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Visiting care facilities

Find information about how restrictions affect visits to care facilities in Victoria.

What are the rules for an end-of-life visit or where the resident is ill with a life-threatening condition?

The following restrictions apply for visiting a resident with a life-threatening condition or for end-of-life purposes:

  • Two visitors at a time.
  • Do not have to be from the same household.
  • No time limits.
  • No specified purpose required.
  • A group may exceed the “two visitors at a time” rule if dependents of a visitor are in the group and care for the dependents cannot be arranged.
  • No daily limit on the number of pairs of visitors.
  • Wear a face mask.

Who can visit people in care facilities?

No visitors are permitted at care facilities, unless an exception applies. Exceptions apply in limited circumstances.

You may only visit a care facility for the following excepted reasons:

  • if the resident is under 18 years of age – you are a parent, guardian or temporary carer of that resident
  • as a nominated person under the Mental Health Act 2014
  • for providing essential care and support that is necessary for the resident’s immediate physical or emotional wellbeing
  • for providing interpreter or informal language support to enable the care team to provide care
  • for learning to support a resident’s care upon discharge
  • for providing end-of-life support to a resident of the facility (subject to visitor limits).
  • for a person's mental or emotional health, for example, due to social isolation or to prevent harm  
  • as the nominated person of a resident who has a mental illness or is living with dementia

Despite these exceptions, you will not be allowed to visit a care facility if you:

  • are awaiting a COVID-19 test result (unless you are being tested in accordance with the Surveillance Testing Industry List and Requirements)
  • are unwell with any symptoms of COVID-19 or have a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher, or any symptoms of a fever such as night sweats or chills
  • have arrived in Australia within the last 14 days, unless you have come from a green travel zone via a ‘quarantine-free flight’
  • have had known contact in the past 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of COVID-19, or are self-isolating and have not yet been given clearance to exit
  • have visited a Tier 1 exposure site and have been advised to immediately isolate, get a COVID-19 test, and remain isolated for 14 days.
  • are self-isolating and have not yet been given clearance to exit
  • are under 16 years, except if your presence is for the purpose of providing end of life support for a resident and:
    • you are a child, grandchild, sibling, or have a kinship relation to the resident; or
    • you are a child or dependant of a permitted visitor and the visitor cannot access alternative care arrangements; or
    • you have permission from the hospital and the Chief Health Officer.

For more information visit Case alerts – public exposure sites.

Which types of care facilities are covered?

The circuit breaker restrictions apply to all the following care facilities, whether operated by government, the private sector or not-for-profit organisations: 

  • residential aged care facilities   
  • alcohol and drug residential services   
  • homelessness residential services   
  • disability residential services including Disability Forensic Assessment and Treatment Services (DFATS)   
  • eligible Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)-enrolled dwelling   
  • secure welfare services   
  • short-term accommodation and assistance dwellings   
  • Supported Residential Services (SRS)   
  • Thomas Embling Hospital. 

Can people with a disability attend centre-based disability day services?

People with a disability may attend centre-based disability day services. This includes people who live in disability residential services.

Centre-based disability day services must ensure COVIDSafe principles are implemented, including ensuring that face masks are worn (unless an exception applies) and physical distancing is maintained.

Can people with a disability stay at short-term accommodation?

People with a disability may stay at short-term accommodation or respite care.

Disability services must ensure COVIDSafe principles are implemented including ensuring face masks are worn (unless an exception applies) and physical distancing is maintained.

What are the restrictions on workers?

Only permitted workers (in accordance with the current Care Facilities Directions and the Victorian Government’s Authorised Provider and Authorised Worker List) are permitted to enter care facilities to perform permitted work at the care facility.

Permitted workers in care facilities across Victoria must wear a face mask, unless an exemption applies.

Workers must not enter any facility if they:

  • are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine in accordance with the current Diagnosed Persons and Close Contacts Directions
  • arrived in Australia within the last 14 days, unless they have come from a green travel zone as designated by the Victorian Government via a ‘quarantine-free flight’
  • have had known contact in the past 14 days with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • are unwell with any symptoms of COVID-19, including a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever, headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, loss of smell, loss of taste, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, except where those symptoms are caused by an underlying health condition or medication.
  • are awaiting test results for a COVID-19 test
  • have visited a Tier 1 exposure site and have been advised to immediately isolate, get a COVID-19 test, and remain isolated for 14 days.

Any workers who have visited a Tier 2 exposure site should not work until they return a negative result for COVID-19. They should isolate until they receive their negative result.

Can I work across more than one care facility?   

An employer must not require or allow a worker to work at more than one care facility, unless it is not practicable to limit the worker to one facility. The employer will need to demonstrate systems of work to minimise the number of workers across multiple facilities.   

If a worker is working at more than one facility for more than one employer, they must advise each employer of the details of each arrangement, and each employer must keep a record of it.   

Reviewed 28 July 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

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