Australia

Victoria to offer free hotel stays for health workers with coronavirus

The Victorian government has announced up to 8,000 healthcare workers will have access to free hotel accommodation to self-isolate if they catch coronavirus.

The Victorian government has announced healthcare workers who catch coronavirus will be able to self-isolate at hotels to protect their families at no cost.

The 'Hotels for Heroes' program will be available for up to 8,000 healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who catch the virus will be able to self-isolate at hotels with the state government picking up the tab.

"All of those dedicated health professionals who have that frontline patient contact that might be exposed to coronavirus, will be able to spend time separately to their families to make sure that they can keep their families safe as they recuperate and get back to the frontline," Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Sunday.

The initiative will also apply to non-clinical workers in the healthcare profession, including cooks and cleaners at hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Mr Andrews said experience from overseas had shown that healthcare workers were placed at an increased risk of catching the virus and it was important to do everything they could to protect them and their families

"Whilst we’ve gone and ordered an unprecedented amount of personal protective equipment to keep them safe, and we have prioritised them for testing, we need to do everything possible to ensure that they get our support," he said.

“So this is why they will be able to self-isolate at no expense to themselves."

Some Australians have taken to social media to show their appreciation of healthcare workers using the #HealthcareHeroes hashtag.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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