vic_logo
coronavirus.vic.gov.au

Visiting care facilities - regional Victoria

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

Summary of restrictions

From 11.59pm on Thursday 17 June 2021, if you live in regional Victoria:

  • There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home but staying COVIDSafe remains important.
  • There are no limits on the distance you can travel, and you can travel to metropolitan Melbourne.
  • No visitors are permitted into aged care or other residential facilities, except for end-of-life reasons and other reasons such as essential care and support.
  • Prospective residents can visit a care facility with one other person accompanying them.

Who can visit people in care facilities?

There are a number of valid reasons you can enter a care facility.

Some care facilities are choosing to further limit visits. This is best discussed directly with the facility as these further limits are not due to Department of Health Directions.

Visitors are permitted at care facilities in limited circumstances as detailed below:  

  • if the resident of the facility is under 18 years of age and you are a parent, guardian, or temporary carer of that resident  
  • if you are acting as nominated person under the Mental Health Act 2014, including provision of support for a resident who has a mental health illness 
  • if you are acting as a nominated person providing support for a resident living with dementia 
  • to provide essential care and support that is necessary for the resident’s physical or emotional wellbeing, including support for people living with mental health conditions and dementia 
  • to provide interpreter or informal language support to enable the care team to provide care  
  • to learn how to support a resident’s care upon their discharge  
  • to provide end-of-life support to a resident of the facility  
  • if you are a prospective resident with no more than one other person accompanying you (only one prospective resident and accompanying person may visit a care facility at a time, but multiple visits per day are permitted). 

In the case of visitors who are visiting a care facility to provide end-of-life support to a resident, no more than two visitors are permitted per resident at any one time. This limit does not include babies under 12 months and dependants, where they cannot be left alone or care arranged.   

There is no limit on the number of visitors per day to a resident at end-of-life, however, only two visitors are permitted at any one time. 

You will not be allowed to visit a care facility if you:  

  • 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 you have come from a Green Zone Country 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 (except in the course of your employment while wearing the appropriate level of personal protective equipment in the circumstances)  
  • 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 for symptoms caused by an underlying health condition or medication 
  • are under 16 years (except if your presence is for the purpose of providing end-of-life support for a resident and you are the child, grandchild, sibling or have a kinship relation to a patient, or if you are a child or dependant of a permitted visitor and the visitor cannot access alternative care arrangements, or if the care facility has granted you an authorisation to visit for end-of-life support (including life-threatening conditions))  
  • are waiting test results from a COVID-19 test (unless you are being tested in accordance with the recommendation for Surveillance Testing Industry List and Requirements). 

People who have visited a Tier 1 exposure site must immediately self-isolate, get a COVID-19 test, and remain isolated for 14 days and until cleared by the Department of Health. If you have visited a Tier 1 exposure site, you must not enter a care facility until you have completed your period of isolation and been told by the Department of Health you can stop isolating.  

People who have visited a Tier 2 exposure site should seek testing urgently, and isolate until they receive a negative result. People who have visited Tier 2 exposure sites should not visit care facilities until they have been tested and received a negative result.  

For more information on exposure sites, please visit Case alerts – public exposure sites.  

Which types of care facilities do these restrictions apply to?  

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 Plans are implemented, including ensuring that face masks are worn indoors (unless an exception applies) and physical distancing is maintained, as well as comply with other relevant directions in place. It is strongly recommended that face masks are worn in outdoor spaces at care facilities in situations when physical distancing is not possible.  

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

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

Disability services must ensure COVIDSafe Plans are implemented including ensuring staff and visitors wear face masks indoors (unless an exception applies) and physical distancing is maintained, as well as comply with other relevant directions in place.  It is strongly recommended that face masks are worn in outdoor spaces in situations when physical distancing is not possible.   

What are the restrictions on workers?   

The following workers are permitted under the Care Facilities Directions:  

  • operator, employee or contractor of the care facility, or student under their supervision    
  • persons providing goods or services necessary for the effective operation of the care facilities (paid or voluntary)   
  • persons providing goods or services (paid or voluntary) that are    
  • health, medical or pharmaceutical goods or services   
  • behavioural support services   
  • functional and well-being support services   
  • other support services   
  • for disability residential services or eligible SDA-enrolled dwellings, persons  providing treatment under a treatment plan to a resident (voluntary or paid)   
  • for a welfare service, persons providing educational services to a resident (voluntary or paid)   
  • advocates with legislated roles such as National Aged Care Advocacy Program and Community Visitors Scheme. 

Workers in care facilities across Victoria must wear a face mask indoors, unless an exception applies, and make sure safety measures are followed (such as the department’s PPE requirements).  It is strongly recommended that face masks are worn in outdoor spaces at care facilities when physical distancing is not possible.  

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 Zone Country 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 (except in the course of your employment while wearing the appropriate level of personal protective equipment in the circumstances)  
  • 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 diarrhoea except for symptoms caused by an underlying health condition or medication 
  • are waiting for test results of a COVID-19 test (unless you are being tested in accordance with the recommendation for Surveillance Testing Industry List and Requirements). 

People who have visited a Tier 1 exposure site must immediately self-isolate, get a COVID-19 test, and remain isolated for 14 days and until cleared by the Department of Health. If you have visited a Tier 1 exposure site, you must not enter a care facility until you have completed your period of isolation and been told by the Department of Health you can stop isolating.  

Any workers who have visited a Tier 2 exposure site should not work until they return a negative result for a COVID-19 test. 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 needs to keep a record of it.   

What are the rules for visiting residents? 

For permitted visits the following conditions apply: 

  • up to two visitors at one time 
  • visitors do not have to be from the same household 
  • no time limits 
  • for permitted purposes only 
  • no more than two visitors per day 
  • a group may exceed the ‘two visitors at a time’ rule if dependents of a visitor (or patient in hospital) are in the group and care for the dependents cannot be arranged. 

What are the rules for an end-of-life visit to a resident? 

  • For end-of-life visits the following conditions apply: 
  • up to two visitors at a time 
  • visitors do not have to be from the same household 
  • no time limits 
  • a group may exceed the ‘two visitors at a time’ rule if dependants of a visitor (or patient in hospital) are in the group and care for the dependents cannot be arranged 
  • no daily limit. 

Reviewed 21 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.

Was this page helpful?