BUV COVID-19 Advice (July)

27th July 2020

Face Coverings  / Masks for all of Victoria now compulsory from 11:59pm Sunday 2 August

The Premier, Daniel Andrews, has announced that face coverings / masks are now compulsory throughout ALL OF VICTORIA from 11.59pm Sunday 2nd August. This now includes all of regional Victoria. This is an attempt to keep the numbers of cases low in regional Victoria.

Greater Geelong and surrounds restrictions  – no visitors to homes from 11:59pm Thursday 30th July

The Premier, Daniel Andrews, has announced new restrictions to visitors to homes in 6 local areas listed below. There will be no visitors to homes from 11:59pm  Thursday 30th July.

  • Greater Geelong
  • Surf Coast
  • Moorabool
  • Golden Plains
  • Colac-Otway 
  • Borough of Queenscliffe 

These restrictions mean if you live in these areas you will no longer be able to visit people or have visitors at home as this has been determined to be the main source of infections.

Statement from the Premier – 30 July 2020
Updated Church Resources

Update 27 July 1:45pm – Care-giving reasons

Pastoral Care during the Melbourne and Mitchell Shire lockdown

As leaders and members of Baptist congregations around Victoria, pastoral care is one of the largest activities we engage in on a daily basis.  However, in the Melbourne and Mitchell shires, during the lockdown, this has to be done somewhat differently to how we would go about it normally. 

According to the Victorian Government Stay at Home Directives, care-giving and compassionate reasons is one of the 4 reasons to leave home.  However, please be aware that the only circumstances where care-giving applies are listed below in the bullet points (from DHHS website).

Pastors, deacons, or church members cannot make visits to others’ homes unless for reasons stated below.  Please be aware that Victoria Police will issue fines if breaches are reported or identified. According to DHHS, fines can be issued to both the person visiting and the person being visited, if they are permitted inside or on your property. 

Care-giving or compassionate reasons  – What are the ‘care or compassionate reasons’ for being able to leave my home?  (Source : DHHS)

You may leave your home for any of the following personal reasons:

  • to visit a doctor or other health professional or care service, or to obtain medical supplies
  • to donate blood
  • if you have shared parenting obligations and need to transport children between homes, under an informal or court-ordered arrangement
  • to provide child-minding services at someone’s home because that person needs to leave the house
  • if you are the parent or guardian of a child and you wish to visit the child because they are in the care of another person or organisation, or you have obligations in relation to the care and support of the child
  • to provide childcare or early childhood education or school to a child who lives in the care of the State or family or family violence service
  • if you have carer responsibilities, for example, picking up or dropping off children in a foster care or respite care arrangement
  • to drop off or pick up a child at personal or private childcare, early childhood education facility or school
  • to provide care and support to a relative or other person – such as shopping, cooking or house-cleaning – because of their old age, infirmity, disability, sickness or chronic health condition, they are pregnant or have health or mental health concerns
  • to visit someone in an aged care facility, disability accommodation or other residential care facility, provided you comply with the Care facilities direction
  • to visit someone in hospital, provided that visit conforms to the Hospital visitor direction
  • if there is family violence, or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you. Safe accommodation and support for family violence is available. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Update 22 July 2:30pm 

Melbourne and Mitchell Shire  – COMPULSORY Face Coverings  – exemption for live broadcasting 

As directed by Premier Daniel Andrew, face coverings are compulsory for all people in the Melbourne and Mitchell Shire as of 11:59pm tonight.  Please ensure you are wearing a mask, scarf, bandana etc at all times out of your home.

Please check this website for exemptions for face coverings. 
Source – DHHS website  – Face coverings – 11.59pm Wednesday 22 July

Please note: exemptions include Persons whose professions require clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth – this includes teaching or live broadcasting.  So whilst masks are not required for pre-recording or live broadcasting church services, you MUST adhere to the 1.5m physical distancing requirements and the limits on the number of people on site to pre record or live broadcast (max 5).

Please also adhere to all other restrictions:

  •  only 4 reasons to be out – Shopping for food or other essential items, to provide care giving, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment, for exercise (outdoor exercise only, with only one other person or members of your household), for work or study, if you cannot work or study from home. Otherwise, you must stay home.
  • 1.5m physical distancing

  • good hand hygiene

  • get tested if unwell
  • If you are unwell – please ensure you get tested  – DO NOT go out with any symptoms before you are tested and have your results.  Once feeling unwell, you MUST isolate immediately until a negative test result is received.
  • If you will be impacted financially whilst isolating or waiting for a test result, you can access the $1500 financial hardship payment – call 1800 675 398

     

Updated Finance Advice

The State Government has announced a Business Support Grant for businesses and not-for-profit organisations based in the in the Metro Melbourne area or Mitchell Shire. It is similar to the $10K grant, previously offered, but some of the criteria has changed. For more info click link here

The Federal Government has announced an extension of the JobKeeper wage subsidy program to continue the temporary relief for businesses who continue to be affected by the economic impacts of Covid-19. The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period. This article explains some useful information on the changes.

 

Update 8th July 2020 9.30am

Restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that Stage 3 Stay at home Restrictions will been reimposed for Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire from 11:59pm tonight, 8th July for a period of 6 weeks until 11:59 on Wednesday 19 August 2020.

(Source: DHHS) Click the link for a list of postcodes and answers to FAQ’s re stay at home restrictions.

There will now once again, only be 4 reasons to leave home:

  • Shopping for food and supplies
  • Medical care and caregiving
  • Exercise and recreation
  • Study and work – if you can’t do it from home

There will also be activity, facility and venue restrictions in the Melbourne metropolitan area and the Shire of Mitchell:

  • Religious ceremonies and private worship can only occur online, with a maximum of five people to conduct the ceremony.
  • Weddings can be held with up to five people (the couple, two witnesses and a celebrant).
  • Funerals can be held with up to 10 people plus those required to conduct the service.
  • You cannot have visitors to your home except for care-giving or compassionate reasons or receiving services.
  • You can no longer visit friends and family who live at another household, except to see your intimate partner, or for care-giving or compassionate reasons, or providing services.
  • Restaurants and cafes can open to serve takeaway and home delivery only.
  • Pubs, bars, clubs, nightclubs will be closed. They can offer take away food and alcohol.
  • Beauty and personal care services will be closed, apart from hairdressers and barbers.
  • Libraries and community venues will be closed, except for essential public support services like food banks.
  • Indoor sports centres including gyms, training facilities and pools will be closed.
  • Community sport training and competition cannot occur within the Melbourne metropolitan area or the Shire of Mitchell. If you live in this area you cannot participate in community sport elsewhere.
  • Galleries, museums, historic sites, zoos, outdoor amusement parks and arcades, play centres, indoor and drive-in cinemas, concert venues, theatres, auditoriums, arenas, stadiums, casinos and gaming venues will be closed.
  • Outdoor sport facilities will be closed, except for facilities where people can exercise with no more than one other person or members of your household while maintaining 1.5 metres distance. Equipment should not be shared, and communal facilities cannot open. Personal training outdoors can occur but with a limit of two participants plus the instructor.
  • Holiday accommodation and camping facilities will be closed except for those who reside there for emergency accommodation or work purposes.
  • If you live in the Melbourne metropolitan area or the Shire of Mitchell and are currently on holiday, you can continue your holiday. From 11:59pm, 8 July you will not be able to leave these areas for a holiday.

Restrictions for other areas of Victoria 

At this stage, restrictions remain as they have been for other all areas of Victoria.  However, Victorians outside the Melbourne metropolitan area and Shire of Mitchell are being asked to use common sense when it comes to visiting friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing only those you need to – if you need to.  If you feel unwell, you should stay at home. If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested. It’s up to all of us to make this work.

Current restrictions on gatherings at places of worship and ceremonies are:

  • Places of worship can open for private worship or small religious ceremonies for up to 20 people in each separate area.
  • Up to 20 people, in addition to the celebrant and couple getting married, can attend a wedding. If a wedding is held in a private residence, it will be limited to the members of the household, five attendees, plus the celebrant.
  • Up to 50 people can attend a funeral in addition to the person leading the funeral and other funeral staff. A funeral held in a private residence will be limited to the members of the household, five attendees, plus the person leading the funeral and other funeral staff.
  • As always, we are urging Victorians to use common sense when carrying out activities.

Update 7th July 2020 3:30pm 

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that Stage 3 Stay at home Restrictions will been reimposed for Metropolitan Melbourne from 11:59pm tomorrow night, 8th July for a period of 6 weeks until 11:59 on Wednesday 19 August 2020.

There will now once again, only be 4 reasons to leave home:

  • Shopping for food and supplies
  • Medical care and caregiving
  • Exercise and recreation
  • Study and work – if you can’t do it from home

The defined list of recreational activities will be made available on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

 

Update 4th July 2020 5.45pm

Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions for 12 Melbourne postcodes
Effective from 11:59pm tonight, nine public housing towers will be locked down for the next five days – affecting over 3,000 people that are most in need. Please join us in daily prayers for these vulnerable communities.

Two additional postcodes – 3031 (Flemington and Kensington) and 3051 (North Melbourne) have been added to the list of postcodes in lockdown until at least the end of the month.

Victorians who live within the restricted postcode areas can only leave their home for one of the four reasons below: 

  • Shopping for food or other essential items.
  • To provide care giving, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment.
  • For exercise (outdoor exercise only, with only one other person or members of your household in your local area).
  • Work or study (education), if you cannot work or study from home.

More information from DHHS

Summary of restrictions for Religious Ceremonies and private worship
From 11:59pm, 1 July:

  • If you live in a restricted postcode then you cannot attend religious ceremonies or private worship – we encourage you to explore options for online services instead.
  • Places of religion and worship must close for both religious ceremonies and private worship in restricted postcodes, but those who are necessary to stream a service can attend for these purposes.
  • Weddings held in restricted postcodes will be restricted to five people (the couple, two witnesses and the celebrant).
  • Funerals held in restricted postcodes will be restricted to 10 mourners plus those required to conduct the funeral. You can travel to a funeral outside a restricted postcode. The restrictions apply based on the location of the wedding.
  • A wedding or funeral held in a private residence in a restricted postcode will be limited to the members of the household, plus the people required to conduct the ceremony.
  • You should never attend a wedding or funeral if you are unwell. If you live in a restricted postcode you should consider having a coronavirus (COVID-19) test before attending such an event, wear a mask and practice physical distancing at the event.
Updated FAQ on Religion and Ceremony in restricted postcodes

Update 1st July 2020 8.30am

Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions for 10 Melbourne postcodes
From 11:59pm 1st July, the following postcodes will go into local lockdown:

Postcode Suburbs

3012

Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray

3021

Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans

3032

Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore

3038

Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens

3042

Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie

3046

Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park

3047

Broadmeadows, Dallas , Jacana

3055

Brunswick south, Brunswick west, Moonee vale, Moreland west

3060

Fawkner

3064

Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo

These “hot zones” will be required to return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions – until at least 29 July. If you live in these locations, there will again only be four reasons to be out:

  • shopping for food and supplies
  • care and caregiving
  • exercise
  • and study or work – if you can’t do it from home.

Additional restrictions have also been put in place for these suburbs:

  • you cannot have visitors to your home except for caregiving or compassionate reasons or receiving services
     
  • you can no longer visit friends and family who live at another household, except for caregiving or compassionate reasons or providing services
     
  • you cannot travel except for one of the four reasons outlined above
     
  • libraries and community venues will be closed, except for essential public support services such as food banks
     
  • religious ceremonies and private worship can only occur online
     
  • restrictions on the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals

Read more from DHHS

Pray for our churches and communities in these areas

State-wide – restrictions that apply across Victoria 
To help keep our communities safe and reduce the number of people gathered across Victoria, changes have been made to the restrictions. These changes will come in to place from 11:59pm 1 July:

  • Victorians are being asked to use common sense when it comes to visiting friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing only those you need to – if you need to
     
  • shopping centres and outdoor markets are required to apply the four square metre rule to limit the number of shoppers. 
     
  • you can visit a restricted postcode for four reasons: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study or work – if you can’t do it from home.
     
  • If you need to travel through one of the restricted postcode areas, you can. You should plan your trip so that you don’t need to stop in an impacted area unless it is for one of the four reasons. 

Current restrictions on Places of worships and Ceremonies (22 June – 12 July)

  • Private Worship / ceremonies – Places of worship can open for private worship or small religious ceremonies for up to 20 people in each separate area.
     
  • Prayer Groups – Currently, up to 10 people can gather for a prayer group if the prayer group is held at a place of worship or another public place. A prayer group can meet if it is held in someone’s home as long as there are no more than five visitors
    in addition to the normal residents of the household.
     
  • Weddings – Up to 20 people, in addition to the celebrant and couple getting married, can attend a wedding. If a wedding is held in a private residence, it will be limited to the members of the household, five attendees, plus the celebrant.
  • Funerals – Up to 50 people can attend a funeral in addition to the person leading the funeral and other funeral staff. This applies to both indoor and outdoor funerals.  A funeral held in a private residence will be limited to the members of the household, five attendees, plus the person leading the funeral and other funeral staff.
     
  • As always, we are urging Victorians to use common sense when carrying out activities. If you feel unwell, you should stay at home. If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested. It’s up to all of us to make this work.
     
  • Social distancing (1.5m and 4sqm rule), cleaning. sanitising and hygiene and contact tracing requirements all apply.  
Statement from the Premier
DHHS advice on hot zones
Religion and Ceremony FAQs
Translated Resources
Updated ABC’s to COVIDSAFE