Coronavirus in Victoria: Financial help and advice in your state
Find information on Victorian government coronavirus policies, state stimulus packages, school and business closures, travel limitations and more.
Victorian coronavirus help and contact information
This page contains information about coronavirus in the state of Victoria. We're updating it with the latest government announcements, stimulus packages and financial support for Victorian residents and businesses struggling because of COVID-19.
- Victoria has set up a dedicated coronavirus help hotline. Call 1800 675 398.
- The Department of Health and Human Services has set up a coronavirus page with the latest information.
What's in this guide?
- Victorian coronavirus help and contact information
- Stay at home directions
- School and business closures
- Self-quarantine information for travellers
- Victorian state stimulus packages, financial support and relief
- Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Victoria
- Mental health support in Victoria
- More coronavirus support and information
Stay at home directions
Victoria has declared a stay at home period lasting midnight 30 March 2020 to 13 April 2020. The stay at home directive places very strict limitations on people leaving their house. Victorians should stay home unless going out for the following reasons.
Food, shops and services
You can leave you house to:
- Buy food or drink
- Visit a pharmacy, petrol station, post office, pet store or veterinary clinic, or financial institution
- Visit a government agency
- Receive medical care
Work and education
You can leave you house to:
- Attend paid work outside the home (including voluntary work)
- Attend an educational institution
Parental, care and health purposes
You can leave you house to:
- Meet obligations in relation to shared parenting agreements
- Provide care to a sick or vulnerable relative
- Visit an aged care facility (if permitted) or attend a hospital
- Donate blood
- Escape harm, including family violence
You can leave you house to:
- You can leave your home to exercise if you follow restrictions on public gatherings and
- Maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others at all times
- You can walk with another person if maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres
There are other specific exemptions to the rules above. For example, people who have two residences can move between them. Victorians can also move house, of course, or leave home in response to an emergency.
Rules and fines during the crisis
The Victorian police can issue fines to individuals and businesses who fail to comply with rules on public gatherings and self-isolation. Recently returned travellers can also face fines for breaking quarantine.
The on-the-spot fines are:
- Individuals: up to $1,652.
- Businesses: up to $9,913.
Limits on public gatherings
On 30 March the National Cabinet announced restrictions on public gatherings of more than two people. The rules are as follows:
- A maximum of two people can meet together in public.
- This excludes family members living together.
- Essential activities such as work and education are excluded.
In effect this restriction means parties, barbecues with neighbours and group fitness classes are now prohibited. Households can still spend time together and go outside together.
School and business closures
School holidays have been brought forward and now start from Tuesday 24 March 2020.
Closure of non-essential businesses
On 23 March 2020, the government implemented a shutdown of non-essential businesses, including the following:
- Gyms and indoor sports facilities.
- Pubs, cafes, restaurants (takeaway or home delivery is still permitted).
- Clubs, nightclubs and casinos.
- Churches and other places of worship (small weddings or funerals that don't exceed density restrictions are permitted).
Banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, public transport and essential utilities services remain open.
On 24 March the Victorian government expanded the shutdown to include:
- Food courts (table service closed but takeaway and delivery allowed).
- Auction houses, real estate auctions and open property inspections (online auctions and private inspections still allowed).
- Non-food markets.
- Beauty therapy, spray tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours and spas (hairdressers can stay open).
- Cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, casinos, concert venues, amusement parks, arenas and stadiums.
- Health and fitness centres, yoga classes, swimming pools and recreation centres (but personal training can continue if outdoors).
- Zoos, galleries, museums, libraries, and non-essential local government services.
- Places of worship (weddings limited to bride, groom, celebrant plus two witnesses, and funerals limited to ten mourners).
On 25 March the Victorian health minister announced:
- Non-urgent and elective surgeries at public hospitals are temporarily postponed.
- If the surgery is required and delays could cause health issues then the surgery will continue.
On 30 March the Victorian health minister also announced:
- A three-month suspension of all non-urgent public dental procedures.
- A ban on the sales of firearms and ammunition for sporting or recreational purposes.
Self-quarantine information for travellers
The federal government announced a mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers returning from overseas, effective from 29 March. This means that travellers who arrive in Victoria as their first port of landing are subject to self isolation in an appointed hotel for 14 days. The Victorian government has ensured that these travellers will receive care packages of food and other essentials while they are being quarantined.
Premier Andrews stated, "Our hotels and motels are struggling – hiring rooms allows us to support them, as well as enforcing the new quarantine rules to keep Victorians safe."
For those who are already isolating after returning from overseas prior to 29 March, you must remain in your home for a full 14 days, leaving only in an emergency or to purchase medical supplies. You can be fined up to $20,000 for failing to self-quarantine in Victoria.
Victorian state stimulus packages, financial support and relief
Here are the coronavirus economic support measures announced by the Victorian state government.
In a statement, Premier Daniel Andrews said, "We've listened to business and workers and now we're taking unique and unprecedented action to help businesses and their workers through this crisis."
Economic survival package
On 21 March 2020, the Victorian government announced a $1.7 billion stimulus package to support workers and small businesses.
Measures in the package include the following:
- Full payroll tax refunds (2019-2020 financial year). Small and medium-sized businesses can get a payroll tax refund if the payroll is under $3 million in total. This comes into effect a week from March 21.
- Payroll tax deferment. Small and medium-sized businesses can also defer payroll tax for the first three months of the next financial year.
- Rent relief for commercial tenants. If your business rents space in a government building, you can apply for rent relief.
- Working for Victoria Fund. This is a new $500 million fund to help workers who have lost their job find new employment opportunities.
- Business Support Fund. This is a new $500 million fund to support industries hit by COVID-19 (this includes hospitality, arts, tourism and retail).
- Supplier invoices paid. To keep money flowing through the economy, the Victorian government will pay all supplier invoices it owes to companies within five working days.
On 30 March 2020 the government announced a national JobKeeper payment to support businesses and workers. Business owners can also apply for the government's new JobKeeper payment, which will provide the business with wage subsidies for up to six months in exchange for the business keeping staff employed. To see how if you're eligible and learn how it works, read the full guide on the new JobKeeper payment.
If you operate a small business in Victoria and need help, you can call the small business COVID-19 hotline on 13 22 15.
If you are struggling financially, you may also be eligible for federal government support. Check out the details of the federal coronavirus stimulus package.
Emergency relief packages
Victorians who are required to self-isolate but lack access to support networks will receive emergency packages of food and other essential supplies. This includes items such as the following:
- Soap, toothpaste and other hygiene products
- Nappies and baby formula
- Pasta, cereal, long-life milk and canned vegetables
If you need an emergency relief package, contact the Victorian coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. Relief packages will be available from 23 March.
Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Victoria
There are a number of assessment centres for coronavirus testing at Victorian hospitals. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you can attend the following clinics:
Assessment centres have been established at a number of Victorian hospitals. You don't need to call ahead (unless stated otherwise below) if you attend one of the clinics listed below. Note that no appointment is necessary, unless stated otherwise.
Clinics in metropolitan areas:
- Alfred Hospital
- Austin Hospital
- Box Hill Hospital - Eastern Health
- Casey Hospital - Monash Health
- Dandenong Hospital - Monash Health
- Frankston Hospital - Peninsula Health
- Monash Medical Centre, Clayton - Monash Health
- Northern Hospital
- Royal Children's Hospital
- Royal Melbourne Hospital - Melbourne Health
- St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne
- Sunshine Hospital - Western Health
Clinics in regional areas:
- Ballarat Base Hospital - Ballarat Health Services
- Barwon Health North, Geelong - Barwon Health. Please call 4215 4445 prior to attending.
- Bacchus Marsh - Djerriwarrh Health Services
- Benalla Health
- Bendigo Hospital
- Echuca Hospital - Echuca Regional Health
- Maryborough District Health Service
- Melton - Djerriwarrh Health Services
- Mildura - Sunraysia Community Health Services. Please call 5021 7653 before attending.
- Phillip Island Health Hub - Bass Coast Health
- Shepparton Hospital - Goulburn Valley Health
- Swan Hill District Health
- Warrnambool - South West Healthcare. Please call 5563 1666 before attending.
- Western District Health Service - Hamilton
- Wimmera Health Care Group – Horsham
- Wodonga Campus - Albury Wodonga Health
- Wonthaggi Hospital - Bass Coast Health
Mental health support in Victoria
The coronavirus pandemic can leave you feeling overwhelmed and anxious, but it's important to know that there are services in place to help you if you feel your mental health has been affected. The following hotlines are free services that can help you navigate through this difficult time.
- Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- Beyondblue: 1300 224 636
More coronavirus support and information
If you're struggling financially because of the coronavirus, check out some of our guides below:
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