What to do in an emergency - coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance on what you can do in an emergency, including during power outages, medical emergencies and if you are experiencing family violence.

Key points

From 11:59pm on 12 February new circuit breaker actions will be in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 across Victoria.

New changes have been introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the number of people leaving their homes and moving around Victoria.  These actions will protect our loved ones, friends, colleagues, health care workers and the community.

This means:

  • You cannot leave your home unless you are doing it for one of the following four reasons; shopping for necessary goods and services, care and caregiving, exercise and permitted work.
  • Should you need to evacuate your home for any reason due to extreme weather, heat, bushfire or flood, please do so and follow your normal evacuation or relocation plans in a COVID safe way.
  • You must stay within 5km of your home. This limit does not apply to work or when giving or receiving care.
  • Face masks will need to be worn indoors and outdoors whenever you leave your home.
  • Always wash your hands before you leave, and when you return home. Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • Never, ever go out if you are unwell unless it is to get tested. After you get tested, you must go straight home. Remember that the most important thing you can do is get tested, even if you have the mildest of symptoms.

For more information regarding Victoria’s circuit breaker actions please visit

For more information regarding the current restrictions in Victoria please visit

Preparing for an emergency, fire or flood event during COVID-19 restrictions

Summer is not just about fire risk. It also presents a higher risk of storms, heat and flooding.

  • If you need to leave your home due to extreme weather, heat, bushfire or flood, please do so. Follow your normal evacuation or relocation plans in a COVIDSafe way.
  • You can leave your home if your health and safety, or the health or safety of someone you live with is at risk. You can travel to a friend or family member’s home, or book into alternative accommodation like a hotel or motel.
  • Regardless of your location, continue to follow COVID-19 precautions and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
  • If you have COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and need to evacuate, please don’t hesitate to leave. Wear a face mask, and contact the Department of Health on the number you have been provided as soon as you can. 

Talk to your local fire service, 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. 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 or waiting to see or smell smoke. 

Resources are available to help community members 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 about how you can best plan and prepare for potential flooding and weather events.

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

Victorians can get emergency information from a number of sources, including the free VicEmergency app,, by 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, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on free call number 13 14 50 and ask them to phone the VicEmergency Hotline.

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

Reviewed 16 February 2021

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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