On May 11, the Victorian Government announced changes to COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews has extended the State of Emergency in Victoria until May 31 with the following changes which I have endeavoured to summarise for you below. These changes come into effect on Wednesday May 13.
The Stay at Home rules remain in place, however they now include a fifth reason to leave your home; to visit family or friends. The rule states that up to five visitors in your home will be allowed in addition to the residents of the household.
All activities carried out in groups including weddings, funerals and religious gatherings and some services like hairdressing, auctions and open houses, must keep a record of all attendees to ensure tracing is possible.
Indoor sports centres and venues, and gyms must not open and public parks, public playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skateparks remain closed, except for sport, exercise and recreation that can be conducted in a park with max 10 people.
Please note that the Victorian Government has not yet released the enforceable legal directions which sit behind these changes. I recommend that people read these in more detail, as in the past I have found there have been inconsistencies between what the government has publicly announced and what the legal directions actually state. Once released, they are usually found here.
HOW DOES THIS FIT WITH NATIONAL CABINET RECOMMENDATIONS?
The Federal Government last week announced a three-stage process (see below) to “guide” states, who will adopt these measures separately on different timelines.
As 11th May, there are 7 new cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, bringing the state’s total 1494. There are 118 active cases in Victoria.
Most notably for us, there is now one active case in our region, in the Greater Shepparton Council area. The table below summarises the cumulative number of cases in our area since January 1.
The Victorian Government announced on May 12, that as from Tuesday May 26, all Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students, specialist school students, as well as VCE and VCAL students will return to on-site learning at government schools.
Grade 3 to Year 10 students will return to school on June 9.
This app is designed to improve contact tracing to limit the further spread of coronavirus.
It allows health officials to tell if you have come into close contact with someone who is diagnosed with the virus, and helps them notify people you have been in close contact with so they can self-quarantine and be tested.
The Federal Government hopes use of the app will speed up the lifting of restrictions
More than five million people across Australia have voluntarily downloaded the app so far.
The app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play.
Victoria’s COVID-19 testing has been expanded in the past two weeks, with more than 160,000 people tested in this time. Anyone with the following symptoms – even if mild – is encouraged to be tested: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of sense of smell. The results of the increased testing will help to gather data about the virus itself and possible community transmission.
WHERE TO GET HELP
It is important that you follow accurate information and know where to go if you need assistance. The following resources offer reliable, up-to-date information:
- australia.gov.au contains information about restrictions, financial assistance, community support and health advice;
- The Coronavirus Australia app can be downloaded to your smartphone via the Apple or Google Play stores;
- The National Coronavirus Hotline can be reached on 1800 020 080;
- The Victorian Coronavirus Hotline can be reached on 1800 675 398;
- The Australian Government’s Whats App channel provides updates directly from the government. You can download the app here, and subscribe by sending a message to 0400 253 787.
- Telstra and Optus stores remain open to help people with any digital connectivity issues. You can call the Telstra support line on 13 22 00, or Optus on 133 937 for assistance.
While some restrictions have been lifted and aspects of our lives will change for the better, this is still an uncertain and difficult time for many. If you are worried or anxious, you can reach out to the following support services:
- Head to Health
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
WE’RE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU
In line with official advice from Parliament our electorate office is still closed for walk-in and face-to-face meetings until further notice.
However were still here to help and can be contacted on: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 5482 2039.