It's taken me days to get up the courage to write this page as every day things change. What was fine to do yesterday isn't anymore. The rules change overnight as the numbers of those contracting this virus escalate.
I will endeavor to keep this page up to date with relevant COVID-19 (Corona virus) updates as they pertain to Melbourne, Australia.
This is an extraordinary time in our lives, a time that we had no idea was about to disrupt, upturn and invade. I send each one of you my love and best wishes for a safe journey through the next months ahead.
Whilst you are here, why not spend some time exploring my hometown of Melbourne and hopefully in the not too distant future I might hear that you have been able to physically enjoy this beautiful city and its surrounding countryside.
In the meantime, please see below for updates.
Right now there are still only five reasons to leave your home:
Shopping for food and supplies that you need
Care and caregiving
Exercise and outdoor recreation
Work and education – if you can’t do it from home
Visiting friends and family – if you really need to.
The ongoing message to Victorians remains the same – if you can stay at home, please do so.
A deserted Southbank Promenade as the Corona Virus takes hold
The Latest Melbourne News for Travelers - Corona Virus - NO CHANGES
As of midnight, 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving into Melbourne from overseas will be quarantined for two weeks in hotel rooms and other accommodation facilities after submitting an Isolation Declaration Card.
South Australia and New South Wales borders are closed. Travellers can return to Victoria and are required to carry out the mandatory 14 days quarantine requirements
Interstate travellers can return to their home states after fulfilling the mandatory 14 day quarantine requirements.
On 24 March the Prime Minister announced a ban on all overseas travel, with few exceptions.This is on top of the standing advice from 18 March to not travel overseas at this time. While there are still commercial options available to return to Australia, take them.
From 11:59pm Saturday 28 March, all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities before they can go home. Self-isolation must happen in your city of arrival into Australia, no matter if you arrive by plane or cruise ship.
Effective from midnight AEDST 28 March 2020, if you’re arriving back in Australia you’ll be subject to the Australian Government’s mandatory quarantine period of 14 days at your first Australian destination.
You’ll be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period. You’ll not be permitted to travel domestically (including to your home) or continue on any domestic connections, until the 14 day mandatory quarantine period has been completed.
Qantas jetliner at Melbourne Airport
What to expect upon arrival to Australia
You’ll be required to fill out a form confirming you understand you have to complete the mandatory quarantine period of 14 days.
You’ll collect your luggage and go through the normal border clearance processes (customs, immigration and biosecurity).
Following border clearance, government officials will direct you to buses that will take you to your accommodation.
You may have to wait for transfer to and check in at your accommodation. Government officials will endeavour to make these waiting periods as comfortable as possible. Your cooperation and patience is appreciated
Corona Virus Arrangements for your 14 day quarantine period
A number of hotels across Australia have agreed to provide appropriate facilities for you to complete this mandatory quarantine period.
The accommodation will have all of the amenities and services you’ll need during your stay. It will be safe and hygienic. Food, water and medical support will be provided. You will not incur costs as part of these quarantine arrangements.
Should you have health needs, for example prescriptions for regular medications, arrangements will be made to facilitate these requirements.
Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 and applicable state legislation, you’ll have to remain in the allocated accommodation until you’re medically cleared to enter the Australian community.
Government officials at the hotel will be awaiting your arrival. They’ll answer any questions you may have and assist you during your period of quarantine. These arrangements will be enforced by State and Territory Governments and supported by Commonwealth agencies.
Traveller's quarantine isolation lockdown in Melbourne
Corona virus (Covid-19) Symptoms - How to 'Stay Healthy'
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.
The virus can spread from person to person through:
close contact with an infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they started showing symptoms)
contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face
Symptoms of the Corona Virus can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly.
People with corona virus may experience:
flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
shortness of breath
See if you need to seek medical help or get tested. This tool is available online at any time. Corona Virus checker
Melbourne Street Art - Elderly are most vulnerable to the Corona Virus
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the corona virus are:
travelers who have recently been overseas
those who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
people in detention facilities
people in group residential settings
People who are more at risk of serious illness if they get the virus are: - people with compromised immune systems (eg. cancer) - elderly people - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as they have higher rates of chronic illness - people with chronic medical conditions - people in group residential settings - very young children and babies
How to protect yourself and others from the Corona Virus
One major determent to the Corona Virus is to wash your hands thoroughly
Everyone must practise good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the corona virus spreading.
When you practise good hygiene you:
cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
put used tissues straight into the bin
wash your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
use alcohol-based hand sanitisers
avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes
increase the amount of fresh air available by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
Everyone must also stay 1.5 metres away from other people whenever possible. This is called social distancing.
National Corona virus Helpline
Call this line if you are seeking information on corona virus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
1800 020 080
What to do in Melbourne during the Corona Virus Restrictions What you CAN and CAN'T DO
The Victorian Government has announced the gradual easing of restrictions throughout the state from 11:59pm Sunday 31 May 2020.
What you need to know
Stay safe by maintaining good hygiene, keeping your distance from others and if you feel unwell stay home.
If you have symptoms of corona virus you should get tested.
From 26 May schools gradually resume classroom learning.
From 1 June gradual easing of restrictions is planned for social events and ceremonies, fitness, sport and recreation, personal services, cafes and restaurants, travel and leisure, culture and entertainment.
From 22 June a further easing of restrictions is planned.
All eased restrictions and the proposed dates are subject to the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the continued and effective management of the spread of COVID-19.
One of the Melbourne CBD street statues - perhaps he knew the Corona Virus was coming?
Restaurants and Cafes
Restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses will be able to resume limited dine-in arrangements from June.
From 11.59pm on 31 May, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses can resume dine-in service with the following restrictions:
Up to 20 seated patrons per enclosed space.
All venues must abide by physical distancing requirements. Limits will be placed on entry to comply with the density requirements allowed within a single space – one customer per four square metres.
Tables should be spaced at least 1.5m apart.
Venues are required to request contact details, first name and phone number, of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing other safety precautions will also be required, including extra cleaning. Staff should not work when unwell.
From 11.59 on 21 June this will increase to 50 patrons per enclosed space. A further increase of up to 100 patrons per enclosed space is planned for the second half of July.
Changes to these dates will be subject to the advice of the Chief Health Officer.
From 11.59pm on 31 May you will be able to:
Have gatherings of up to 20 people in your home at any one time, including the members of your household.
Attend gatherings of no more than 20 people, including your household members. Gatherings can happen indoors, in a public space or outside.
While visiting friends, family and loved ones, there are actions you can take to keep everyone safe.
As always, we’re urging Victorians to use common sense in their activities. It’s up to all of us to make this work.
Entertainment and Culture
From 11:59pm on 31 May, restrictions on entertainment and cultural activities will be eased:
From 11:59pm on 31 May
galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites up to 20 customers allowed per separate space, while ensuring that physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metres is applied.
outdoor amusement parks, zoos and arcades, up to 20 customers allowed per separate space while ensuring physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metres is applied, with additional restrictions, to ensure customers don’t gather in particular high use areas.
drive-in cinemas will be able to operate subject to any food and drink operations meeting the same requirements for other cafes, restaurants and take-away outlets.
From 11:59pm on 21 June
cinema complexes and movie theatres, up to 50 customers allowed to watch a movie per cinema. Customers who are not from the same household should be seated at least 1.5metres from other customers in the cinema. Four square metre rule applies.
concert venues, theatres, up to 50 seated people allowed per separate space. People who are not from the same household should be seated at least 1.5metres from other people in the venue. Four square metre rule applies.
galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites up to 50 visitors allowed per separate space, while ensuring that density requirements of one person per four square metres is applied.
outdoor amusement parks, zoos and arcades, up to 50 customers allowed per separate space while ensuring that that physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metres is applied, with additional restrictions, to ensure customers don’t gather in particular high use areas.
Changes to these dates will be subject to the advice of the Chief Health Officer.
From 11:59pm on 31 May 2020 restrictions on community services and local government facilities will be eased.
Libraries are permitted to open, with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space, subject to the four square metre rule, in addition to those required to operate the library.
Community facilities are permitted to open with no more than 20 people allowed in each separate space, subject to the four square metre rule, in addition to those required to operate the facility.
Sport and Exercise
Restrictions on sport and exercise will be eased further:
From 11:59pm on 25 May
Public playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skateparks will open. People should not gather in groups of more than 10, and stay 1.5metres apart from others where possible.
From 11:59pm on 31 May
Up to 20 people can participate in outdoor group sport and exercise activities, provided you can keep your distance (at least 1.5 metres apart) and they are not competitive.
Up to 20 people can use public playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skateparks
Indoor and outdoor swimming pools can be opened to a maximum of 20 patrons per swimming pool with a limit of three persons per lane in each pool. The four square metre rule applies to the publicly accessible area excluding the pool.
22 June 2020
Indoor sports centres and venues can be opened with up to 20 people allowed per separate enclosed space, subject to the four square metre rule and up to 10 people per group/activity
Indoor physical recreation (e.g. gyms, health clubs, class fitness studios) can be opened with up to 20 people allowed per separate enclosed space, subject to the four square metre rule and up to 10 people per group/activity
Indoor and outdoor swimming pools will remain at a maximum of 20 patrons per swimming pool, with a limit of three persons per lane in each pool. The four square metre rule applies to the publicly accessible area excluding the pool.
The ski season can open following work with industry to develop plans so people can enjoy skiing facilities and resort venues safely.
Shopping, Retail and Personal Services
From 11.59pm on 31 May, restrictions on shopping, retail and personal services will be eased further:
Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours can now open with up to 20 patrons – the four square metre rule will apply to the publicly accessible parts of the venue, and a distance of 1.5metre should be maintained between customers.
Market stalls may open – the four square metre rule applies to indoor markets and a distance of 1.5metre should be maintained between people who do not live in the same household.
Other retail outlets may continue to operate; the four square metre rule applies to customers, and a distance of 1.5m should be maintained between people who do not live in the same household.
Religion and Ceremony
From 11:59pm on 31 May restrictions on gatherings at places of worship and ceremonies will be eased:
Places of worship can open for private worship or small religious ceremonies for up to 20 people in a single undivided indoor space, subject to the four square metre rule plus the minimum number of people reasonably required to perform the service or ceremony.
20 people in addition to the celebrant and couple being married can attend a wedding. If a wedding is held in a home, a maximum of 20 people is allowed, including the celebrant and the couple.
50 people can attend a funeral in addition to the officiant and funeral staff, subject to the four square metre rule. If a funeral is held in a home, a maximum of 20 people can be present (including the officiant and funeral staff).
Free things to do in Melbourne Online
Live stream with Melbourne Zoo residents. Penguins, giraffes, baby snow leopards. No matter where you are right now, you can get constant cuteness from Melbourne Zoo’s Animal House. Work-from-home hack: switch on the TV, play the stream in the background and you’ve got yourself a whole new cast of colleagues.
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra invites music lovers to keep the music going with a special online premiere concert series every Thursday evening. No crowds, plenty of chords. Keep an eye on the MSO’s website and YouTube channel for more concert updates.
Visit the Melbourne Museum at home with virtual tours, learn more about Melbourne online at the Marvelous Melbourne exhibition and lots of other fun things to explore from the Museum at Home collection
The melbourne Comedy Festival has had to be cancelled but you can still catch a laugh when visiting past performances
This weekly free film club will screen movies chosen by the learned minds behind ACMI and the Melbourne Cinémathèque Committee.
Visit the NGV – for free! From Hokusai’s great wave to herbarium couture by Christian Dior, most of the NGV International collection has been digitized for your online viewing pleasure. Search easily to see works by your favourite artists and creators
May I truly wish you all the very best of health over the next few months, Here's to us all enjoying life once more, well maybe not as we have done in the past, but perhaps a more wiser, cleaner and appreciative way once this Corona Virus attack has subsided. Stay Safe
DISCLAIMER: Family Getaways Melbourne makes no claim as to the accuracy of this information and takes no responsibility for incorrect or incomplete information or for actions based on the information in these pages, and accepts no liability to any person or organisation for the information contained in these pages.