Sensible Winter Settings To Keep Victorians Protected

As part of Victoria’s ongoing management of the coronavirus pandemic, Minister for Health Martin Foley has made modest and sensible changes to pandemic orders to allow Victorians to live safely with COVID-19 while reducing transmission and hospitalisations.

The Acting Chief Health Officer has provided advice that while some key measures can be safely lifted, others should remain until the end of winter. These changes to the pandemic orders come into effect from 11.59pm Friday 24 June.

Masks must still be worn on public transport, taxis, ride shares, and planes – but in line with the recent AHPPC statement, will no longer be required at airports. Masks are also still required in sensitive settings such as hospitals and care facilities.

Positive cases must still isolate for seven days from the day they took their test but may now leave home to drive a household member directly to or from education or work without leaving their vehicle. They can also leave home to get medical care, a COVID-19 test, or in an emergency, including the risk of harm.

To continue to protect the most vulnerable through winter, workers who interact with a vulnerable person will still require three COVID-19 vaccine doses. This includes residential aged care and disability care, healthcare, and custodial and emergency services, including police.

Government imposed third dose mandates in education, food distribution, meat and seafood processing and quarantine accommodation sectors will be lifted. In line with other jurisdictions around Australia, vaccination policies will be the responsibility of individual workplaces.

As almost 95 per cent of Victorians 12 and older have had two COVID-19 doses, rules requiring general workers to work from home, unless they are double-vaccinated are lifted. Employers will still be able to set their own workplace conditions.

Visitor caps to care facilities, including residential aged care and disability are removed, with residents able to see any number of people as long as they test negative on a rapid antigen test that day.

If a test is unavailable, a person can only be present for limited reasons such as end-of-life visits. Centres may introduce their own visitor rules to respond to local risk.

The update to pandemic orders was made after consultation with the Acting Chief Health Officer and consideration of their advice. The Minister’s Statement of Reasons and the Acting CHO’s advice will be published on the Department of Health’s website within seven days of the orders coming into effect.