Ensuring we maintain the measures we need in the fight against coronavirus – and the hard-won gains of Victorians are not lost – the State of Disaster will continue in Victoria for at least a further 11 days.
Previously set to expire at 6pm today, the State of Disaster will be renewed until 11.59pm on 13 September 2020, bringing it into line with the existing State of Emergency declaration and allowing advice about any future continuation to be made once the Government’s roadmap for easing restrictions has been released.
That means – as our public health experts assess our appropriate next steps – the current restrictions, the State of Disaster and the State of Emergency can be aligned and their extension can be considered together.
Engagement with industry and communities will continue today and tomorrow, with Victoria’s roadmap to be released on Sunday 6 September.
The introduction of Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria have seen a steady decrease in the number of active cases of coronavirus in Victoria. But this is not over yet.
The State of Disaster is a legal mechanism to underpin a number of the current Stage 4 restrictions, including the curfew and the 5km limit for exercise and shopping within metropolitan Melbourne.
Even with the vast majority of Victorians doing the right thing, the State of Disaster allows Victoria Police and Protective Services Officers to enforce the public health directions for those who are doing the wrong thing. This practically means that officers can ask for a name and address to check people are within 5kms of their home, or enter a home or business to check residents or staff are complying with gathering limits.
Following advice of the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and the Emergency Management Commissioner, a State of Disaster can be introduced if there is an emergency that constitutes or is likely to constitute a significant and widespread danger to life or property in Victoria.
A State of Disaster cannot be extended in blocks longer than one month and must be publicly reported back to Parliament.
To find out more information about coronavirus call 1800 675 398 or visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.