You can also call the Victorian 24-hour coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on (free call) for advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) or information about restrictions. Press 0 when you call if you need an interpreter.
If you’re feeling less connected to family and friends as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can call the Victorian 24-hour coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on to talk to a volunteer from the Australian Red Cross who can link you in with local supports.
To help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), all Victorians should:
- Practise good hygiene – wash your hands and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
- Keep your distance – stay 1.5 metres away from anyone you don’t live with.
- Stay at home and get tested if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild.
- Carry a fitted face mask when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to wear one. Face masks are no longer required outdoors where it is possible to stay more than 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with. There are for not wearing a face mask. Face masks are mandatory in indoor spaces, including workplaces. If you have visitors in your home, it is strongly recommended that face masks are worn during the visit. Face masks must be worn in indoor spaces apart from when eating or drinking. If you are planning to leave your home – take a face mask.
- In addition to indoor public spaces, face masks continue to be mandatory in the following locations:
- on public transport
- when riding in a ride share or taxi
- on domestic flights to and from Victoria
- at airports.
To support your health and wellbeing being, older Victorians are encouraged to continue to:
- monitor existing health conditions and seek healthcare if required
- keep important scheduled
- take medications that your doctor has prescribed
- take care of your mental health
- keep active
- stay connected with family and friends using technology
- seek help if you are feeling anxious, uncertain or unsafe.
There are things you can do to stay safe and connected while following the latest health advice.
Older Victorians are encouraged to:
- practise good hygiene – regularly wash your hands and do not hug or shake hands
- continue to use video calls and other technology to keep in touch with friends and family
- talk with your family, carers and friends about how they can support you
- consider having groceries, medicines or essential supplies delivered to you
- think about how you can spend time outdoors – there is a lower risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) between people if you are outdoors.
Getting support at home
There is a range of support to help older Victorians during this time.
The support available includes:
- emergency relief packages
- getting groceries delivered
- home support services
Support for carers
Many older people care for others. There are services to help give carers a break.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to remain at home?
You must continue to carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to. This is in case you require your face mask, for example, if you aren’t able to keep 1.5 metres distance from other people or enter a public indoor space.
If you need to go out, remember to:
- keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from those you don’t live with
- take hand sanitiser with you
- practice good hygiene by washing your hands and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
Can I have visitors?
Following reduced exposure risk and continued low community transmission, from 11:59pm on Friday 22 January the number of visitors to your home increases from 15 to 30.
There is no limit on the number of households those people come from. Front and backyards are considered part of the home.
It is important to continue to practice good hygiene by washing your hands. Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
You can use video conferencing, phone calls, text message or social media to stay in touch, and still provide care and support as needed.
How do I know if I am at risk of becoming very sick with coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Although some people will only have mild symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), anybody can become very sick with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Due to their lower immune systems, people over the age of 70 are more likely to get very sick with coronavirus (COVID-19), along with people with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems and others.
However, older people are a diverse group with varying experiences of health and wellbeing. You should consider your own health needs and situation when thinking about how to stay safe and talk to your GP if you’re unsure.
Do I need to wear a mask when I’m in public?
From 5pm on 31 December 2020 you must wear a fitted face mask when you are in public indoor spaces unless you have a lawful reason not to.
It is strongly recommended that you wear a face mask outdoors when you are unable to stay more than 1.5 metres from other people, such as transport stops, busy walkways and thoroughfares.
What can I do to protect myself if I am at greater risk of becoming sick?
It is important that people who are more likely to become very sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) take steps to protect themselves.
If you have a chronic medical condition or compromised immune system, it is important that you continue to look after yourself and take your regular medications. Keep following advice and ask help from your doctor, nurse or healthcare worker.
Can I go to medical appointments?
Yes. Phone your GP or healthcare provider and they will talk with you about whether an in-person appointment is required, or whether your doctor can help you via telehealth instead.
It’s important to keep monitoring existing health conditions, and getting new symptoms checked and diagnosed quickly.
Medical check-ups and cancer screening appointments are crucial in the early detection of health issues and may save your life.
Doctors, nurses and mental health professionals can deliver bulk-billed services via phone or video call until 31 March 2021.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth is the name given to health care that happens over the phone or via a video call with you and your healthcare practitioner – for example, a doctor, nurse or counsellor – without you having to travel to the healthcare provider’s office.
A telehealth appointment is just like a normal appointment, only you will be speaking with your clinician on a phone, computer or smartphone.
Why would I have a telehealth appointment instead of an in-person appointment?
To slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we must reduce unnecessary contact with other people. Telehealth allows you to keep in contact with your GP or health professional without having to travel and be in contact with other people.
I am a carer. What happens if I need to self-isolate?
If you need to self-isolate and feel that it is not safe for the person you are caring for to stay home with you, you may want to explore the option of temporary residential respite for them.
The Victorian Support for Carers Program provides flexible respite and support services for unpaid carers of people with care needs. To find your local provider, phone the Carers Victoria Advisory line on or go to
There may be community-based support that could be of assistance.
Is it safe to visit my family member in aged care?
Visitors are allowed at all Residential Aged Care Facilities. To keep visits safe, there are some general rules that need to be followed.
To find out more, read the Visiting aged care facilities factsheet and see the Declarations section below.
Are there any local supports available for seniors?
What can I do if I feel lonely and worried?
There are many ways to be supported if you are feeling anxious or uncertain.
If you’re feeling less connected to friends and family as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can call the hotline to connect with a volunteer from the Australian Red Cross who can link you in with local supports.
If you are experiencing severe emotional distress or mental health issues, speak with your GP or mental health practitioner.
Can I get emergency supplies if I need to self-isolate?
Yes. If you need to self-isolate or quarantine and do not have enough food to feed yourself or your family, you may be eligible to receive an emergency relief package.
These packages contain basic supplies and are for people who do not have access to a support network or alternate means of obtaining food such as online delivery.
Contact phone numbers
The Australian Government provides a free mental health support line for senior Australians, their families and carers throughout coronavirus (COVID-19), the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line. Call (free call) Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm.
Food and groceries
- Coles Online Priority Service, visit or call (free call).
- Woolworths Priority Assistance, visit or call (free call).
- IGA home delivery, visit or call (free call).
Advice and support
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) provides free support to older people to address issues related to Commonwealth-funded aged care services. Call OPAN on (free call), 6am to 10pm, 7 days a week to discuss any coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.
Older Persons COVID-19 Support line
You can contact the () if you would like to talk to someone about the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. You can ask for help or advice about services, help with daily activities, or if you are feeling lonely or worried.
Community Visitors Scheme
Reviewed 26 February 2021