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Vic COVID-19 Update: Restrictions ease but disability guidance pending

Woman uses QR Code with smartphone. Banner reads COVID-19 News update

19/11/2021

What you need to know

  • Home visitor and venue density limits in Victoria were removed from 11.59pm, Thursday 18 November
  • Fully vaccinated close contacts will now need to get a standard PCR test and can return to work when receiving a negative result
  • Existing quarantine requirements remain for household contacts who have had more than four hours of contact with a case inside a home, accommodation or care setting
  • Disability specific guidance to be released in coming days

Many of Victoria’s restrictions were removed last night as Victoria is set to hit the 90 percent double dose milestone this weekend. This is in line with Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan, outlined in the Table of Restrictions

Face masks will remain for some people including:
  • visitors and select workers in hospitals or care facilities
  • primary school staff, visitors and students in Years 3 to 6
  • workers in hospitality and high-risk work settings
  • everyone in retail settings, public transport, taxi and rideshare vehicles, and aeroplanes.
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or medical exemption continues to apply for hospitality, entertainment, events, personal services such as hairdressers, non-essential retail, and community facilities.

Vaccination requirements do not apply to essential retail stores (eg supermarkets, post office.)

Proof of vaccination guidelines for people who do not use a digital device or have a medical exemption is detailed at How to get your COVID-19 digital certificate

Quarantine restrictions eased

Quarantine obligations for close contacts and positive cases have been eased.

Changes to quarantine requirements include:
  • Providers will no longer need to furlough workers who are close contacts for seven days
  • Non-household close contacts will be required to get a PCR test and isolate until they get a negative result
  • Providers must identify and notify employees and sub-contractors who were exposed to advise them to get tested
Household contacts who have had more than four hours of contact with a case inside a household, accommodation or care setting must isolate for seven days if fully vaccinated, or 14 days if not fully vaccinated, and have a PCR test on day 6 or 13, as relevant to the isolation period required. They must receive a negative test result in writing before they can resume normal activities.

Children under 12 who are household contacts will be considered fully vaccinated if all eligible residents in their household are fully vaccinated. Further details can be found in Diagnosed persons and close contacts directions 34 issued 18 November 2021

Disability services

Disability facilities that are exposure sites will not automatically be designated Tier 1, however, the Department of Health can impose a quarantine period on contacts on a case-by-case basis.

Mandatory deep cleaning DoH clearance of exposure sites will end. Facilities will be required to self-manage their exposure in line with public health guidance. COVIDSafe practices are strongly encouraged and a COVIDSafe Plan is still required.

Visitors to residential disability services

The cap on five visitors a day, including dependents, for a resident of a disability service is unchanged for all disability services covered by care facilities directions 50 dated 18 November.  Residents and visitors are strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated.

Non-residential and day services

Providers of disability day programs operating from their own facilities and those delivering services from community facilities are recommended to follow advice in the DFFH  disability services fact sheets whilst further sector guidance is finalised.

Personal Protective Equipment

The requirements are unchanged at this stage from DFFH  disability services fact sheets dated 5th November.

Further information

NDS is seeking further details from DFFH regarding the easing of restrictions for providers, and will update the sector when that is received.

The Victorian Government will publish a checklist with advice for cases, contacts, workplaces and schools on Your COVID Checklist when the new settings come into place.

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Contact information

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

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