Victoria's State of Emergency Has Been Extended for Four More Weeks

Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions needed to continue to keep slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 12, 2020

Victoria's strict rules surrounding social distancing and public gatherings have been extended until at least midnight on Monday, May 11, Premier Daniel Andrews announced this morning, Sunday, April 12.

The Premier has prolonged Victoria's COVID-19 State of Emergency declaration, which was first made in March and was due to expire at midnight on Monday, April 13. With the new extension, current restrictions are now in place for another four weeks.

The State of Emergency declaration allows the state's authorised officers to "act to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health" as directed by Victoria's Chief Health Officer. That means restricting movement, preventing entry to premises and venues and detaining people — measures that have been in place over the past month as the state responds to the coronavirus.

Announcing the extension, the Premier noted that the continued restrictions are needed to continue to keep slowing the spread of COVID-19. "There are positive signs our efforts are working — but if we relax now, our hard-won gains will evaporate and people will die," he explained. "This is an unprecedented crisis — we need to extend the State of Emergency to help slow the spread of the virus, protect our health system and save lives."

St Kilda Beach, Josie Withers, Visit Victoria

At present, there are only four allowable reasons for Victorians to leave their homes: to obtain food and supplies, to receive medical care or provide care yourself, for exercise while adhering to social-distancing requirements, and to attend work or education if you cannot do so from home.

Fines are being handed out to folks who breach the restrictions, with Victoria Police issuing more than 900 since Saturday, March 28. The state's financial penalties span up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses. Under the State of Emergency, people who refuse to comply can also be taken to court, where the fine imposed could reach up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies.

As of 3pm on Saturday, April 11, 1265 Victorians have tested positive for COVID-19.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Top image: Federation Square, Robert Blackburn, Visit Victoria

Published on April 12, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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