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Visiting hospitals in Victoria

COVIDSafe Settings are in place in our hospitals to help protect vulnerable Victorians receiving care.

Summary 

From 11:59pm on Friday 9 April 2021, Victoria has further relaxed its COVIDSafe settings. These changes are designed to balance getting Victorians back to doing the things they love while keeping in place measures to protect all that Victorians have worked so hard for.

There are no specific limits under the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s directions for visitors to hospitals. This means that the number of visits, the length of the visit and the purpose of the visit are limited by the visiting rules set by the hospital.

  • Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must carry and wear a face mask unless an exception applies.   
  • Visitors must follow visiting rules set by the hospital. These may vary between hospitals or wards to reflect different risks or vulnerabilities in different groups of patients.
  • People of any age can visit people at hospital.
  • You should not visit someone in hospital if you are feeling unwell. This is to protect vulnerable people who are being treated in the hospital. Stay home and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you are tested for COVID-19, you must self-quarantine until you receive a negative test result.
  • It is highly recommended that hospitals use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or Victorian Government Application Programming Interface (API) linked digital system for electronic record keeping.

Which types of hospitals set visit rules?

Visiting rules are set by all the following hospitals, whether operated by government, the private sector or not-for-profit organisations:

  • public hospitals
  • private hospitals
  • denominational hospitals
  • day procedure centre or multi-purpose health services.

Who can visit a hospital?

Anyone can visit a hospital, as long as they comply with the Directions currently in force and the visiting rules of the relevant hospital.

You should contact the hospital before visiting as they may have additional requirements, conditions or restrictions that apply to visitors. This information may also be found on the hospital’s website.

Who is not allowed to visit a hospital?

You must not enter any hospital if you:

  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet been given clearance from self-isolation in accordance with the operative Diagnosed Persons and Close Contacts Directions 
  • arrived in Australia within the last 14 days (unless on a quarantine-free flight from an overseas location designated by the Australian Government as a green travel zone) 
  • have had known contact in the past 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of COVID-19  
  • have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever or loss of sense of taste or smell) 
  • are visiting – you are awaiting a COVID-19 test result (unless granted an exemption or an exception applies in accordance with the operative Hospital Visitor Directions). 

Only in exceptional circumstances can a hospital allow a person to visit a hospital if they are a known contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, or a returned overseas traveller in mandatory self-quarantine, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are self-isolating. Exceptions can only be authorised by senior hospital staff and, in some instances, must also be approved by the Chief Health Officer or Deputy Chief Health Officer due to the risks involved. Strict conditions may apply to these visits. Please discuss this with hospital staff.

Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a fitted face mask that covers the mouth and nose.

Are there any other conditions placed on visits?

Visitors must comply with all screening and infection control measures put in place by the hospital. Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask unless they have a lawful reason not to.

As a visitor, you must:  

  • keep at least 1.5 metres apart from others 
  • wear a face mask indoors (unless an exception applies) 
  • wash your hands after using lifts, holding railings and every time you enter and exit the patient’s room  
  • follow hospital set rules about visitor and time limits 
  • follow rules about wearing specific masks, gloves or gowns if requested by staff. 

Hospital staff will help you follow these conditions to help keep your family members or friends safe.  

Do I need to call the hospital before I visit someone in hospital?

No, but it may be wise to do so, as the facility may have additional requirements, conditions or restrictions for entry. In some cases, hospital wards may be closed to visitors to keep vulnerable patients safe or may restrict visiting to close family. This information may also be found on the hospital’s website. 

Speak with other family, friends and carers before you visit. This will avoid a situation where the hospital rules on visitor limits is exceeded. You may need to agree to visit patients at different times.

Stay home and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you are tested for COVID-19, you must self-quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

The person I am visiting is sharing a room – does this impact the number of visitors?

Each patient is entitled to have visitors subject to conditions of their ward or unit. It may be wise to call ahead and check that your visit will not overlap with other intended visits. When visiting you need to ensure you follow directions from the hospital staff. You must wear a fitted face mask and you should maintain 1.5 metres between yourself and other visitors within the shared room.

Stay home and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you are tested for COVID-19, you must self-quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

Can I visit my pregnant partner for the birth of our child?

Yes, you can. However, visiting rules for maternity wards are also set by the hospital and may differ – please speak to hospital staff for more information on their guidelines. Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask unless an exception applies. You must not visit a hospital if you have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (unless an exemption or exception applies).

If you feel unwell, you should stay home and get tested for COVID-19. If you are tested for COVID-19, you must self-quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

Can I accompany my pregnant partner to an ultrasound or similar appointment?

Yes, you can. However, visiting rules are also set by the hospital and may differ – please speak to hospital staff for more information on their guidelines.

Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask (unless an exception applies).

You must not visit a hospital if you have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting your test results, or if have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (unless an exemption or exception applies).

If you feel unwell, you should stay home and get tested for COVID-19. If you are tested for COVID-19, you must self-quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

I'm going to hospital to give birth – can I have more than one person with me?

Visits are no longer limited by Chief Health Officer directions. However, visiting rules for maternity wards are also set by the hospital and may differ – please speak to hospital staff for more information on their guidelines. Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask (unless an exception applies). 

How can I stay in touch with my loved ones in hospital?

People in hospital are unwell or recovering from a medical or surgical condition and can have reduced immunity. Before you plan your visit, think about your family member or friend and your role in helping to keep them safe from COVID-19. This includes your loved one who:

  • is elderly
  • has a chronic medical condition (like diabetes, heart, lung, kidney disease, or low immunity).

You can stay in touch and provide support through phone and video calls and texting.

What are the restrictions on workers?

Unless an exception or exemptions applies, workers must not enter any hospital if they: 

  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet been given clearance from self-isolation in accordance with the operative Diagnosed Persons and Close Contacts Directions
  • arrived in Australia within the last 14 days (unless on a quarantine-free flight from an overseas location designated by the Australian Government as a green travel zone)
  • have had known contact in the past 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever or loss of sense of taste or smell).

Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask (unless an exception applies). Further requirements, such as surveillance testing and COVID marshals, are required in COVID wards.

Where can I get more information?

For updates, see our coronavirus (COVID-19) website.

You can also call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline: 1800 675 398

If you require an interpreter to help you, call the translating and interpreting service on 131 450 and ask for the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline.

Reviewed 15 April 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

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