Settlement Guide

Victoria in state of disaster and how other states are responding to COVID-19

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a 'State of Disaster' and increased restrictions for Victoria. Source: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The coronavirus restrictions across Australia are changing. They vary depending on where you live as States and Territories make changes based on their needs and concerns. Here are the current measures for states and territories.

SBS COVID-19 National information, CLICK HERE

This information is continuously updated but we also recommend checking the links to each state authority for full detail and exceptions.



Victoria - STAGE 4


From 6:00 pm on Sunday 2 August 2020 (until at least September 13) a state of disaster has been declared across Victoria, which will act in addition to the state of emergency.
 
 

The information about Victoria in this factsheet is detailed in two sections:

  • Metropolitan Melbourne (Stage 4)
  • Regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire local government areas (Stage 3)

 
Metropolitan Melbourne (Stage 4)

  • Curfew: An evening curfew is in place across Melbourne from 8:00pm to 5:00am every day, starting Sunday 2 August 2020, forbidding anyone from leaving the home.
  • Exceptions are: working, receiving or giving care, visiting your intimate partner.
  • Shops: Supermarkets will remain open for trading hours. However, shopping should happen outside of the curfew hours. Only one person from each household will be able to shop at a time, once a day.
  • Exercise: outside of the home allowed for one hour at a time only. Recreational activities like golf and fishing are banned.
  • Transport: Overnight public transport timetables will be limited
  • Weddings: banned within Melbourne except on compassionate grounds.
  • Funerals: rules remain unchanged, allowing 10 mourners plus those conducting ceremony.


Businesses open:

Many businesses will be closed from midnight 5th August 2020, except for essential services:

  • supermarkets
  • cafes, restaurants (take away and delivery food services only)
  • grocery stores
  • bottle shops
  • pharmacies
  • petrol stations
  • banks
  • newsagencies
  • post offices
  • everyone involved in the front line response to COVID-19. 

More information on Melbourne businesses:
https://www.scribd.com/document/471239833/Stage-4-Industries-Distribution-FINAL-pdf


Regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire local government areas (Stage 3)

Regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire local government areas is moving to Stage 3 restrictions from Thursday 6 August 2020.

Under stage 3, there are only four reasons that you can leave home:

  • to shop for food and essential goods or services
  • to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
  • to exercise or for outdoor recreation with your household, or one other person
  • for work or study, if you can’t do it from home

You can also leave your home:
- if you and your partner live in different homes
- if you have shared custody arrangements, you can leave the house to take children from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home.

Restaurants, cafes, bars and gyms will close from 11:59 pm on Wednesday 5 August.


Applies to all Victoria


Fines

  • Not wearing a mask carries a penalty of $200.
  • Victorians failing to isolate after testing positive or being identified as a close contact will have to pay a $4957 fine.
  • According to the case, a single fine could rise to $20,000.

Masks

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. The fine for not wearing a mask is $200. Masks aren't compulsory for children under 12 years old. More info on masks: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-masks-covid-19
 
Financial support
 
  • The Federal Government will introduce a $1,500 "disaster payment" for paid pandemic leave in Victoria. It will be available to workers in Victoria who need to self-isolate but do not have sick leave or payments through JobKeeper or JobSeeker, and expected to benefit short-term visa holders in particular.

  • A one-off $300 payment for Victorian workers, including parents and guardians, who are required to self-isolate while they wait for the results is available.

  • A one-off $1,500 Worker Support Payment continues to be available for Victorian workers who test positive or a close contact tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and need to self-isolate but are unable to work during their isolation, have no income during this period, and are not entitled to any paid sick leave, special pandemic leave or other income support. More info: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/covid-19-worker-support-payment

Employer

  • Must not allow employees to work from workplace if reasonably practicable.
  • Changes to workplaces will not come into effect until Wednesday 5 August at the earliest.

Schools

  • All students across the state return to home-based learning
  • From Wednesday 5 August flexible and remote learning is in place for every student across Victoria. This includes VCE students, who had been learning on campus.
  • Specialist schools will remain open
  • Students of parents who have to work outside their home, have the option to go to school and be supervised.
  • General Assessment Test (GAT), which is usually held at the end of Term 3, will now be moved to the start of Term 4.
  • More information: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/learningfromhome.aspx

Childcare centres

  • Only vulnerable children and those of essential workers are allowed to attend childcare during the six weeks of Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne.
  • For the rest of the families, there’s a childcare “rescue package”.
  • It has been called “triple guarantee” because it aims to be a guarantee for parents, childcare services and childcare employees.

For families who need to keep children at home, the package means:

  • 30 days of extra absences without losing the placement
  • Keeping the child enrolled without cost for the service during the absent period

For childcare providers, it involves:

  • Extra payments from the government to fill the gap


State of disaster

• Gives Police greater power and allows authorities to suspend acts of Parliament.
• It was decided to make sure the government had clear power to impose and enforce a curfew.
• Appoints Police as authorised officers, removing the current need for police to have a health department official with them on jobs like compliance checks.

 

New South Wales


Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates

  • immediately self-isolate until 14 days after you were last there
  • get tested even if you have no symptoms
  • watch for COVID-19 symptoms and get retested should any symptoms recur
  • even if you get a negative test, you must stay in isolation for 14 days


Gathering limits

20 guests inside the home and 20 for gatherings in a public place.

However, health authorities strongly recommend limiting visitors to the home to 10 people as a general principle.

Businesses and recreational activities

From Saturday 1 August 2020, NSW gyms and fitness centres must:

  • register and have a COVID Safety Plan
  • have a dedicated COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal on duty at all times (one staff member as a COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal who will be in distinctive clothing and responsible all aspects of the COVID-19 Safety Plan are being adhered to including overseeing social distancing, cleaning and ensuring the accuracy of record keeping.)

Pubs, restaurants, bars, cafes, food and drink premises, micro-breweries, cellar doors, casinos, registered clubs, small bars and casinos:

  • limiting bookings to a maximum of 10 people.
  • a digital record must be created within 24 hours.
  • weddings and corporate events will also be limited to 150 people, subject to the four-square metre rule.
  • Funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people.

Business and events operators must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and keep a record of all people entering the premises: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses

Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 are allowed up to 25 percent of their normal capacity.

Children community sport and adult sports have resumed.


Travel

NSW has temporarily shut its border with Victoria.

People flying into New South Wales from Victoria from Friday 7 August will be forced into two weeks of hotel quarantine at their own expense. The same rule applies to those returning from overseas. (AUD 3,000) https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/nsw-to-charge-returned-international-travellers-for-hotel-quarantine

Special provisions have been made for:

  • residents of border communities
  • people performing critical services
  • interstate residents transiting through NSW. 
  • Travellers from interstate can visit NSW for a holiday but will need to comply with the rules of their home state when returning.
  • Individuals who fail to comply with the new rules could face up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $11,000 or both.
  • Many caravan parks and camping grounds are open. Travellers planning to visit national parks should check www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au for further information.
  • Visiting residential aged care facilities or a health service is restricted.

More info: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions


Schools

  • NSW students are back in the classroom full-time.
  • External providers such as music and drama tutors can provide services on school sites.
  • Community use activities such as dance schools can resume their use of school premises.
  • Support services such as early intervention programs and external counselling services can take place on-site.
  • School sporting activities, including inter-school competitions and contact sport, can resume at the start of Term 3 on 20 July 2020, in line with the start of community sports.

More NSW information: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
 

Queensland


Gathering limits

  • Family, friends and community gatherings of up to 100 with friends and family
  • Weddings and funerals (max 100 people)


Businesses and recreation

From June to December 2020 casual workers who do not have access to sick leave will be given a $1,500 lump sum payment from the Queensland Government if they test positive for coronavirus. It also covers workers not eligible for the JobKeeper program, which was restricted to long-term casual employees.

One person per 4 square metre rule applies to:

  • Number of customers in a business (for smaller venues below 200 square metres, one person per 2 square metres up to 50 persons)
  • Museums, art galleries, libraries and historic sites.
  • Sport, recreation and fitness organisations when following a COVID Safe Industry Plan.
  • Competition and physical contact on the field of play
  • Indoor sports facilities
  • Up to 25,000 spectators or 50% of capacity (whichever is the lesser) at Queensland’s Major Sports Facilities, with a COVID Safe Plan
  • Concert venues, theatres and auditoriums (or up to 50% capacity) with a COVID Safe Plan

Outback

50 people permitted at any one time for dining in: (with COVID Safe Checklist): 

  • restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels for locals only (must show proof of residence) – no bars or gaming.
  • Recreational travel within the outback only if you live in the outback.

Indigenous communities - bio-security areas 

State Government and Indigenous leaders have agreed on a three-stage plan to ease restrictions in Federal Government-designated bio-security areas.  

Designated communities will transition from the current federal emergency bio-security restrictions to state-based arrangements 

STAGE 1: People entering or re-entering a community will have to self-quarantine where safe to do so. However, quarantine exemptions will remain in place for essential workers, those travelling through communities without stopping and those granted an exemption. 

STAGE 2: Chief Health Officer will publish a direction that enables communities to become part of ’safe travel zones’ so residents can easily travel within based on public health advice.  

STAGE 3: Quarantine restrictions for entry into remote Indigenous communities will be removed, with the Burke and Cook Shires to be subject to the same provisions as other areas of Queensland under the Roadmap to Easing Restrictions: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/roadmap-to-easing-queenslands-restrictions

Travel restrictions

  • From Saturday 8 August anyone travelling from NSW or ACT will be banned from entering Queensland.
  • Any person that has been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot during the past 14 days, including Victoria, must not enter Queensland.
  • Returning Queenslanders will be sent to mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
  • Any person travelling from Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory may enter Queensland subject to completing and signing a border declaration and undertaking to present for a COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms. This is how to apply to the pass: https://www.qld.gov.au/border-pass/queensland-border-declaration-pass-july-10
  • The Queensland Government has worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in remote communities to implement a three-stage plan to safely ease restrictions in designated areas: https://www.datsip.qld.gov.au/resources/datsima/covid/remote-communities-roadmap.pdf

Schools

  • All students are attending schools.    

More Queensland schools information: https://qed.qld.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media/novel-coronavirus
More information: https://www.qld.gov.au/covid-19/government-actions/roadmap-to-easing-queenslands-restrictions


South Australia 


South Australia has entered Step 3, a simplified principle-based approach, except for some high-risk activities.


Gathering limits

  • Home gatherings: from 50 to 10
  • Pubs, bars and restaurants: can only serve alcohol to patrons who are seated.


Businesses and recreation

All businesses, activities and gatherings allowed under Step 3 are listed in the Public activities direction no 3: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/emergency-declarations/public-activities

  • Businesses and defined public activities with an existing COVID-Safe Plan do not need to complete a new plan
  • If you have an existing COVID-Safe Plan but are now opening up more space or areas, you must create a new Plan.
  • Businesses and defined public activities that do not have a COVID-Safe Plan must complete a plan before they can commence operating: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/recovery/create-a-covid-safe-plan


Travel restrictions

  • Regional travel is allowed within South Australia.
  • No one can enter South Australia, if coming from Victoria, not even South Australia residents.
  • Only essential travellers can enter SA from Victoria.
  • Travellers from NT, QLD, TAS and WA are allowed to enter South Australia directly without restriction.
  • Travellers from NSW, ACT or overseas need to self-isolate. Also, if you have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has.
  • During the 14 days of isolation you must stay at home (or hotel room) and not leave unless you need to seek urgent medical care.
  • If you are planning travel to South Australia, complete the Cross Border Travel Registration at least 3 days before you leave, regardless of where your travel begins: https://www.police.sa.gov.au/online-services/cross-border-travel-application

Schools

South Australian schools have been open since the beginning of term 2 and students are encouraged to attend, following the term 2 operating guidelines for SA public schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/term-2-operating-guidelines.pdf 

More information: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/recovery 


Western Australia


Phase 4

Western Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed and it’s now on Phase 4 (out of 6 phases) of the state roadmap.

  • The planned date to enter Phase 5 (18 July) has been pushed back to 15 August, but health advisers might recommend pushing it further.
  • WA roadmap in English and other languages: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/covid-19-roadmap
  • all existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule are removed
  • gathering limits only determined by WA’s reduced 2 square metre rule (only for staff at venues that hold more than 500 patrons)
  • removal of seated service requirements at restaurants and pubs
  • no requirement to maintain patron register at restaurants, cafes and bars
  • all events permitted except for large scale, multi-stage music festivals
  • unseated performances permitted at venues such as concert halls, live music venues, bars, pubs and nightclubs
  • the casino gaming floor reopening under agreed temporary restrictions.

Travel restrictions

  • From 17 July, anyone coming into WA from, or has travelled through, Victoria in the last 14 days will be directed to hotel quarantine at their own expense.
  • Travel is permitted throughout Western Australia, including into the Kimberley region. Access into remote Aboriginal communities remains prohibited.

Schools

  • Western Australian public schools opened at the beginning of Term 2 for all families who choose to send their children to school.
  • For students who learn from home, distance education packages and resources are being provided.
  • Parents/guardians can enter school grounds to drop off or pick up their children. 

More Western Australia schools information: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-education-and-family-advice
More information: http://www.wa.gov.au/covid19roadmap


Tasmania


Gathering limits

  • Gatherings will increase to 20 people at a time for indoor and outdoor area including restaurants/cafes, cinemas, museums, galleries, historic sites, religious gatherings and weddings;
  • Funerals can have up to 50 attendees;

Businesses and recreation

  • Accommodation unlimited
  • Camping, overnight boating and shacks open
  • Open homes and auctions can resume with up to 20 people
  • Gyms and boot camps up to 20 people
  • Beauty services (including tattoo, nails, waxing, facials and tanning) can open for up to 20 people;
  • Park exercise equipment and playgrounds open for up to 20 people;
  • Outdoor community sports resume, with up to 20 athletes/personnel
  • Indoor sport and recreation^, including pools with up to 20 people with no spectators.


Travel restrictions

  • Borders will continue closed until at least 31 August.
  • The state of emergency has been extended until at least 31 August.
  • Tasmania's state border, which was to reopen to visitors from selected states and territories on 7th August, will remain closed because of the ongoing Victorian coronavirus crisis.
  • AFL matches scheduled for Tasmanian venues won’t go ahead.

Online Travel Registration

  • Anyone intending to travel to Tasmania from another part of the country or overseas must register on the new online travel registration system called G2G PASS by going to https://www.g2gpass.com.au, before making their submission to request entry permission.
  • The Good to Go App has to be filled out accurately in terms of where the passenger may have been in the past 14 days and fines can go up to $16,800 or up to 6 months jail for those who provide incorrect information.

Schools

All classes have resumed, and all students are attending schools. 
More information:  https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/ 

 

Northern Territory


Gathering limits

  • There are no gathering limits in the NT, but people are asked to abide by social distancing of 1.5 metres
  • Weddings and funerals are allowed

Businesses and recreation

  • Exercise, outdoor gatherings, swimming, fishing and boating are allowed
  • Skate parks, pools, playgrounds are outdoor gyms allowed to open
  • From May 15 cafes, restaurants, bars, sports training, indoor markets, gyms, libraries, galleries and museums are allowed to open
  • Operate all licensed gaming activities including a TAB.
  • Team sports such as football, basketball, soccer and netball.
  • Cinema or theatre, concert hall, music hall, dance hall, nightclubs
  • Attend a bar without food being consumed.
  • All previously restricted services at beauty therapy and/or cosmetic services
  • All previously restricted services at tattooing or body art and piercing services
  • Attend an amusement park, community centre, recreation centre or play centre.
  • Attend community and sporting competitions with spectators in approved seating configuration. If above 500 people the event requires a separately approved COVID-19 Safety Plan.
  • All businesses, facilities and services previously restricted can now resume ensuring adherence to key principles.
  • Major events will be approved on a case by case basis.

Travel restrictions

  • Arrivals to the Territory from overseas will be directed into mandatory supervised quarantine at the Howard Springs quarantine facility and charged $2,500
  • Interstate arrivals to the Northern Territory who are not from a declared hotspot do not need to self-quarantine.
  • Interstate arrivals to the Northern Territory from or through a declared hotspot in the last 14 days must undertake 14 days mandatory supervised quarantine.
  • All interstate arrivals are required to complete the border entry form up to 72 hours prior to arrival.
  • As borders re-opened for the rest of the country on 17 July, there is NT Police presence in all borders and airports indefinitely.

The designated biosecurity zones have been lifted. Unless closed for seasonal closures, parks and reserves will be open and accessible to Territorians. 

Conditions and access to parks in the Northern Territory (NT) can change at short notice. Check the below websites before visiting: 

Schools

  • From 20 April 2020, all Northern Territory students are expected to physically attend school
  • Where families elect not to send their child to school, the child must be learning from home

More Northern Territory schools information: https://education.nt.gov.au/publications/information-for-term-2-2020?SQ_VARIATION_814972=0
NT Roadmap: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/steps-to-restart/roadmap-new-normal
FAQ: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/819106/roadmap-faqs.pdf


Australian Capital Territory

Gathering limits

More information on gatherings: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/protecting-yourself-and-others/groups-and-gatherings

Travel 

  • ACT Health advises people who work in high-risk settings, and who have recently visited the NSW Local Government Areas (LGA) of Fairfield, Campbelltown and Liverpool, to not attend work for a period of 14 days after leaving these regions.
  • Anyone who has been in one of the affected locations identified by NSW Health, to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date they were there, even if they do not have any symptoms. More info: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/community/travel/nsw
  • Anyone (other than ACT residents) travelling into the ACT from Victoria will be denied entry unless they are granted an exemption.
  • ACT residents can return home, but have to quarantine until 14 days after leaving Victoria, and must notify ACT Health ahead of their arrival of their intention to return: https://actredcap.act.gov.au/redcap/surveys/?s=JJHXMHH3KX

Businesses and recreation

  • For the hospitality sector (cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs) gatherings will be set at 100 patrons for each indoor or outdoor space, or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser. This limit excludes staff.
  • Bars, pubs, and clubs can serve alcohol to seated patrons in groups of up to 10 per booking or table without serving a meal.
  • Full-contact training for sport, dance and martial arts is now allowed.
  • The following can open, observing the one per 4 square metre rule for up to 100 people (including staff):
  • Places of worship and religious ceremonies.
  • Cinemas and movie theatres
  • Indoor and outdoor amusement centres, arcades, and play centres
  • Gyms, health clubs, fitness, dance
  • Swimming pools
  • Community sport and organised sporting activities
  • Choirs, bands and orchestras
  • Personal services (beauty and nail salons, tattoo, massage parlours, etc.)
  • Caravan parks, campgrounds and camp sites


Health Services protection

  • A new digital screening tool is available to determine if it is safe for someone to enter a health facility. It involves answering a series of simple questions. A green tick or red cross will indicate whether or not it is safe to enter: https://screening.covid19.act.gov.au/
  • Tighter visitor restrictions to health centres:
  • One visitor per patient, per day.
  • Admitted babies or children may have one parent/carer


Education 

  • All classes in public schools have returned to on-campus learning. 
  • The ACT will be the first state to reintroduce international students in July 2020, in line with the federal government’s phased return of international students. 

More information: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/updates

 


  • People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
  • Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am. The full list of restrictions can be found here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/updated-restrictions-announcement-2-august-covid-19
  • If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
  • News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus