Victoria's State of Emergency Has Been Extended Until December
But the State of Disaster has not been renewed — so it'll end tonight.
Back in March, Victoria implemented a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a move it has extended monthly since. So, while originally due to expire at midnight on Monday, April 13, the State of Emergency has been prolonged until May 11, June 20, July 19, August 16, September 13, October 11 and November 8 — and now until December 6.
With the state slowly working through its roadmap to ease out of lockdowns — including confirming today, Sunday, November 8, that the next stage of eased restrictions will come into effect this evening — this is hardly surprising news. 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 Brett Sutton. That means restricting movement, preventing entry to premises and venues, and detaining people — measures that have been in place over the past eight months as the state responds to the coronavirus.
Victoria has also been in a declared State of Disaster since the beginning of August, which gives police additional powers to ensure that Victorians are complying with public health directions — but that has not been prolonged this time. "While the virus is still with us, we are in a place where we do not need to have that legislative instrument in place any longer — and that's good news," said Premier Andrews. "That's a clear sign that things have turned, and that we are moving steadily and significantly towards COVID-normal.
Fines continue to be handed out to folks who breach the restrictions — with the state's on-the-spot financial penalties spanning up to $4659 for individuals if you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms and are awaiting test results, but fail to isolate at home. People who repeatedly break the rules can also be sent to the Magistrates Court and fined up to $20,000.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Victoria and how to protect yourself, head to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website.
Published on November 08, 2020 by Sarah Ward