Reducing the risk of infection
- practising good hygiene and washing your hands thoroughly regularly and before you leave home and when you return home
- observing physical distancing by keeping 1.5 metres between yourself and others
- staying at home if you feel unwell, unless it is to go and get tested, even with the mildest of symptoms. After you get tested, you must go straight home and follow the health advice.
- covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow).
You can also find out if you are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
All travellers returning from overseas to Victoria must be quarantined for 14 days.
If you are unwell:
- self-isolate at home
- do not go to public places
- do not attend work, schools, universities or social gatherings
- do not visit aged care facilities.
Getting tested for COVID-19
Expanded testing for COVID-19 is available across Victoria.
If you suspect you may have COVID-19, call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
Anyone who has any of the following symptoms, however mild, must stay home, seek advice and get tested:
- chills or sweats
- breathing problems such as shortness of breath
- sore throat
- runny nose
- loss of sense of smell or taste.
In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also be considered.
Feeling tired or fatigued is common during many illnesses, including COVID-19. If you are feeling tired AND have any of the above symptoms, you should seek advice about getting tested for COVID-19.
Go straight home after your test and self-isolate while you wait for the results.
Visit the Victorian Government's website for advice and information on how and where to get tested, including pop-up testing sites operating at various locations across Victoria. View the testing map for all testing locations.
Refer to the Victorian Department of Health website for the most up-to-date source of information on COVID-19 and advice on staying safe, including:
- information about COVID-19 and how it is spread
- what to do if you’re feeling unwell
- how to reduce your risk of infection
- advice on self-quarantine
- coping with feelings of anxiety
- resources for people with a disability and their carers.
For information in your language, including easy English, please see the Department of Health translated COVID-19 resources.
Resources are also available for Aboriginal communities.
Wearing a face mask protects you and our community by providing an additional physical barrier to COVID-19 and helping to reduce community transmission.
You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.
Please see the current face mask rules at COVIDSafe settings.
Exceptions to wearing a face mask
Reasons for which you do not have to wear a face mask include medical reasons, for children under 12 years of age and those who have a professional reason not to such as teachers. However, you will still be expected to carry your face mask at all times.
You can also remove your face mask if you are communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication. You should maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres during these interactions and if you need to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your elbow. Resources and messaging that can be printed and carried by people who are Deaf or hard of hearing can be found at Deaf Victoria.
For more information, advice and a guide to making your own cloth mask, visit the Victorian Department of Health's types of face masks. There are also a number of factsheets available in Easy English and FAQs for people with disability and their support workers which explain when a face mask is required.
Translated resources and interpreting services
There are a number of translated resources available online including:
- Victorian Government Department of Health
- Victorian Multicultural Commission
- SBS Language Centre
- Australian Government Department of Health
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network has created a COVID-19 public health message video in 18 languages. You can watch, download and share these videos by following the links on their website.
MyAus COVID-19 is a multilingual mobile app co-developed by the Migration Council Australia for Australia’s CALD communities about COVID-19, its impact and available support. The app is free and available in 25 languages.
Talking to children
Children might find it difficult to understand what they are seeing online or on TV, or hearing from other people, so they can be particularly vulnerable to feelings of anxiety, stress and sadness. But having an open, supportive discussion with your children can help them understand, cope and even make a positive contribution for others.
Support for children with disability and families
Please see the Association for Children with Disability website for information about supporting children with disability and approved care arrangements.
Parenting support resources
For further parenting support resources, visit Raising Children’s COVID-19 family guide webpage which has a number of resources around supporting children and teens through COVID-19 and social isolation. There is also an article about making the new normal work while supporting children and teens.
The Department of Education website also provides useful information to support remote learning in Term 2. Parents and carers can access advice, tips and resources to help support their child’s continuity of learning from home.
Useful tips on staying safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic can also be found at eSafety Commissioner.
For new ideas to keep your children active, happy and learning at home during Stay At Home restrictions, visit our At-Home Activities page.
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
If you, or someone you know, has experienced discrimination or vilification for any reason, you can make a complaint to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
If you are experiencing anti-Asian racism, the Asian Australian Alliance has created an online reporting database specifically for coronavirus-related incidents of racism.