Last updated 27 March 2020 at 5pm. The next National Cabinet meeting is scheduled for Sunday March 29.
What do I need to do?
The Australian and State/Territory governments are working hard to minimise the loss of life, but we all need to play our part to make sure the measures are effective. With several confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Nicholls electorate, the below measures are more important than ever.
- Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. Necessary reasons includes for work, school or for supplies. Remember, the infected can be contagious for up to 24 hours before showing any symptoms
- Practice good hygiene by coughing/sneezing into your elbow, disposing of tissues properly, regularly cleaning/disinfectingcommonly-used surfaces/objects (e.g. door handles, phones, keys), and not touching your face.
- Practice good hand hygiene by regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20-seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser when washing isn’t possible, especially while/after being in public places.
- Practice social distancing by keeping at least 1.5m away from other people wherever possible, and avoiding physical contact (such as hand shaking or hugging). For a guide on social distancing click here.
- If you are sick, stay at home. You can check your symptoms by clicking here.
- Do not breach your isolation if you have been instructed to isolate. Significant fines apply and can be issued on the spot. Victoria Police, assisted by the Australian Defence Force, will be checking to ensure people are adhering to their quarantine. Isolation guidelines can be found here. Isolation breaches can be reported to 1800 080 020. If you are in isolation and need urgent supplies click here.
- Adhere to all official government restrictions and recommendations.
- Do not bulk buy essential goods like food and medicine. If you need to stock up on items in case of quarantine, do it gradually. Supermarkets and chemists are considered an essential service and will not be closed.
- Stay up to date with the latest news over the coming weeks and months by checking a news source regularly, as the situation changes day-to-day.
- Ensure the information you rely on is trustworthy. Information should come directly from a government source or major news outlet. If you are unsure about something, cross-check the information on one of the websites below, or contact my office.
- Support your community where you can. This includes checking in on the vulnerable or sick, and supporting the local businesses that can continue to operate under social distancing guidelines (e.g. contactless home deliveries or take-away food outlets).
General information about Coronavirus
- Coronavirus is highly contagious, with each infected person giving it to an average of 2.5 other people. In normal circumstances, one infected person becomes 406 infected people after only 30 days.
- The disease is ten to twenty times more deadly than the seasonal flu.
- You can be infectious for up to 24 hours without even knowing you are sick.
- The disease is spread from person to person via close contact, cough or sneeze droplets, and poor hand hygiene.
- Common symptoms of Coronavirus include a fever, dry cough, sore throat, and/or shortness of breath.
- The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk of serious complications however deaths of young and otherwise healthy people have been reported internationally. The vast majority of the infected in Australia are aged between 20 and 69.
- COVID-19 originated in China in late 2019 and has since spread across the globe. Australia declared the disease a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
Where can I get help?
These websites are all updated daily. Consider following these sources on social media to help you stay up to date.
|Main government website||australia|
|Business Support Measures||business|
|Financial support for Individuals and Households (Centrelink)||servicesaustralia|
|Head of Government||Prime Minster|
Why is social distancing needed?
- Slowing the spread of Coronavirus (‘flattening the curve’) will directly reduce the number of Australians who get seriously ill or die from it.
- A flatter curve will also allow our healthcare system to cope, ensuring it can be available for our critically ill when they need lifesaving medical attention.
- Our federal, state and territory governments are working hard to implement social distancing measures, as it is the best tool to flatten the curve.
- To see Australia’s current situation and case numbers click here.
- To see Victoria’s current case numbers and location click here and select the most recent daily “Coronavirus Update for Victoria.”
Economic Stimulus Packages
Social distancing measures as a result of Coronavirus are having significant economic impacts on businesses and individuals across Australia. To date, the Australian government has invested $189 billion (around a tenth of the size of the total Australian economy) into financial support measures to ease the blow during this difficult time. A first economic stimulus package was announced on March 12, and a second on March 22.
The Australian Banking Association also announced that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by Coronavirus for six months.
If you need financial assistance see the section “Where can I get help?”
Current Australia-wide restrictions and recommendations
Further information about these restrictions can be found at australia.gov.au or the Prime Minister’s website. Additional restrictions or recommendations can be put in place in Nicholls by the Victorian government, with information on those restrictions available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au or the Victorian Premier’s website.
- No Australian should leave their home unless it is essential to do so. Necessary reasons include things like work (only if you can’t work from home), school, shopping for essential supplies like food and medicine, exercising in a small group such as with your immediate family, or providing care/support to an individual at a place other than your home. If you are with other people, you must observe the rule of 1 person for every 4 square metres and practice good hand hygiene. Any gathering of people, including social or extended family gatherings, should be avoided.
- Weddings may proceed with no more than five people in attendance, with at least 4 square metres of space per person available.
- Funerals may proceed with no more than ten people in attendance, with at least 4 square metres of space per person available.
- Social sporting activities can take place if individual or in small groups, where at least 4 square metres of space per person is available and good hand hygiene is observed.
- Non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people (including staff) are no longer permitted.
- Essential indoor gatherings of less than 100 people must have at least 4 square metres of space per person.
- Essential outdoor gatherings of less than 500 people must have at least 4 square metres of space per person.
- Australians should only leave their homes when it is absolutely necessary.
- Most states in Australia now require you to quarantine for 14 days upon entry, and domestic travel is not recommended unless it is absolutely necessary. For more information visit australia.gov.au
- Australians are prohibited from travelling overseas. Exceptions must be approved by the Australia Border Force on grounds such as compassionate/humanitarian, being in our national interest, travel being essential, or citizens who ordinarily reside overseas.
- Anyone who is not an Australian citizen or resident (or a direct/immediate family member of one, or a New Zealand citizen who normally resides in Australia) is not be permitted to enter Australia. Exceptions must be approved by the Australian Border Force. Citizens of some countries may still transit through Australia to return to their home.
- Everyone who arrives in Australia from overseas is required to self-isolate for 14 days either at home or in a hotel.
- Cruise ships from foreign ports may not arrive at an Australian port before 15 April 2020, unless it is an Australian flagged vessel. Further restrictions are planned ad some further exceptions apply.
Restrictions on businesses and services
Retailers must display a sign showing the maximum number of people permitted on the premises based on the occupancy rule of no more than 1 person for every 4 square metres of floorspace. Businesses that remain open must observe stricter hygiene and cleaning practices throughout opening hours, especially for frequently touched surfaces. These include fixtures such as benchtops, counters, door handles, touch screens and EFTPOS equipment. If you need to seek advice about whether your business is affected call Business Victoria’s hotline on 13 22 15.
The following services are no longer be able to operate Australia-wide.
- Pubs, registered and licensed clubs (bottle shops excluded)
- Hotels (excluding accommodation)
- Religious gatherings and places of worship
- Cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, gaming and gambling venues, all adult entertainment venues.
- Concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums, and stadiums.
- Amusement parks and arcades, indoor and outdoor play centres, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, galleries, museums, national institutions, and historic sites.
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues, swimming pools, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, bath houses, and wellness centres.
- Personal services such as beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, and massage parlours (this does not include allied health services like physiotherapists).
- Local government (council) non-essential facilities and services such as libraries.
- Community facilities and centres including halls, clubs, youth centres, recreation centres, RSLs.
- Auction houses and real estate auctions.
The following services have the below restrictions Australia-wide.
- Cafes, restaurants, food courts in shopping malls will be limited to takeaway-only.
- Essential voluntary or public services (such as food bank or homeless services) may operate out of an otherwise closed facility such as a community centre. Social distancing, take away and hand hygiene restrictions must still be observed.
- Open house inspections can only be private appointments.
- Boot camps and personal training will be limited to outdoor classes with a maximum of 10 people per class with adequate social distancing.
Restrictions for the following places will be decided by the State of Victoria for the Nicholls electorate.
- Indoor and outdoor markets (food markets will continue to operate).
- Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, and boarding houses, caravan and camping parks, campsites (permanent residents will be allowed to remain).
- Social sporting-based clubs such as golf or tennis require approval from the Victorian state government to remain open.
Services such as hospitals and aged care facilities have restrictions around who may visit to protect their patients, staff, and residents. Ensure you check their current visiting restrictions before you visit.