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Sarah's Soundbite: October

Across Victoria there is anticipation around reunions with family, friends and the activities we enjoy, with the COVID-19 vaccination rate rapidly closing in on 80 per cent and the state reopening.

Helpdesk Top 5: September

Read answers to top up your knowledge on COVID-19 vaccinations and other timely topics. Got a question on your mind? NDS members can ask the Helpdesk.

Vic COVID-19 Update: Three new regional LGAs under lockdown restrictions

blurry headlight at dusk with text COVID -19 update


What you need to know

  • The changes to lockdown restrictions come into effect 11.59pm Sunday 19 September for three new LGAs
  • Some restrictions remain, including no visitors at home; masks must be worn outside and at work
  • Online NDS meeting for Ballarat and other regional providers in lockdown at 4pm on 20 September

The City of Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast, and Mitchell Shire are required to implement the same restrictions as Melbourne and the City of Ballarat from 11.59 Sunday 19 September, with the exception of a curfew. 

Restrictions include: 

  • 10km travel radius from home
  • Exercise and public gatherings outdoors for up to four hours 

Guidance on essential services during lockdown 

Residential and day services in areas under lockdown restrictions are required to follow guidance on the delivery of essential services.

The Victorian Government fact sheets for residential services covered by care facilities directions, and community and non-residential disability services dated 12 September provide the current guidance that all providers in the areas under lockdown must follow.

Key changes for providers under lockdown include: 

  • Residents of disability residential services in lockdown areas should not attend day programs, unless their essential needs cannot be met in the home or remotely. This is in addition to the six reasons for leaving home and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Services are only permitted to open and be provided in-person if they are essential for mental and physical health and safety. For example, if non-attendance at a day program would result in a risk of harm to the person with disability or others.  
  • Workers, contractors, and volunteers not on the authorised workers list, as well as prospective resident visitors, are not permitted to enter disability accommodation services. 
  • Further information about visitor restrictions for care facilities has been provided by Victorian Government.   
  • Disability workers carrying a current authorised worker permit can travel more than 10km from home to deliver essential services. 

Regional areas not in lockdown 

Residential disability services, community and non-residential services are permitted to operate in line with regional services directions in Department of Families Fairness and Housing (DFFH) fact sheets dated 12 September.  

Ballarat COVID-19 response meeting 

NDS in partnership with Boosting the Local Care Workforce (BLCW) has convened an online meeting with Ballarat providers at 4pm Monday, 20 September  to discuss major issues and concerns, and hear what supports are required. 

Other providers are welcome to register and attend, including those from City of Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast, and Mitchell Shire.

Vaccinations key to Roadmap for Victoria 

The Victorian Government has released Victoria’s Roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions.  The thresholds in the roadmap are dependent on the percentage of Victorians who are vaccinated and hospitalisation rates. 

Disability workers continue to be eligible for priority bookings, for the vaccine of their choice, at state vaccination centres

Workers can arrange an online vaccine appointment or call the booking hotline on 1800 675 398 and tell the operator they are a residential disability worker to secure a reserved priority booking. 

Useful links

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Sarah Fordyce, State Manager Victoria, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number