March 26, 2020
 
RESTRICTIONS 
The following venues and activities are prohibited from midnight on Wednesday, March 25:

  • Pubs, registered and licensed clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation), restaurants and cafes – delivery and take away can remain operational;
  • Food courts – delivery and take away can remain operational;
  • Auction houses;
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections – private appointments for inspection are permittable;
  • Outdoor and indoor markets will be a decision for each state and territory – food markets will continue to operate in all states and territories;
  • Hairdressers and barber shops –1 person per 4 square metre rule must be applied, and personal contact during a patron’s visit must be minimised where possible;
  • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours;
  • Spa and massage parlours;
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, gaming or gambling venues, and nightclubs;
  • Strip clubs, brothels and other similar venues;
  • Concert venues, theatre, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums;
  • Amusement parks and arcades;
  • Indoor and outdoor play centres;
  • Community and recreations centres – facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services;
  • Gyms, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bath-houses and wellness centres;
  • Boot camps, personal training operating outside and inside – for outside events, limited to groups of no more than 10 people, social distancing rules must be applied;
  • Social sporting-based activities;
  • Swimming pools;
  • Caravan and camping parks – open only to those who have a caravan park registered as their primary place of residence; where a primary residence is not available; for the purposes of respite; for victims of family violence; for other vulnerable groups; or for care purposes.
  • Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks and boarding houses will be a decision for each state and territory – excluding permanent residents and workers;
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites;
  • Libraries, community centres and youth centres;
  • Local government non-essential facilities and services (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs);
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship;
  • Weddings – weddings with a maximum attendance of no more than 5 people, where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies, are permitted
  • Funerals – funerals attended by a maximum of no more than 10 people, where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies, are permitted. In hardship cases, states and territories can provide exemptions to the maximum number of guests.
  • All non-urgent elective surgery temporarily suspended.

At this stage, all other businesses can continue to trade, while observing social distancing measures.

STAY INFORMED
The Federal Government has launched a new website – www.australia.gov.au/ – that is an excellent resource for information on restrictions, financial assistance, community support and health advice.
It also includes this handy symptom checker.
 
Be aware that there is a lot of information on social media at the moment – some is true, a lot is not. It’s important you stick to reliable sources and advice.  

WHERE TO GO 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 only call Triple Zero in an emergency.

SUPPORT FOR THOSE SELF-ISOLATING
The Victorian Government has promised to deliver care packages to those self-isolating who don’t have anyone nearby to support them. Please share this information with those who might need assistance and encourage them to call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

CHECK ON PEOPLE AROUND YOU
Please make sure, where you can, that you check in over the phone with elderly residents in our communities or anyone who might require extra support. If you know someone in your street or neighbourhood who might need assistance, please get in touch with them.
 
My office has started the enormous job of calling residents over the age of 80 and mailing out information packs to ensure they are well, supported and have the necessary information.

If you have anyone in particular you are concerned about, but are not sure what to do or how to contact them, please email emma.kealy@parliament.vic.gov.au and I will do my best to contact them.

BUSINESS AND HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT
Previous editions of this update containing information on financial assistance available to households and business can be found here.

CENTRELINK
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.
Due to long queues at offices, Centrelink is encouraging people to apply for financial assistance through the myGov website. You can also visit www.servicesaustralia.gov.au to check your eligibility for payments.
As a last resort, should you need assistance from a Centrelink office, the locations are listed below.

 

 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months. You can contact the major banks about this announcement on the following numbers, or call your local branch.

 

 

LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
The impact of COVID-19 can lead to feelings of anxiety and concern. 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. Please make sure you pass this information on to those who need it most.
 
Beyond Blue has some excellent resources to help you through this difficult time – you can find them here.
Rural Financial Counselling Service is also a fantastic resource for people at risk of financial hardship. I would encourage you to call Patrick White – 0427 340 621 – who is based in Horsham, or Malcolm Rowe – 0408 347 000 – who is based in Hamilton.
 
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
As always, I and my team are available 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 you can reach us by phone or email: emma.kealy@parliament.vic.gov.au or call 5382 0097.
 
If you are waiting to hear back from me about other matters, please know that I haven’t forgotten you – we just need to prioritise urgent requests for assistance at this time.
 
Take care,
Emma

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