If you believe you have been exposed to, or have Coronavirus, you should call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 for advice. The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The common symptoms of Coronavirus are:
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
If you are sick and think you might have Coronavirus, you can also check your symptoms using the Victorian Government's Self-Assessment tool.
If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.
Head to https://www.australia.gov.au/ for the most current information about the Coronavirus and how it affects you.
You can also stay informed about the latest advice and news regarding Coronavirus by downloading the Coronavirus Australia government app, available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and by joining the Australian Government’s official WhatsApp channel.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below is a list of common questions and answers about Coronavirus, if your question is not answered here please reach out to me at [email protected] or call 03 9545 6211.
What should I do if I think I have Coronavirus?
Arrange for a coronavirus test, detailed in the next question. You should then take precautions:
- Wear a mask
- Stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people
- Cover your coughs or sneezes with your elbow
- Wash your hands frequently
How can I get tested for Coronavirus?
Call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 or use their self-assessment tool here to assess your symptoms. You can get tested through any of the following means:
- Call your GP and ask for a coronavirus test
- Book a consult and test with a GP respiratory clinic
- Go directly to a Victorian hospital respiratory clinic or Community Health Centre respiratory clinic
- Go directly to a drive-through or walk-in testing site
More information about where you can get tested, including locations of pop-up testing sites, can be found here.
How does Coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is spread through:
- Close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
- Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze and then touching your mouth or face
How can I help stop the spread of Coronavirus?
The most effective way to slow the spread is through social distancing and good hygiene. Try and limit contact with other people as much as possible and wash your hands frequently. Download the Government's COVIDSafe app (IOS and Android) to assist with contact tracing. If you are presenting symptoms, contact the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 for advice.
For more information, see the Government’s advice here: What is social distancing? and How do I maintain good hygiene? and find more information on the COVIDSafe app here.
Can I still travel overseas?
If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you are not allowed to travel overseas. If you are overseas currently, you will be permitted to come home but are subject to mandatory 14 day hotel quarantine.
For more information, see the Government’s updated advice on overseas travel restrictions here.
I have lost my job because of the Coronavirus shutdowns. How can I claim Centrelink benefits?
The Government has announced further assistance and jobseeker payments for those affected by the Coronavirus. You do not need to physically line up at Centrelink to make your claim for benefits if you have lost your job because of the Coronavirus. If you are affected by the Coronavirus, you can register your intention to claim a Centrelink payment, follow these steps.
See here more information for how to make a claim through Centrelink.
The Victorian Government is also looking to provide further assistance to displaced workers due to the Coronavirus. See more information about this here.
I'm a small business that has to shut down due to Coronavirus. What help can I receive?
The Government has announced temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses. For more information about the types of relief and whether it applies to you, see the Government’s breakdown here.
The Victorian Government also has some assistance to support small businesses impacted by restrictions. See further information about this and register your interest here.
As an employer, am I eligible for the JobKeeper payment?
Eligibility requirements for JobKeeper have recently changed.
From 28 September 2020, the payment will be reduced from $1,500 per fortnight to $1,200 for employees working 20 or more hours a week. From 4 January 2021, the payment will reduce to $1,000.
For employees working fewer than 20 hours a week, a lower payment rate of $750 per fortnight will apply from 28 September. From 4 January 2021, that payment rate will reduce to $650.
Employers will be required to reassess their eligibility for JobKeeper, first on 28 September and then again on 4 January 2021. More information on JobKeeper eligibility can be found on the ATO website ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/
As an employee, am I eligible for the JobKeeper payment?
Employees are eligible for the JobKeeper payment if you:
- are currently employed by an eligible employer (including if you were stood down or re-hired)
- were employed by your employer on 1 March 2020
- are employed as full-time, part-time or long-term casual (employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020)
- are at least 16 years old
- are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder
- are not receiving a JobKeeper payment from another employer
JobKeeper eligibility requirements have recently changed. The rate of JobKeeper you receive will likely depend on the number of hours you worked.
More information about the JobKeeper payment is available here.
I'm a vulnerable person in self-quarantine. What assistance is available?
Victorians who need to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 may be eligible for support from the Victorian and Federal Governments.
The Victorian Government has introduced a support payment to Victorians who will lose income as a result of mandatory self-isolation. More information on Victorian Government's Test Isolation Payment can be found here, and the Worker's Support Payment can be found here.
The Federal Government has also introduced a Victoria specific Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment for those who will lose income due to self-isolation. More information on the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment can be found here.
If you are in urgent need and don’t have a support network who can help you, call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. More information on emergency relief packages is available here.
I can no longer afford to pay rent. What can I do?
Evictions and rental increases will be put on hold for 6 months by the state government. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements, with tax incentives for landlords that agree to rental agreements with tenants experiencing financial hardship.
Further rental assistance is available for renters facing hardship. More information is available here.