COVID-19 – Further Restrictions Announced for Victoria (UPDATED 6 August)

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has announced further restrictions across Victoria.

Regional Victoria
According to the Premier’s statement:

  • From 6pm tonight, Victoria will enter a State of Disaster.  This will give police additional powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions.
  • After 11:59pm on Wednesday, regional Victoria will return to Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions. That means there’ll again only be four reasons to be out:  shopping for food and essential items. Care and care giving. Daily exercise. Work and study – if you can’t do it from home. Otherwise, you need to stay home.
  • Businesses in regional Victoria will also return to Stage 3 restrictions. 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. Community sport will need to stop.
  • Face coverings will continue to be compulsory
  • Regional [government] schools will return to remote and flexible learning – across all year levels and across the state. The only exception will be for specialist schools. On site supervision will again be made available for students who need it, including children whose parents are permitted workers and vulnerable kids who can’t learn from home.

These changes will be in place for at least the next six weeks. While strictly only applying to government schools we anticipate that non-government schools will also generally follow the same approach.

Melbourne Area
According to the Premier’s statement:

  • From 6pm tonight, Melbourne will also move to Stage 4 restrictions with stronger rules to limit the movement of people.
  • That includes a curfew – from 8pm to 5am – beginning tonight. The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving.
  • The Night Network will be suspended, and public transport services will be reduced during curfew hours.
  • Exercise will be limited to a maximum of one hour per day and no more than five kilometres from your home. Group size will be limited to a maximum of two – you and one other person – whether you live with them or not.
  • Shopping will be limited to one person per household per day. Again, the five-kilometre rule will apply.
  • If your closest supermarket is further than five kilometres, you can still shop there. If you’re a parent with young children, you can still take them with you when you go for a walk.
  • These distance, gathering and time limits won’t apply for work, medical care or compassionate reasons.
  • Study at TAFE and uni must be done remotely. And from Wednesday at 11:59pm, weddings in Melbourne cannot occur.
  • Face coverings will continue to be compulsory
  • Students who are currently attending on site – including senior students and those in specialist schools – will go to [government] school on Monday, have a pupil free day on Tuesday, and be learning at home from Wednesday.
  • On site supervision will be offered but tightened – only available for students who really need it.  That means children whose parents are permitted workers and vulnerable kids who can’t learn from home.
  • From Thursday, those same rules will apply to Melbourne’s kinder and early childhood education services.

These changes will be in place for at least the next six weeks until Sunday 13 September.

Once again, while probably only applying to government schools we anticipate that non-government schools will also generally follow the same approach. 

The applicable public health orders have not yet been released to be able to check the precise details. Schools should not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Schools outside Victoria are asked to join with us in praying for our Victorian colleagues and their communities.

EDIT – 3 August 2020

The Victorian Premier announced further details today including for [government] schools within the Melbourne metropolitan area as follows –

Schools:

  • Restricted to permitted workers and vulnerable children (e.g. those in out of home care or known to child protection, medically/socially vulnerable children)
  • Specialist schools: restricted to permitted workers and vulnerable children
  • Remote learning for all students

On-site supervision will be available for P-10 students in the following categories, based on revised criteria:

  • children whose parents work in one of the defined essential continuing industries
  • vulnerable children including:
  • children in out-of-home care
  • children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
  • children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service or mental health or other health service).
  • children with a disability who also fit one of the above two categories, or where the family is experiencing severe stress.
  • Onsite attendance permitted for completion of mandatory assessments by students and staff
  • Onsite attendance permitted for essential cleaning, maintenance and business operations functions

For education settings attendance on-site in these settings will be permitted where the purpose is to:

  • maintain and continue medical and other research that requires on-site attendance
  • care for animals, agriculture and horticulture
  • conduct cleaning, essential maintenance (including facilities, equipment and IT) and provide security
  • provide practical student support, where this cannot be done remotely

Full details of all restrictions on business are available from the link below (updated 6 August) –

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