As restrictions ease it is more important than ever that we act every day to keep ourselves and others safe. These actions below can help protect you from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Stay safe by washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and keeping at least 1.5 metres from others.
Keep your friends and family safe by meeting outdoors. There is a lower risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) between people if you are outdoors.
Wearing a face mask protects you and your community by providing an additional physical barrier to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Everyone must wear a face mask when required, unless a lawful exception applies.
Can I visit my family (including my chosen family) and friends and can they visit me?
You can have up to 15 visitors to your home per day. There is no limit on the number of households those people come from. Front and backyards are considered part of the home.
Can I meet with relatives or friends outdoors?
Up to 100 people can meet outdoors in a public place. There is no limit on the number of households those people come from.
Your mental health is important
As restrictions ease, it is still very important to maintain your health and wellbeing by keeping active and taking care of your mental health.
Feelings of increased anxiety, stress or loneliness are normal during this time and it’s important that you reach out to others or seek help through the services below if you are not feeling yourself. Mental health support, including support for LGBTIQ+ Victorians, is available and includes:
- is a free helpline run by Switchboard Victoria which supports LGBTIQ+ Victorians, their friends and family during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and beyond. The service can provide LGBTIQ+ specialist, multidisciplinary support for family violence, mental health and relationship issues. Rainbow Door operates 7 days a week between 10am - 6pm and is available by calling 1800 729 367, texting 0480 017 246 or emailing .
- is a peer-driven support service for LGBTIQ+ people, their families, allies and communities. You can chat to a peer LGBTIQ+ phone worker by calling 1800 184 527 between 3pm and midnight every day of the week. You can also chat with someone online during the same times at .
- provides low or no cost confidential counselling services to support LGBTIQ+ communities and their families. Phone: (03) 9663 6733 to see how they can support you.
- provides professional, affordable counselling for members of LGBTIQ+ communities and individuals or couples who are affected by or at risk of HIV.
- is providing access to an extra 10 Medicare-subsidised psychological therapy sessions. Speak with your GP about how to start or update your mental health care plan.
- website features a list of services and support groups.
There are also services available which are inclusive of LGBTIQ+ people, including:
- welcomes people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and gender diverse.
- provides a Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. Phone: 1800 512 348.
- is a crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe. Phone: 13 11 14.
There are several medical services for trans and gender diverse communities, including counselling and mental health services.
- is a state-wide health service for people aged 18 and older.
- is a state-wide service for people aged 17 and over, which requires a referral from a GP or medical specialist.
- is offering bulk billed telehealth appointments to support patients who are physically distancing.
The following LGBTIQ+-inclusive support services are available for young people.
- offers online and webchat support and counselling for 12 to 25-year-olds, their family and friends. Phone: 1800 650 893.
- offers private and confidential phone and online counselling services for young people aged five to 25. Phone: 1800 55 1800.
Drug and alcohol support
If you or someone you know would like support with drug and alcohol use, there are LGBTIQ+ specialists who can help.
has experienced counsellors who you can speak with to discuss your concerns and goals around your alcohol or drug use. They also run a series of free therapeutic alcohol and other drug group throughout the year.
There are also services available which are inclusive of LGBTIQ+ people, including:
- provides drug and alcohol counselling and referrals. They are available 27/4 – phone: 1800 888 236.
- provides young people with alcohol and drug information, support options, a service finder and options for self-help. Phone 1800 458 685 between 9am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.
Family violence support
With people staying at home more than usual to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be an increased risk for LGBTIQ+ Victorians facing violence in the home.
For immediate support:
Call Triple Zero (000).
For emergency support after hours:
When it is safe to do so, contact or have someone who can call:
Victims of Crime
Information and support for any victims of relationship violence and victims of violent crime.
Family violence response helpline for female identifying Victorians experiencing family violence including crisis support, information and accommodation.
- Phone: 1800 015 188 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
- Email: |
- available Monday to Friday, 9am to- 9pm.
- Visit the
For LGBTIQ+ Victorians experiencing family violence who are not in immediate danger, there is specialised support available, including:
Rainbow Door is a free specialist LGBTIQ+ helpline that supports people in Victoria of all ages and identities with issues that may include family and intimate partner violence (including elder abuse), sexual assault and relationship issues. You do not need a referral to use this service.
QLife is a national peer-to-peer free counselling service for the LGBTIQ+ community. You can talk to QLife about relationships and if you are experiencing domestic and family violence or abuse. This service is run by Switchboard Victoria.
Thorne Harbour Health
Thorne Harbour Health provides to LGBTIQ+ communities and also Family Violence Flexible Support Packages for those who are considering leaving or have recently left a violent relationship. There is also crisis brokerage support available. Referrals can also be made via .
There are also sexual assault services which are inclusive of LGBTIQ+ people, including:
- provides support to people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. It is available 24/7 on 1800 737 732 or through webchat at .
- is a crisis counselling service for people who have experienced both past and recent sexual assault. It is available 24/7 on 1800 806 292.
Interacting with police
Protecting Victorians remains a top priority for government during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Family violence frontline services, including crisis accommodation, police and courts continue to operate to support women, children and families during the coronavirus emergency. continue to address and prevent family violence as a priority. The police response remains unchanged, identifying risks and taking the appropriate action to hold perpetrators to account and keep victims safe.
Be assured that you have the right to feel safe, access medical support and maintain contact with friends and family.
LGBTIQ+ liaison officers
Victoria Police has appointed LGBTIQ+ liaison officers (previously called Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers - GLLOs) across the state, to help foster mutual trust between police and rainbow communities. LGBTIQ+ liaison officers are a contact point for LGBTIQ+ community members and can provide advice, assistance and recommendations to Victoria Police on the policing needs of LGBTIQ+ people.
LGBTIQ+ Victorians can get support with legal issues during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The provides free help for LGBTIQ+ people with everyday legal problems including discrimination, family violence, criminal law, change of name issues and more. They can respond to your request within five business days.
People aged under 25 can also access free legal support from Youthlaw, by calling (03) 9113 9500 or emailing between 9am and 5pm on weekdays. They usually call back or reply within two days but may take up to five days.
If you are experiencing financial challenges and facing hardship due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you can access payments and other supports available.
To learn about the government financial support available, visit:
This support includes emergency relief packages for people currently residing in Victoria who need to quarantine or isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and don’t have enough to food to feed themselves or their families. For more information visit: .
Drummond Street Services can also provide support to people experiencing food insecurity through their FOODS program. To enquire about this support, phone (03) 9663 6733.
Financial help for international students, asylum seekers, refugees and other temporary visa holders.
Anyone who is legally allowed to work in Australia is also eligible to participate in the , which helps jobseekers find work and access online training, and helps employers quickly find workers with the skills and experience they need.
Testing locations with a Rainbow Tick
The coronavirus (COVID-19) test is free for everyone in Victoria. This includes people without a Medicare card, such as visitors from overseas, migrant workers and asylum seekers. It is important to get tested if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), no matter how mild.
The Rainbow Tick is a national accreditation program for organisations that are committed to safe and inclusive practice and service delivery for LGBTIQ+ people. Having Rainbow Tick accreditation helps an organisation let its LGBTIQ+ clients, staff and communities know that they will receive inclusive services as soon as they walk in the door.
The program is owned and developed by Rainbow Health Victoria.
Some LGBTIQ+ Victorians seeking to be tested for coronavirus may feel more comfortable receiving this support from an organisation with a Rainbow Tick accreditation. In Victoria, this includes:
Your normal GP can also offer coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
If I am trans or gender diverse, how can I access hormones at this time?
What impact will coronavirus (COVID-19) have on me if I am HIV positive?
While every Victorian is at risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19), underlying illnesses make people more likely to become very sick with the condition. These conditions include people with low or suppressed immune systems, such as those living with HIV. It's important to note that being undetectable does not mean that your immune system is not impaired.
LGBTIQ+ Victorians with pre-existing health conditions such as HIV are encouraged to monitor them and seek healthcare if required, as they usually would. People should also keep important scheduled medical appointments and take medications that their doctor has prescribed.
International students, temporary visitors, asylum seekers and refugees
What support is available if I am an LGBTIQ+ international student?
- – The Drum runs a monthly English practice workshops for LGBTIQ+ international students at a university, college or vocational institution in Melbourne.
- connects young queer and trans people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds through community workshops and events.
Reviewed 10 February 2021