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Visiting hospitals in Victoria

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

For information on visiting care facilities, see Visiting care facilities.

Summary

Victoria moves to COVIDSafe Summer from 11:59pm 6 December 2020. From 5:00pm on 31 December, some changes were made to the restrictions including changes to mask wearing and the number of people allowed at social gatherings in the home.

From 5pm on 31 December 2020 you must wear a fitted face mask when you are in public indoor spaces unless you have a lawful reason not to. This includes when visiting hospitals and aged care facilities.

  • There are no Chief Health Officer directions limits on the purpose of visits, the number of visitors or the length of the visit.
  • Visitors must follow visiting rules set by the hospital. These may vary between hospitals.
  • People of any age can visit people in a hospital. 
  • Do 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.
  • Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a fitted face mask that covers the mouth and nose.

Current restrictions

There are no longer 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. Rules may vary between hospitals to reflect different risks. 

Fitted face masks are now mandatory in indoor public spaces in Victoria, Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask. You must not visit people in hospital if you feel unwell.

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

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.

You should contact the hospital before visiting as they may have additional requirements, conditions or restrictions for 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:

  • are awaiting a coronavirus (COVID-19) test result (unless granted exemption under exceptional circumstances)
  • are unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever or loss of sense of taste or smell
  • have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius
  • 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)
  • have been told to quarantine for 14 days.

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 coronavirus (COVID-19), or a returned overseas traveller in mandatory quarantine, or have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). Exceptions can only be authorised by senior hospital staff and, in some instances, must also be approved by the Chief Health Officer / 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.

Visitors must: 

  • keep at least 1.5 metres apart from others
  • 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.

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 should maintain 1.5 metres between yourself and other visitors within the shared room.

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

Visits are no longer limited by Chief Health Officer directions. Visiting rules for maternity wards are set by the hospital – please speak to hospital staff for more information on their guidelines. Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask, and you must not visit if you feel unwell.

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

Visits are no longer limited by Chief Health Officer directions. Visiting rules for maternity wards are set by the hospital – please speak to hospital staff for more information on their guidelines. Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask and they must not visit if they feel unwell.

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 coronavirus (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?

Workers must not enter any hospital 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, diarrhoea, or loss of sense of smell or taste 
  • have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius
  • 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). 

Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a face mask. 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 a translator to help you, call the translating and interpreting service on 131 450 and ask for the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline.

Reviewed 06 January 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

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