk factors. Please view the plan online, as any printed copies may be superseded by newer versions online.

The new advice follows the high number of community cases of COVID-19.  In addition to the existing requirement for all staff in community services to wear surgical masks, new advice requires staff to wear eye protection when they are directly working with clients.


In addition, a P2/N95 respirator/mask is required where providing care in an uncontrolled environment where there are high numbers of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases and there may be exposure to aerosol-generating behaviours.

Services are requested to access appropriate eye protection for their client-facing staff.  This is a public health infection control recommendation and this should be implemented as soon as feasible.

Providers of residential care, supported residential services, disability group homes, crisis and congregate homelessness services and other care settings, who require PPE should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make a request.

All requests will be triaged by the department with priority given to facilities, programs and carers where there has been a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Demand for PPE is very high, therefore providers are encouraged to source PPE independently if they can, prior to requesting stock from the department.

Disability providers funded under the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have access to the National Medical Stockpile and should request PPE through this in the first instance: NDIS Commission
Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) should access PPE by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The following sector guidance has been updated for community services workers and will be uploaded to the department’s Community services Coronavirus website
• PPE for Community services guide
• FAQs for community services workers about wearing face coverings
• Community services safe working requirements in stage 4
 

Extra Mental Health Help 

 People in areas affected by COVID-19 restrictions will be able to get 10 extra Medicare subsidised sessions. It will allow people in eligible areas who have used their 10 sessions to continue to receive mental health care from their psychologist, psychiatrist, GP or other eligible allied health worker.   People who have to isolate or quarantine under public health orders, can access these sessions too.

Patients will need to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan and a review with their GP to get the sessions.
This measure will start on Friday 7 August and be available until 31 March 2021.

Additional COVID-19 Mental Health Support

 

Practical Help - Money

 From the Department of Social Services

Ordinarily to receive payments a person must be unemployed and be taking reasonable steps to obtain other suitable work and meet other participation requirements but these criteria have been relaxed to provide access to:

  • Sole traders and the self-employed who continue to run their businesses.
  • People in quarantine or self-isolation as a result of advice from a health professional or a requirement by a government (Commonwealth, state or territory) if they do not have employer paid leave or income protection insurance.
  • People who have been stood down or have reduced hours or pay

Crisis Payment is also available to assist individuals who are in financial hardship as a result of being required to quarantine.

Access requirements to payments have been made easier.

Recipients of a range of income support payments, including JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance, will continue to receive the Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight until 24 September 2020. A Coronavirus Supplement of $250 per fortnight and an income free threshold of $300 per fortnight will be available until 31 December 2020.

Government would delay moving to phase two of mutual obligations for Victoria until further notice.

“No Victorian will face financial penalties during this time, however, job seekers are encouraged to remain connected with their employment service providers to ensure they are supported to access the full range of assistance including mental health services, if required,” Minister Cash said.

Access requirements to payments have been made easier.

A step-by-step guide to applying for payments is available at servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19 and information about online and self-service options is available at servicesaustralia.gov.au/selfservice or 136 240.

More detail at the Department of Social Services

From the Department of Human Services Victoria

  • Victorian workers can apply for a $450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment that provides financial support while they self-isolate to wait for the results of a coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

  • If you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact of a confirmed case, you may be eligible for the $1500 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Support Payment that provides financial support while you are quarantining at home as instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services

  • If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16 who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or is a close contact of a confirmed case and you have been instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services to self-isolate or quarantine, you may also be eligible for the $1500 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Support Payment.

If you are experiencing rental hardship due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for assistance.

 

Practical Help - Food

 From the Department of Human Services Victoria

People who live in Victoria who need to quarantine or isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and don’t have enough food to feed themselves or their families may be eligible to receive an emergency relief package of basic supplies.

Emergency relief packages contain essential food staples including cereal, long-life milk, sugar, pasta and canned vegetables. Personal care items such as soap, deodorant and toothpaste are also provided as part of the packages. Nappies and baby formula can be provided if requested.

If you need a food relief package, call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. You can call this number anytime. It is open all the time.

More detail: DHHS Extra Help and Support
Grocery shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Testing

 If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should seek advice and get tested.

The symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

There are many places to get tested across Victoria. More places are being added all the time. It is good to check the details before you head out. Where to get tested

If you cannot get to a testing clinic, we have this information on home testing and the new announcement from 10th August.


You can also call us to ask about testing. Free Call: 1800 643 787.
We have helped many people find testing in their local area.
Plus work through questions about the test, accessibility, transport and support.


COVID-19 Testing for People with a Disability


Schools 

 All schools around Victoria will move to remote learning the week starting August 2nd. Schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of permitted workers.
Kinders and early childhood centres in metropolitan Melbourne will only be open for vulnerable children and children whose parents are permitted workers.
Specialist schools, kinders and childcare will remain open in regional areas.

Permitted workers who must send their child to whdokl will need a permit - more here Victorian Worker and Access to Childcare Permits

On August 7, Education Minister Merlino shared plans for more mental health support at schools: 

All specialist schools with secondary aged students will also receive funding to recruit a school-based mental health practitioner, who will build provide wrap-around support to students and families.

There will also be adjustments for  Year 12 students, taking into account each students circumstance this year. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) will introduce a wide-ranging “Consideration of Educational Disadvantage” process to calculate VCE scores. 

Media Release Supporting Students Through The Pandemic

NDIS funds to help while students are home 
There has been some changes made to the NDIS rules to allow children with NDIS packages to be able to use their funding to support them while they are learning from home.

The pack below is designed to help families and carers manage plans, supports and education arrangements at this time. 

Easy English Information

 

These Easy Read Fact Sheets about staying at home might help too.

docxGeneral health and wellbeing for home isolation 
docxWhat to expect when you get disability services
docxCoronavirus - looking after your mental health
 

NDIS Help

If you need more help to stay at home at this time, please contact the NDIS. You can call 1800 800 110, pick option 5 and talk to a planner. You can make changes to your plan or get help if you are having trouble getting services due to COVID-19.

The NDIS has also made arrangements for extra workforce support for participants living in residential support settings. These providers are able to offer advice, support staff and isolation accommodation for smaller organisations to access as needed due to the impact of COVID-19.
Also, Aspen Medical has been appointed to provide a clinical first response for any identified outbreak, which will ensure that infection control procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE) and nursing support is in place for residents and workers, if needed.

See NDIS COVID-19 Victoria Information
Plus see School for school aged children.

 

Making a Plan
To help you plan what you need over the next while this guide on Making a Plan from Collaborating 4 Inclusion might be helpful. You can work through things like

  • Managing your health, like using telehealth
  • Having enough supplies like medicines and food
  • Organising support staff or carers
  • Your budget

COVID-19 information for people with a disability start here is your guide to support, testing, supplies, staying connected & more 


 

List of Local Government Area (LGA) or Local Council that the Stage 4 Restrictions apply to  

 If you live in metropolitan Melbourne you must stay at home.

If you are not sure which LGA you are in, find out here.
Or call us - 1800 643 787 (8am - 8pm)

These are the LGA that restrictions apply to:

B - Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank
C - Cardinia, Casey
D - Darebin
F - Frankston
G - Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong
H - Hobsons Bay, Hume
K - Kingston, Knox
M - Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula
N - Nillumbik
P - Port Phillip
S - Stonnington
W - Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham
Y - Yarra, Yarra Ranges

More Questions?
Call the COVID-19 Disability Information Helpline for free on 1800 643 787.
Our Information Officers are taking calls and can find information where ever you live. They will have the most up to date information.

More Information

FAQ from People with Disability in Victoria
Getting your medications delivered
Grocery deliveries
Tele-health
Department of Health and Human Services Victoria

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