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Emergencies and coronavirus (COVID-19)

In an emergency you can leave your home, including during power outages, medical emergencies and if you are experiencing family violence.

Key points

These COVIDSafe Summer restrictions will let Victorians get back to doing the things they love, while also protecting everything we have worked so hard to achieve this year.

The changes, which commenced from 11:59pm on Sunday 6 December, mean that:

  • Wearing a face mask is only mandatory on public transport, while in taxis or ride share vehicles, or when going to large retail venues, including shopping centres, supermarkets and department stores.
  • However, you must carry a face mask with you when you leave home.
  • Wearing a face mask is strongly recommended indoors and outdoors when you can’t keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.
  • Victorians can move freely across the entire state, for any purpose. This includes, before during and after an emergency and for leisure.
  • There are no limits on how far you can travel or the reasons you can travel in Victoria. You do not need a permit to travel anywhere in Victoria. 
  • You no longer require a letter of support from your local government or a Fire Prevention Notice when you travel to your property between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria during an emergency, or to prepare your home in anticipation of a fire of flood event.

Preparing for an emergency fire or flood event

Summer is not just about the risk of fire. It also includes storms, heat health, water safety, as well as road safety – particularly when people travel over the summer holidays.

It is important to understand where you are, what you will do and where you will go during an emergency. Know how to stay informed and never rely on one source for emergency information.

While it’s important to remember the risk of bushfire and grassfire is real, so is the risk of flooding and other weather events in Victoria. 

And this year there is an increased risk for flooding in some parts of the state. 

Victorians need to be well prepared, and begin their preparedness works, taking action to complete arrangements early. 

It’s important to do your research now and start preparing, for the risk of fires and potential floods.

Talk to your family, friends and neighbours about the fire risk where you live and make a fire plan for what you’ll do on hot, dry, windy days. And ensure you plan what your trigger is to leave and where you will go to stay safe.

'Leaving early' means being away from high risk areas before there are any signs of fire. 

It does not mean waiting for a warning or a siren. It does not mean waiting to see or smell smoke. It’s up to you to decide where you will go on a fire risk day. Don’t wait and see. 

Resources are available to help community members to increase their understanding of local fire or flood risks, prepare their properties and plan how to stay safe. 

Visit the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) website to learn more on how you can best plan and prepare for potential flooding and weather events.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) host a wealth of resources to help you understand your fire risk and know what to do before and during a fire on their website. 

One of the best ways to start planning is to look at where you live and understand what risks might affect you the most.

Victoria has an integrated warnings system to provide the community with access to timely, relevant and tailored information for a number of emergencies across multiple channels.

Victorians can get emergency information from a number of sources including the VicEmergency app,  emergency.vic.gov.au, tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations or Sky TV or by phoning the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 and following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.

Deaf, hard of hearing, or those with a speech/communication impairment can contact the VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677. For help with English, people can call the Translating and Interpreting Service on free call number 131450 and ask them to telephone the VicEmergency Hotline.

For more comprehensive planning and preparedness messaging for all emergency events, please visit the Understanding Warnings page on the VicEmergency website.

Reviewed 15 December 2020

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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