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Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions graphic

State of Disaster

Victoria has entered a State of Disaster, giving Victoria Police additional powers to ensure people are complying with the public health directions.

COVIDSafe Plans mandatory for operational workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne and any high risk workplace in regional Victoria

Under Stage 4 restrictions, workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne can only operate on-site if they are a Permitted industry workplace and a COVIDSafe Plan must be implemented to continue their operation.

Regional Victoria has moved to Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and a COVIDSafe Plan is advised for these workplaces.

High-risk industries in regional Victoria must also adhere to additional conditions imposed on these sectors – including implementing a High Risk COVIDSafe plan .

Creating your COVIDSafe Plan is not complicated, but it will protect your staff, customers, and visitors.

It also supports you in preparing for a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.

Failure to do so could result in an on the spot fine of up $9,913 and up to $20,000 for serious offences.

For COVIDSafe Plan templates and preparation guidance, visit Business Victoria.

For the latest information on restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Department of Health and Human Services.

Permitted Worker Scheme

Employers requiring their staff to attend a work site in, or travel through metropolitan Melbourne must issue a worker permit to their employees.

Details about the permitted work scheme including eligibility and the worker permit form are on the Business Victoria website.

Stage 3 restrictions for regional Victoria

Regional Victoria has returned to Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions.

That means that if you live in regional Victoria, including in Mitchell Shire, there will only be four reasons to be out:

  1. to shop for food and essential goods or services
  2. to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
  3. to exercise or for outdoor recreation with your household, or one other person
  4. for work or study, if you can’t do it from home

You may no longer have visitors to your home or visit other people in their homes.

We all need to play our part to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). By staying at home and limiting contact with other people, we can help protect ourselves, our families and our communities from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Businesses in regional Victoria will also return to Stage 3 restrictions.  That means restaurants and cafes can only offer delivery and takeaway.

Beauty and personal services will need to close. Entertainment and cultural venues will need to close, and community sport will need to stop.

Everyone must wear a mask or face covering  when they leave home, unless an exception applies.

For more information on restrictions in place across regional Victoria and the most up to date information about coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Read the Premier’s statement.

Face coverings mandatory across Victoria

A mask or face covering is mandatory whenever you leave home, wherever you live in Victoria. You must wear a face covering unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so, and even with a face covering, you should still keep 1.5 metres distance between you and people you don’t live with.

For more information, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Stage 4 restrictions for Melbourne

Metropolitan Melbourne has moved to Stage 4 restrictions, with stronger rules to limit the movement of people – and limit the spread of COVD-19 (coronavirus) around Victoria.

Melbourne’s restrictions will include a nightly curfew from 8pm to 5am. The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving.

The definition of metropolitan Melbourne is based on the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which sets out the local government areas that form metropolitan Melbourne, and will not include Mitchell Shire for the purposes of the Stage 4 curfew or travel restrictions.

For more information on restrictions in place across metropolitan Melbourne and the most up to date information about coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Read the Premier’s statement.

Restrictions along Victoria’s borders with New South Wales and South Australia

Restrictions on the movement of Victorians across our borders with South Australia (SA) and New South Wales (NSW) are now in place.

A border zone defined along the Murray River has been established between Victoria and NSW. Entry to NSW from Victoria is restricted, and exemptions for NSW residents travelling from the Victorian side of the border zone will be limited.

Individuals eligible under these rules need to apply for a permit from the NSW Government. This closure is being enforced by NSW Police.

The Victorian Government is working with the NSW Government to manage specific impacts on border communities as well as industries that need to cross the border, including freight and other critical services.

Information about these restrictions, permits, freight operations and other critical services, as well as provisions for residents of NSW border regions under these new conditions is available on the Service NSW website or you can call their information line on 13 77 88.

There are also restrictions on the movement of people from Victoria into SA, with further tightening of these rules from Wednesday, 29 July 2020.

From Wednesday, 29 July 2020 the only people permitted to enter SA will be those defined as essential travellers, including members of cross border communities. South Australians will no longer be able to return to SA from Victoria.

A pre-approval process is also in place for all interstate travellers wishing to enter SA. For more information about SA’s border restrictions visit the South Australian Government website or call their dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) information line on 1800 253 787.

Enforcement of the SA border will remain a matter for SA police.

No permit or approval is required to enter Victoria from another state – however you will need to adhere to the restrictions and directions that are in place to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria.

Further details on border closures can be found on this page under ‘Common questions’.

Support for Victorian businesses and workers

The Victorian Government is providing unprecedented economic support to help Victorian businesses and workers through to the other side of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including the Business Support Fund (BSF) - Expansion program.

Eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will now receive grants of $10,000 (increasing from $5,000), and eligible business in regional Victoria will receive grants of $5,000.

Those businesses which have already received a BSF grant, or have applied for one, do not need to re-apply. This additional allocation will be automatically applied to successful applicants.

These changes are intended to help businesses hit hard by the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Victorian Government is working closely with the Commonwealth Government and will announce further supports for businesses and workers in the coming days.

The $534 million Business Support Package announced in July, includes a $40 million Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program. This program provides direct financial support to accommodation businesses in regional Victoria impacted by cancellations due to Stage 3 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire and state border closures.

Accommodation businesses are strongly encouraged to download and read the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program Guidelines, available from Business Victoria.

Information on the Business Support Fund – Expansion program is available on Business Victoria's website.

Businesses can benefit from an extended and expanded payroll tax deferral. Eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million can defer their liabilities for the first half of the 2020/21 financial year.

The $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan is also supporting regional businesses across Victoria during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under the plan, Business Adaptation grants are helping to keep food supply chains safe and secure, while job-matching and funding for worker relocation, transport and training is helping job seekers transition from other industries. New positions with Catchment Management Authorities to implement projects with agriculture benefits have also been supported around the state.

The Plan is part of the Victorian Government’s $500 million Working for Victoria Fund, which helps people who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic find new opportunities. Businesses across the state can register their needs on the platform and access a talent pool of jobseekers.

Business Victoria is also providing coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and has a business support and financial assistance finder tool to help businesses find a range of Australia and Victorian Government support based on their circumstances.

The Victorian Government has launched the Upskill My Business platform to give businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic free access to top online short courses and training events so they can plan for a stronger future.

Businesses can access free mentoring through the Victorian Government’s mentoring program which pairs them up with someone who can help their business adapt its current strategy to survive the impacts of coronavirus.

Business Victoria has a range of sector-specific guidance for businesses within hospitality, tourism, culture, entertainment, sport and recreation industries adapt to rules around their operations.

For advice and support for Victorian businesses, people can call Business Victoria’s dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 13 22 15.

The Business Victoria coronavirus business support webpage provides a comprehensive look at what restrictions are in place and the supports available to businesses across Victoria. Visit business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

People can sign up to the Business Victoria newsletter to receive the latest information on initiatives and announcements that will impact your business. Go to business.vic.gov.au/subscribe-to-newsletters

The Australian Government also provides information about Australian Government support for businesses and workers.

Building Works package to provide immediate benefit

The Victorian Government is investing in new trails, rejuvenated streetscapes and even better tourist attractions as part of our rural and regional construction blitz to create jobs, attract visitors and kickstart local economies.

Check out what local tourism and regional development projects are happening in your area.

Regional Development Victoria Business Centres current operations

We’re continuing to serve the community, but you may need to contact us in different ways.

Victorian Government office receptions across the state are now closed in order to reduce face-to-face contact between staff and members of the community.

If you can contact us online, visit the Regional Development Victoria website. You can also call us 136 186.

Limiting our movement every day means we slow the spread of coronavirus

Stay safe by practising good hygiene, keeping your distance from others and, if you feel unwell, stay home.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should get tested.

Directions from the Chief Health Officer are still being enforced by Victoria Police, who have the power to issue fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses. Larger fines can be issued through the courts.


This information is correct as of 8 August 2020.

Common questions about the restrictions

What restrictions are in place across regional Victoria and where?

All of regional Victoria has returned to Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions. Stage 3 restrictions will continue to apply to Mitchell Shire residents.

That means there are only four reasons to be out:

  1. Shopping for food and essential items
  2. Care and caregiving
  3. Daily exercise
  4. Work and study – if you can’t do it from home

Businesses in regional Victoria will also return to Stage 3 restrictions.  That means restaurants and cafes can only offer delivery and takeaway.

Beauty and personal services will need to close. Entertainment and cultural venues will need to close, and community sport will need to stop.

Everyone must wear a mask or face covering when they leave home, unless an exception applies.

The Victorian Government has also announced that from 6pm Sunday 2 August Victoria will enter a State of Disaster, giving Victoria Police additional powers to ensure people are complying with the public health directions.

For more information on restrictions in place across regional Victoria and the most up to date information about coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Read the Premier’s statement.

What do Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria mean for business and industry?

Businesses in regional Victoria have also returned to Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

This means restaurants and cafes can only offer delivery and takeaway. Beauty and personal services will need to close. Entertainment and cultural venues will need to close, and community sport will need to stop.

Creating a COVIDSafe Plan is advised for most workplaces in regional Victoria except those in High Risk industries.

Workplaces in high-risk industries in regional Victoria must also adhere to additional conditions imposed on these sectors, including implementing a High Risk COVIDSafe plan.

Creating your COVIDSafe Plan is not complicated, but it will protect your staff, customers, and visitors.

It also supports you in preparing for a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.

Failure to do so could result in an on the spot fine of up $9,913 and up to $20,000 for serious offences. Templates to guide the creation of a COVID Safe Plan are available on the Business Victoria website.

More details will be available in coming days, the latest information will be available on the Business Victoria website.

How do I know if I need a Universal or High Risk COVID Safe Plan?

Under Stage 4 restrictions, workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne can only operate on-site if they are a Permitted industry workplace and a COVIDSafe Plan must be implemented to continue their operation.

Developing a COVID Safe Plan is recommended for all businesses in regional Victoria but is only mandatory for high risk workplaces with fewer than five employees.

The following types of workplaces are included in those required to have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan with enhanced obligations:

For COVIDSafe Plan templates and preparation guidance, visit Business Victoria .

For the latest health and travel information to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Department of Health and Human Services .

Where can I find more information about the Permitted Worker Permit required for metropolitan Melbourne areas?

Under Stage 4 restrictions, workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless:

  • the workplace is part of a permitted activity, or
  • all employees are working from home.

Every employer that requires their staff to attend a work site in, or travel through metropolitan Melbourne must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.

Penalties of up to $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for businesses) will apply to employers who issue worker permits to employees who do not meet the requirements of the worker permit scheme or who otherwise breach the scheme requirements.

There will also be on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 (for individuals) and up to $9,913 (for businesses) for anyone who breaches the scheme requirements. This includes employers and employees who do not carry their worker permit when travelling to and from work.

A permitted industry list is available on the Department of Human Services website.

Do we have to wear face coverings in regional Victoria?

A mask or face covering is mandatory whenever you leave home, wherever you live in Victoria. You must wear a face covering unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so, and even with a face covering, you should still keep 1.5 metres distance between you and people you don’t live with.

What does Stage 3 restrictions mean for schools in regional Victoria?

Schools across Victoria return to remote and flexible learning from Wednesday 5 August 2020 – across all year levels.

The only exception will be for specialist schools and for early childhood education and care services.

Onsite supervision will again be made available for students in regional Victoria who need it, including children whose parents are permitted workers and vulnerable kids who can’t learn from home.

For more information visit the Department of Education and Training website.

Why are these restrictions in place in regional Victoria, including in areas where there are no or few cases of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

We all need to play our part to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). By staying at home and limiting contact with other people, we can help protect ourselves, our families and our communities from coronavirus (COVID-19).

You must wear a face covering when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. Even with a face covering, you should still keep 1.5 metres distance between you and people you don’t live with.

Are there restrictions in place along Victoria’s borders between other states?

There are restrictions on the movement of Victorians across our borders with South Australia and New South Wales.

What are the restrictions between New South Wales and Victoria?

The Victorian Premier, the Prime Minister and the Premier of New South Wales agreed to close the border between Victoria and New South Wales from 8 July 2020.

From midnight Wednesday 22 July there are further changes to the border conditions; a border zone, defined along the Murray River, will be established. Entry to NSW from Victoria will be restricted, and exemptions for NSW residents travelling from the Victorian side of the border zone will be limited.

Permits issued up until the commencement of the border zone will expire at midnight 21 July. Individuals eligible under the new rules you'll need to apply for a new permit. This closure is being enforced by NSW Police.

The New South Wales Government has established a strict new border zone defined along the Murray River. Permit conditions to cross the border will be tightened and stronger enforcement powers will further restrict entry into NSW from Victoria. Under the new border zone, exemptions for New South Wales residents travelling from the Victorian side of the border zone will also be limited.

The Victorian Government is working with the New South Wales Government to manage specific impacts on border communities as well as industries that need to cross the border, including freight and other critical services.

Information about these restrictions, permits, freight operations and other critical services, as well as provisions for residents of New South Wales border regions under these new conditions, is available on the Service NSW website or you can call their information line on 13 77 88.

No permit or approval is required to enter Victoria from another state – however you will need to adhere to the restrictions and directions that are in place to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria.

For the most up to date information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and current restrictions in Victoria visit the Department of Health and Human Services website. People in Victoria can also call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398.

How are restrictions on travel from Victoria into New South Wales being enforced?

The restrictions are being enforced by New South Wales Police and the permit process is being managed by Service NSW.

To apply for a permit and for more information go to Service NSW. More details about restrictions will be available on the New South Wales Government coronavirus (COVID-19) website or call their dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) information line on 13 77 88.

What are the restrictions between South Australia and Victoria?

Restrictions on the movement of Victorians into South Australia (SA) are also in place.

From Wednesday, 29 July the SA border restrictions will be tightened and the only Victorians permitted to enter SA will be those defined as essential travellers, including members of cross border communities. South Australians will no longer be able to return to SA from Victoria.

A pre-approval process is also now in place for all interstate travellers wishing to enter SA. For more information about SA’s border restrictions visit the South Australian Government website or call their dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) information line on 1800 253 787.

Enforcement of the SA border will remain a matter for SA police.

Do you need a permit to enter Victoria?

No permit or approval is required to enter Victoria from another state – however you will need to adhere to the restrictions and directions that are in place to slow the spread of coronavirus in Victoria.

For the most up to date information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and current restrictions in Victoria visit the Department of Health and Human Services website. People in Victoria can also call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398.

What support will the Victorian Government provide businesses – including in regional Victoria – in light of the new restrictions announced in August?

The Victorian Government is providing unprecedented economic support to help Victorian businesses and workers through to the other side of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including the Business Support Fund (BSF) - Expansion program.

Eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will now receive grants of $10,000 (increasing from $5,000), and eligible business in regional Victoria will receive grants of $5,000.

Those businesses which have already received a BSF grant, or have applied for one, do not need to re-apply. This additional allocation will be automatically applied to successful applicants.

These changes are intended to help businesses hit hard by the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Victorian Government is working closely with the Commonwealth Government and will announce further supports for businesses and workers in the coming days.

The $534 million Business Support Package announced in July, includes a $40 million Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program. This program provides direct financial support to accommodation businesses in regional Victoria impacted by cancellations due to Stage 3 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire and state border closures.

Accommodation businesses are strongly encouraged to download and read the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program Guidelines, available from Business Victoria.

Information on the Business Support Fund – Expansion program is available on Business Victoria's website.

Businesses can benefit from an extended and expanded payroll tax deferral. Eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million can defer their liabilities for the first half of the 2020/21 financial year.

The $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan is also supporting regional businesses across Victoria during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under the plan, Business Adaptation grants are helping to keep food supply chains safe and secure, while job-matching and funding for worker relocation, transport and training is helping job seekers transition from other industries. New positions with Catchment Management Authorities to implement projects with agriculture benefits have also been supported around the state.

The Plan is part of the Victorian Government’s $500 million Working for Victoria Fund, which helps people who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic find new opportunities. Businesses across the state can register their needs on the platform and access a talent pool of jobseekers.

Business Victoria is also providing coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and has a business support and financial assistance finder tool to help businesses find a range of Australia and Victorian Government support based on their circumstances.

The Victorian Government has launched the Upskill My Business platform to give businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic free access to top online short courses and training events so they can plan for a stronger future.

Businesses can access free mentoring through the Victorian Government’s mentoring program which pairs them up with someone who can help their business adapt its current strategy to survive the impacts of coronavirus.

Business Victoria has a range of sector-specific guidance for businesses within hospitality, tourism, culture, entertainment, sport and recreation industries adapt to rules around their operations .

For advice and support for Victorian businesses, people can call Business Victoria’s dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 13 22 15.

The Business Victoria coronavirus business support webpage provides a comprehensive look at what restrictions are in place and the supports available to businesses across Victoria. Visit business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

People can sign up to the Business Victoria newsletter to receive the latest information on initiatives and announcements that will impact your business. Go to business.vic.gov.au/subscribe-to-newsletters

The Australian Government also provides information about Australian Government support for businesses and workers.

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