There have been further updates that you should know about Sunday night’s meeting of the National Cabinet.
The announcements included further social gathering restrictions, a new app with all the latest information and advice for those over the age of 70. The Victorian Premier also triggered Stage 3 restrictions yesterday, which came into effect last night.
Here’s a summary of what it all means.
STAGE 3 RESTRICTIONS
- Public gatherings are limited to 2 people – except for your family you live with and for work;
- There are only four reasons to not be at home:
- Shopping for food and essential supplies;
- Medical care or compassionate needs;
- Exercise – adhering to social gathering and distancing rules; and
- Work and education – where working/learning from home is not possible
- Playgrounds and skateparks are now closed
Police now have the power to issue on-the-spot fines of $1600 to people who don’t adhere to the two-person public gathering limit.
Stage 1 & 2 restrictions also remain in place.
At this stage, all other businesses can continue to trade, while observing social distancing measures.
IF YOU BECOME UNWELL
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, breathing difficulties, cough, sore throat, and fatigue or tiredness. If you suspect that you or someone you know might have coronavirus, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. (Please keep Triple Zero for medical emergencies.)
You can also use this handy symptom checker.
Locally, screening and assessment clinics have been established at Swan Hill District Health and Echuca Hospital – Echuca Regional Health.
If you think you have COVID-19, the hotline above is still the first port of call.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF (AND OTHERS)
- Good hygiene – hand washing, clean and disinfect surfaces frequently and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. More here
- Social distancing – keep at least 1.5 metres of space between you and others.
- Get your flu shot! – Check in with your pharmacy or GP to see whether the flu shot is available. It will not protect you from COVID-19 but getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time can make you very unwell.
HELP IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR JOB
If you have lost work or are facing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic, you can apply for financial assistance through Centrelink. If you are already receiving a Centrelink payment, you do not need to do anything else to receive the extra financial assistance.
Centrelink is encouraging people to visit the myGov website where application forms can be competed online. For assistance with My Gov, contact the MyGov Helpdesk by phone: 132 307.
SUPPORT FOR LANDLORDS AND RENTERS
A moratorium has been placed on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenants who are in financial distress and are unable to meet their commitments because of the impact of coronavirus.
Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to sit down together to find a way through to ensure businesses survive. More information can be found here.
HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH
If you are worried about coronavirus and how it is affecting your life or people you love, you’re not alone. It’s not always easy but try to remember that health professionals and governments are working to contain the virus and keep our community safe.
Make sure you get regular fresh air, exercise as appropriate and keep in touch with family and friends over the phone.
- Head to Health is a digital mental health service that can link you to trusted Australian online and phone supports, resources and treatment options.
- Beyond Blue also has some excellent resources to help you through this difficult time – you can find them here.
Please make sure you pass this information on to those that need it most.
NEW TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
As of midnight Saturday, all travellers arriving in Australia are required to undertake their mandatory 14-day isolation period at a designated facility, such as a hotel. Travellers are being transported directly to designated facilities following immigration, customs and enhanced health checks.
Some state governments, including Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia, have also put in place border restrictions preventing people for entering unless it is essential.
Accurate and timely information is essential. The following resources are a great place to start:
- australia.gov.au is a great place to start for information on restrictions, financial assistance, community support and health advice;
- Coronavirus app – launched over the weekend, this app can be downloaded to your smartphone via the Apple or Google stores;
- Whats App – you can get updates directly from the government by downloading the app here. Subscribe by sending a message to +61 400 253 787
WE’RE HERE TO HELP!
As always, my team is working flat out to help you.
In line with official advice, Parliament has instructed electorate offices to close for walk-in and face-to-face meetings until further notice but if you need us, we’re only a phone call away.
If you are waiting to hear back from me on a regular state government matter, please know I haven’t forgotten you! We are just trying to prioritise urgent requests for assistance relating to coronavirus.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to assist you: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 5482 2039.