Overview of Health Information and Directives

The Australian Department of Health website www.health.gov.au is a key source of information for facts and latest advice on COVID-19 and should be frequently monitored.

News and alerts can be accessed at https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert.

Key information can be found on the health website which is updated regularly:

Contacts for state or territory public health agencies are available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts.

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions

National Coronavirus Help Line – 1800 020 080

The helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Preventing the Spread of Infection

The key objective is preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The key health directive is that everyone must practice good hygiene and implement social distancing measures to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading.

Resources such as posters to download for circulation in churches and workplaces can be accessed here https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-campaign-resources.

 

Good hygiene

Recommended actions for good hygiene currently include:

  • covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • disposing of tissues properly
  • washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
  • using alcohol-based hand sanitisers
  • cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
  • if you are sick, avoiding contact with others
  • cleaning and sanitising frequently used objects such as mobiles, keys and wallets

 

Social distancing

Recommended actions for social distancing currently include:

  • staying at home when you are unwell
  • avoiding any gatherings that are not essential (see advice on non-essential travel and  gatherings below)
  • keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible
  • ensuring that 2 x 2 m space per person is allowed when organising essential gatherings
  • people are not to congregate together in groups indoors or outdoors
  • minimising physical contact, especially with people at higher risk such as older people and people with existing health conditions

On 8 May 2020 the Commonwealth Government announced an easing of restrictions in response to Covid-19. 

 The 3 Step Framework for a COVID Safe Australia will be implemented as determined by State Governments.

 It covers:

  • Gatherings and work
  • Education and child care
  • Retail and sales
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Entertainment and amusement venues
  • Sports and recreation
  • Accommodation
  • Weddings Funerals and religious services
  • Hair and beauty services
  • Domestic travel

The following restrictions apply to religious services, including weddings and funerals under the 3 step framework.

Step 1

Weddings may have up to 10 guests in addition to the couple and the celebrant

Funerals may have up to 20 mourners indoors and 30 outdoors.

Religious gatherings may have up to 10 attendees.

Every gathering must record contact details

Step 2

Weddings may have up to 20 guests in addition to the couple and the celebrant.

Funerals may have up to 50 mourners Religious gatherings may have up to 20 attendees.

Every gathering must record contact details

Step 3

Allow gatherings of up to 100 people Every gathering must record contact details

Review the State government determinations for information on when these steps come into effect

Until the 3 step framework is implemented the current Commonwealth government directive is that places of worship are to be closed to the public.  State governments require that church buildings are closed and not available to the public for private prayer.