GOVV | UPDATING | Restrictions Victoria | Thursday 6 January 2022 | from Midnight

[Edited extract from public address]

Changes to Victorian coronavirus rules from 11.59pm on Thursday 6 January 2022.

Victoria recorded six deaths among a record-high daily COVID tally of 21,997 new cases on Thursday 6 January 2022, an increase on the previous record of 17,636, set Wednesday. The rising number of cases prompted the Victorian government to tweak some rules and implement new density limits, similar to the rules in NSW.

Under new pandemic orders that have come into effect, people who test positive on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) will be considered probable cases and be subject to the same requirements as confirmed cases from a PCR test – they must isolate immediately for seven days and notify their contacts.

It will be mandatory to report the result of a positive RAT to the Department of Health through an online form or by phone – ensuring people can access the care and information they need, including monitoring for worsening symptoms and financial support for isolation.

Hospitality

Hospitality venues will be subject to a new density limit of one person per 2 square metres. The rule will apply to venues including:
  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • pubs
  • nightclubs

Entertainment

Venues will be subject to a new density limit of one person per 2 square metres. The rule will apply to venues including:
  • arcades
  • amusement parks
  • casinos
  • gaming venues
Cinemas and theatres will be exempt from the rule where patrons are seated and masked.

Testing

People who return a positive result on a rapid antigen test (RAT) will be considered a probable case and be subject to the same rules as someone who returns a positive PCR test.

It will then be mandatory to report their test result to the government through an online form or by phone.

As well as being covered by the same isolation rules as people whose infection was confirmed with a PCR test, Health Minister Martin Foley said that people who received a positive RAT result would be eligible for the same financial support and opportunity.

Work and study

The strong recommendation to work from home and study from home will remain in place until Australia Day and will be under continued assessment.

Surgery

Non-urgent elective surgery will be temporarily reduced to help hospitals cope with rising coronavirus demand.

Rapid Antigen Test update:

As of Sunday 2 January 2022, the public will be able to access free RAT kits at the Melbourne Showgrounds testing site, after which free RATs will be available at all testing sites across the state as well as a selection of other locations.  
Please keep an eye on the website for further details

Third doses

If it has been four or more months since you had your second COVID-19 vaccination, and you are aged 18 or over, you are now eligible to get your third dose (booster).

A COVID-19 third dose is strongly recommended to help keep you and your loved ones protected from COVID-19.

Eligible people will receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. You can safely get either of these vaccines as your third dose, regardless of which COVID-19 vaccine you received for your initial doses.

 

5-11 year old vaccination

You can now book the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds at your local GP or pharmacy.

Getting kids vaccinated will help:

  • keep schools open, so kids can have more face-to-face learning and playtime with their friends
  • reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • protect them from getting sick from COVID-19.

Appointments are available at Victorian GPs, pharmacies, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations and family-friendly vaccination centres from January 2022.

 

Changes to COVID-19 contact tracing rules

There have been changes to the isolation requirements of people exposed to COVID-19. Contacts have now been sorted into differing groups, which have specific isolation and testing requirements.

Please see the new definitions below:

  • Household contacts: If you live with someone who has COVID-19 or have spent more than four hours with them at a private residence, accommodation or care facility.
  • Social contacts: If you know and spent time with someone who has COVID-19, and you aren't a household contact. They have informed you that you are a social contact.
  • Workplace contacts: If you’re a worker (including subcontractors) who has spent time indoors with another worker who had COVID-19. Your work has informed you that you are a workplace contact.
  • Education contacts: If you or your child went to school or childcare (including early childhood education) and spent time with someone who has COVID-19. Your education facility has informed you or your child is an education contact.

 

Changes to Temporary Graduate visa

The Australian Government announced measures to support the return of international students and graduates by:

  • Allowing Temporary Graduate visa holders, who have been unable to travel to Australia as a result of COVID-19 international border restrictions, to apply for a replacement visa;
  • Increasing the length of stay on Temporary Graduate visas in the Masters by Coursework and Vocation Education and Training (VET) streams;
  • Simplifying the requirements for Temporary Graduate visa applicants for VET sector graduates; and
  • Extending the existing measure for student and temporary graduates to recognise time spent offshore studying online to count towards qualifying for a Temporary Graduate visa application.

 

NSW And Victoria Remove 72-Hour Isolation Requirement For International Arrivals

Affective from the beginning of Tuesday 21 December 2021 all fully vaccinated international travellers and flight crew arriving in NSW and Victoria will be required to get a PCR test within 24 hours after arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result. Under existing arrangements they are also required to produce a negative pre-departure test, within three days of boarding their flight.


Additionally

  • You can leave home if there is an emergency.
  • You can leave home if there is family violence or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you. Safe accommodation and support for family violence is available. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • If you need to leave home, you must wear a face mask, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.

 

Other ways to stay safe

  • Always wash your hands before you leave, and when you return home.
  • Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • Never, ever go out if you are unwell unless it is to get tested.
  • After you get tested, you must go straight home.
  • Remember that the most important thing you can do is get tested, even if you have the mildest of symptoms.
  • Get vaccinated.

 

To learn more about Victoria's restrictions

  

 Relief and Community Support links:



COVID-19 Resources

Vaccinations
Getting vaccinated is our way out of this pandemic. The best vaccine you can get is the one that you can get today.

You can now get vaccinated at pharmacies
Getting your COVID-19 vaccination just got easier. The Australian Government is rolling out 440,000 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine through pharmacies across the country..

Like the Pfizer vaccination, Moderna is currently recommended for people between 12 and 59 years old.
Is it true? With new COVID-19 vaccine developments every day, it’s normal to have questions or concerns, and possibly feel hesitant about getting a vaccine. That's why accurate, evidence-based answers to questions is available about COVID-19 vaccines. 
Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines ⁠–⁠ Is it true?

Have you booked your vaccine? Everyone in Australia can get the vaccination when it's their turn. Currently in Victoria, anyone aged 40 or over is eligible for the free vaccine, along with people with particular underlying conditions 
AUST | GOV | Resources for disability service providers
This Federal Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 vaccine webpage has comprehensive information and resources for people with disability. This includes a readiness toolkit with resources designed to assist disability service providers during the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. 
AUST | NDIS | Immediate Eligibility for NDIS participants and carers aged 16 years and over
All National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants aged 16 years and over and carers aged 16 years and over of NDIS participants of any age became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from 8 June. NDIS participants will be able to find a vaccination site using the Department of Health's eligibility checker. 
AUST | GOV | COVID-19 vaccine booster doses recommended for Australians aged 18+
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have recommended a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people who are aged 18 years and over.

Everyone living in Australia aged 18 and over who has completed their primary two-dose course of vaccination at least six months ago is now eligible to have an additional booster shot.

The booster rollout program will initially target population groups that were prioritised for early vaccination, because the great majority of people within these cohorts are now ready for their booster vaccination, having had their second dose six or more months ago.


AUST | GOV | Arm yourself against COVID-19
The Australian Government has launched a new campaign to encourage eligible Australians to be vaccinated against COVID-19.The Arm Yourself campaign urges Australians to protect themselves, their loved ones, the people they care about, and the wider community by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker in 15 languages to find out when you can book your vaccination and arm yourself.
Check your eligibility for the vaccine in languages other than English


AUST | GOV | CALLING | Community Leaders to make your own COVID-19 vaccination video 
The Australian Government Department of Health is committed to making information on COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia. The Department of Health is asking community leaders for their support in sharing this critical information via video.

The COVID-19 Vaccination – How to make your own video guide is designed to help community leaders develop their own videos to share vaccine information with their communities. 
VIC | GOV | It's a no brainer Vaccination Video
Thursday Island resident Elsie Seriat OAM is a proud mum, runner and graduate from the Indigenous Marathon Foundation. In a new video, she explains how important it is to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19 by getting the vaccine when you can.

The video is part of a raft of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples explaining the importance of the vaccination. You can browse other resources here
AUST | EVME | ENCOURAGING | Be Well Stay Well in-language videos
Evolve Media (EVME) and a team of six bicultural workers came together to produce several in-language videos to promote COVID-safe behaviour and wellbeing.

Over the past two months, the working group have held weekly meetings and worked collaboratively to co-design video messages and content. You can find links to the completed in-language videos below: 
VIC | VCOSS | Getting Back To The Good Things and Performance Of A Lifetime Vaccination Videos 
The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) videos feature ordinary Australians talking about the special moments in life they are looking forward to when life can be 'normal' again.


MELB | NWMPHN |  Goodbye COVID Vaccination Video
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) worked with local community leaders to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated protects yourself and your loved ones. When enough of us are vaccinated, life will be better for everyone.

Goodbye COVID videos are in 20 languages, along with scripts and more information. 
AUST | GOV | CALD and Aged Care vaccination videos
Watch new videos from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community members speaking in Mandarin, Cantonese, Nepali, Vietnamese and Dinka about why they got their COVID-19 vaccine.

Aged care residents have also shared their experience getting the COVID-19 vaccines. Videos come with captions in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean and Vietnamese. 
AUST | GOV | Showing proof of vaccination
After you get vaccinated, your vaccination provider adds your details on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) within 10 days. There are two types of proof available. Both are free.
  1. COVID – 19 Digital certificate, which shows you have received both doses of a COVID vaccine. For more information visit Getting help during coronavirus (COVID-19) - COVID-19 digital certificate as proof - Services Australia
  2. An immunisation history statement which lists COVID -19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations. For more information visit Australian Immunisation Register - How to get an immunisation history statement - Services Australia
It can take up to 10 days for information to be uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) after each dose of a COVID -19 vaccine.

It’s quick to get an immunisation history statement online. Download your statement now so you are ready to show it when you need to gain entry to places you want or need to visit.

Most people can get their proof using their Medicare online account through myGov. You just need to make sure you’ve got a myGov account set up and that you’ve linked it to Medicare.If online is difficult for you or your residents, there are a few alternatives:
  • Call the Australian Immunisation Register and ask them to post your immunisation history statement, noting that it may take up to 14 days to arrive. Call 1800 653 809 from Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Call Medicare on 13 20 11 and ask them to send you a printed copy. They are on the phones 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also ask for interpretation in your language when you call Medicare.
  • Ask someone who has internet access for help with online if you need it quickly who can help you to print it off. You will need a MyGov account (www.my.gov.au)
  • Ask at your GP clinic, pharmacy or community centre for help in printing your COVID certificate. 
 
AUST | GOV | Proof of COVID-19 vaccination resources for community groups
With the easing of restrictions, Australians will need to access proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations to enjoy many freedoms. The Australian Government has produced some resources that can be shared in your workplace and with your community.

The resources include general information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as well as information about how to get proof of your vaccinations. 

MORE:

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Address: 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Victoria 3002 Australia