Isolation and quarantine – extra help and support

If you have coronavirus visit What to do if I have coronavirus for more information.

If you are a close contact you can find information on what to do.

Key points

Isolation and quarantine can be a difficult time – reach out to your friends, family and community for support. Ensure they’re providing 'contactless' assistance by leaving items at your door or social support online or over the phone.

It is important to plan ahead for the time you spend isolating or quarantining. Think about what food and other provisions that you might need (including things like nappies, cleaning products and toys) and look to get them delivered via online shopping or a phone service. It you can’t, your networks and community might be able to help you out.

Services are also available to help:

Further information on practical and mental health support services can be found in this Factsheet:

If you’re a close contact or have coronavirus (COVID-19) also visit What to do if I have coronavirus or the What to do if you are a close contact.

Extra help and support

Financial support

If you are worried you will lose income while you wait for your test result, you may be eligible for a $450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment. This payment provides financial support if you are in self-isolation and waiting for your test results.

If you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and are worried you will lose income while isolating, you may be eligible for the $1500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. This payment provides financial support while you are quarantining at home as instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

What support is available for people in isolation or quarantine?

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment of a one-off $1500 payment is now available for eligible close contacts of confirmed cases who are quarantining.

If you are in isolation or quarantine, stay in regular contact with your close family and friends and ask them to get food, medicines or other necessities for you when you’re running low. You can also contact your local council who can support you in accessing services that meet your needs. Visit Know Your Council website to find your council.

If you don’t have nearby support to help you do this, call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. Delivery of a free emergency relief package can be arranged for people who are unable to access food themselves or do not have support available to them.

Emergency accommodation for community residents

Emergency accommodation is available to people in Victoria who need support to quarantine or isolate safely because they have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact.

Accommodation is available to people who cannot quarantine or isolate safely because they use shared facilities or may have safety, wellbeing or other health issues.

People needing help to quarantine may be supported so they can keep accessing their regular health and wellbeing services while isolating or quarantining safely in familiar surroundings.

For more information call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 – open 24 hours, 7 days. If you need an interpreter, please press 0 when you call the hotline.

What are the relief packages?

An emergency relief package contains basic essential food and personal care items that are available to vulnerable Victorians who are needing to quarantine or isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The packages will help make sure people are able to access essential items while they quarantine or isolate.

Relief packages contain essential food staples including cereal, long-life milk, sugar, pasta and canned vegetables.

Personal care items such as soap, deodorant and toothpaste are also provided as part of the packages. Nappies, baby formula, sanitary items and pet food can be provided if requested.

The packages do not include medicines.

This information is also available in this factsheet:

Who is eligible to receive a relief package?

People currently residing in Victoria who need to quarantine or isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and don’t have enough food to feed themselves or their families may be eligible to receive an emergency relief package of basic supplies.

People need to be currently residing in Victoria, including residents, international students and people on working visas who live in Victoria.

These packages contain only 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.

Wherever possible, we're asking all Victorians to arrange for family or friends who are not required to quarantine or isolate to get food or necessities for you.

How can people in need get an relief package?

If you are in urgent need and don't have a support network who can help you, call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 – and select Option four (4). If you need to speak to someone in another language, press zero (0) when connected.

 The operating hours are 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 6:00pm Saturday and Sunday (excluding Victorian Public Holidays).

People can also call on behalf of someone they know who is quarantining or isolating and in urgent need of food supplies.

How long will the relief package last?

Each emergency food relief package is designed to provide basic food essentials and personal care items for a family of four for two weeks.

How much will it cost for a relief package?

The relief packages are free.

Will people be able to choose brands or specific items?

These packages are made up of basic essentials only and people do not have a choice as to what products are provided. We may not be able to cater for dietary or cultural requirements.

What if a person is too sick to cook for themselves?

If people are unable to cook for themselves, their details can be provided to their local council who may offer food services or connection into local programs.

How will the relief packages be distributed?

Packages will be delivered to the door of people who are in quarantine or isolation. Deliveries should arrive within 24 to 48 hours, depending on location.

What if I need personal care items or practical supports? 

Other forms of relief are available for people who need to isolate due to COVID-19, who need food, personal care items and/or practical support, such as dog-walking, and are unable to get help from family or friends.  

This includes culturally specific food. 

To access relief during isolation, call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 – and select Option four (4). If you need to speak to someone in another language, press zero (0) when connected. 

What other support for accessing food is available?

Individuals who are self-isolating can order urgent food for delivery through online food delivery platforms – who offer contactless delivery. They offer many food options, can cater to dietary requirements and operating hours are noted against each food premise. Some food delivery apps can also deliver supermarket items.

Many major supermarkets also offer a delivery service.

Food relief services in the community

Food relief programs are available for people experiencing financial hardship across Victoria. Local services and programs can be located through:

  • Ask Izzy is a free and anonymous website that lists local food charities using postcode or suburb name search criteria.
  • Local Councils may offer food services or provide information about local programs. 
  • Coronavirus Hotline: the Victorian Government is working with key partners like the Red Cross and Foodbank Victoria to provide basic food and essential item relief packs for vulnerable Victorians who are in mandatory isolation and have no other means to source food.

For more information, see Food relief section at Financial and other support for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Enforcing isolation

Will someone check that I am staying at home?

Someone from the Department of Health and Human Services will contact you daily to check in and see how you are. They may do this using SMS or a phone call.

Police are conducting random spot checks to ensure people who are in isolation are complying with directions by staying at home. Police can take enforcement action if necessary.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

If you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) you must isolate until you receive clearance from the Department of Health and Human Services. If you have been identified as a close contact, you must quarantine for 14 days since your last contact with a positive case.

A fine of $4,957 can be issued to a person found to have breached the requirement to isolate or quarantine for a second or subsequent time.

Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:

  • refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions
  • refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction
  • refusing or failing to comply with the Public Health Directions to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system.

Reviewed 19 June 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

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

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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