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Visiting care facilities

Some restrictions are in place in our care facilities to help protect vulnerable Victorians receiving care.

COVIDSafe Summer restrictions

From 11.59pm, Sunday 17 January 2021, face masks will continue to be mandatory in the following locations:

  • on public transport
  • when riding in a ride share or taxi
  • in large retail stores (over 2000 sqm), such as department stores, electronics stores, furniture stores, hardware stores or supermarkets
  • inside shopping centres, including the retail stores inside shopping centres, such as clothing stores
  • inside indoor markets
  • on domestic flights to and from Victoria
  • at airports
  • when visiting hospitals
  • when working in or visiting people in care facilities

There are no limits on the purpose of visits, the number of visitors or the length of the visit to care facilities. Visits to people living in care facilities are no longer limited by Chief Health Officer directions.  

  • People of any age can visit people in care facilities.
  • Do not visit someone in a care facility if you are feeling unwell. Stay home and get tested.
  • You must wear a face mask when visiting care facilities while in an indoor space.
  • All personal care workers, including hairdressers and barbers, can visit care facilities to provide hairdressing services to residents. 
  • Care facilities must comply with the two square metre rule that limit the number of people that can be in a shared communal space at the same time. Density limits do not apply in bedrooms of aged care facilities. 

Restrictions on visitors to care facilities

  • There are no longer specific limits under the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s directions for visitors to care facilities. This means that the number of visits, the length of the visit and the purpose of the visit are no longer limited by Chief Health Officer directions. People of any age can visit people in care facilities. 
  • When you visit a person in an aged care facility you must wear a face mask while in an indoor space.  You must not visit people in care facilities if you feel unwell. 
  • Residents of care facilities can go out from the care facility. 
  • Hairdressers and beauty service providers can attend facilities. 

Declarations

  • Workers and visitors need to declare in writing at the start of a shift or the visit that they:
  • Care facilities need to keep a record of people who work at or who visit each care facility and when. These records need to be kept for 28 days from the day of entry. Record the following details:
    • the contact details of the person; and
    • the date and time at which the person entered the care facility
    • the date and time at which the person left the care facility
    • responses to the declarations (above)
    • screening information (for example, temperature check).
  • If the care facility has an active coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak then the operator must limit employees or contractors to one site. Employees working at the care facility with an active outbreak must wait a minimum of 14 days and have a negative test result (within 4 days preceding starting at any new facility) before they can work at another site.
  • The Chief Health Officer or delegate can instruct a care facility to undertake surveillance

Which types of care facilities are covered?

This applies 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
  • specialist disability accommodation
  • short-term accommodation and assistance dwellings
  • Supported Residential Services (SRS)
  • Disability Forensic Assessment and Treatment Services (DFATS)
  • Thomas Embling Hospital

Who can visit people in care facilities?

There are no limits on the purpose of visits, the number of visitors or the length of the visit other than those put in place by the facility.  

  • People of any age can visit people in care facilities. 
  • Do not visit someone in a care facility if you are feeling unwell 
  • Visitors to any care facility across Victoria must wear a face mask while in an indoor space.

Any visitor who is unwell or is waiting for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test result should not visit care facilities. 

Are there limits on visits?

There are no limits on the purpose of visits, the number of visitors or the length of the visit.  

All Victorian care facilities need to keep a record of people who works at or visits each care facility and when. Records need to be kept for 28 days from the day of entry. Record the following details: 

  • the contact details of the person; and 
  • the date and time at which that person entered and left the care facility 
  • their declaration answers (see above) 
  • screening outcome (e.g. temperature if conducted).

Can people with disability attend centre based disability day services?

People with 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 where required, physical distancing, and that density requirements, gathering limits and limits on the number of individuals for specific activities are met. Mask wearing is not required where it is not suitable to do so, for people with a disability, physical or mental health illness.

Can people with disability stay at short term accommodation?

Under COVIDSafe Summer restrictions, people with disability may stay at short term accommodation or respite care. Disability services must ensure COVIDSafe principles are implemented including ensuring masks are worn where required, physical distancing, and that density requirements, gathering limits and limits on the number of individuals for specific activities are met. Mask wearing is not required where it is not suitable to do so, for people with a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition.

Do I need to call the facility before I visit someone?

No. However you should be aware that the facility may have additional requirements, conditions or restrictions for entry. In exceptional cases only, and normally only on specific advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, some areas may be closed to visitors to keep vulnerable residents safe or restrict who can visit to close family.

What other conditions apply to visitors?

Visitors should not enter any of the nominated care facilities if they: 

  • are unwell with flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or fever of 37.5 degrees or higher
  • have had known contact in the last 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • arrived in Australia within the last 14 days.

Any visitor who is unwell, is waiting for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test result or has been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19), is a close contact of someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) and not been cleared from self-isolation or quarantine should not visit.

Visitors to any care facility across Victoria must wear a face mask while in an indoor space.

Are there any other conditions placed on visits?

Visitors must comply with all screening and infection control measures put in place by the facility. 

You should maintain at least 1.5 metres between you, the resident and all other people in the facility for the duration of your visit. 

Visitors to care facilities across Victoria must wear a face mask while in an indoor space.

What are the restrictions on workers?

Workers need to declare in writing at the start of a shift that they:

Workers must not enter any facility if they:

  • are unwell with any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), including a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever, headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees
  • arrived in Australia within the last 14 days 
  • have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) and have not yet been given clearance from self-isolation
  • have had known contact in the past 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Workers in care facilities across Victoria must continue to wear a face mask in indoor spaces.

Where can I get more information?

For further information relevant to the aged care sector, visit the Aged care sector page on the DHHS website.

For updates, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.

You can also call the coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398.

If you require a translator to help you, call the translating and interpreting service on 131 450 and ask for the coronavirus hotline.

Reviewed 23 January 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

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

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