The rules and restrictions for COVID-19 are updated regularly by the Victorian Government, and it can be hard to keep on top of them!
The rules that apply will depend on things like where you live, who you live with, what you do for work, your school, and if you are feeling unwell or have been tested for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 rules can be confusing, so don’t worry, you are not alone!
If you want to check what the rules say, you can try contacting the Victorian COVID Hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice. This is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
If you are looking for help in your language, you can still call the Victorian COVID Hotline on 1800 675 398, press ‘0’ for an interpreter.
If you are under 25 and unsure about the restrictions, or want legal advice about your situation, please get in touch with us here.
Public health orders are a type of law, which means that if you don’t follow them, you may be breaking the law.
If you are caught breaking a public health order, you can be charged with a criminal offence or given a fine. Police can issue on-the-spot fines to people for some behaviour, and these fines can be several thousands of dollars. You can find a list of possible penalties for breaching COVID-19 public health orders on the Victoria Government’s website.
Your fine should have information about your payment options. If you think the fine was fair, but can’t afford to pay it, you can:
It’s really important to pay your fine, or enter into one of these options, before the fine due date.
If you think the fine was unfair, it wasn’t you, or because of your personal circumstances you think you should be given leniency, you can request an internal review of the fine. You can find more information about requesting a review on the Victorian Legal Aid COVID-19 website.
You can also elect to take a fine to court. This is where the Court will decide if you are guilty or not guilty of the offence, and will decide what penalty to give you. It’s important to know that there are risks and costs with going to court. There are also time limits on this option. We strongly recommend you get legal advice before choosing this option.
If you are under 25 and you have been given a fine, you can always contact us for free and confidential legal advice and information.
You can find out information about the rules about going to school, University, TAFE and other education on the VIC Government’s website.
We know that going to school during lockdown, or doing school online, can be tough. If you are finding school hard, we encourage you to talk to your parents or carer, a teacher you trust, or your school counsellor to get some support. If you live with a disability, you can get reasonable supports to help you at school.
If you want some legal advice about your situation at school, University or TAFE, you can contact us for free and confidential legal advice and information here.
There are lots of ways COVID-19 can impact your employment. Some people have lost their jobs or lost hours, others face restrictions or rules about what they can do at work. The rules that apply will depend on what sort of work you do.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has some great information on their website about COVID-19 and workplace laws in Australia.
If you have lost your job, you may have rights under unlawful termination or unlawful dismissal laws. We recommend you have a look at our webpage on Getting fired and unfair dismissal. It’s important to know that there are short time limits for taking legal action for unfair dismissal. If you think you might have been unfairly dismissed from work, we recommend you get legal advice as soon as possible.
If you are under 25 and you have an issue at work, you can contact us for free and confidential legal advice and information here. \
You have a right to be safe at home. If you are ever in immediate danger, please call the police on triple zero (000) and try to get to a safe place. Leaving home because of family violence is not in breach of the public health orders.
If you are experiencing violence or abuse at home, please talk to someone you trust about what is happening. This could be a family member, a teacher or a counsellor. You can also contact us for legal advice about your situation.
If you are experiencing bullying online, or other online behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable and unsafe, it’s important to tell someone about what’s happening and get some support. You can find out more about online safety, and what you can do, on our website.
It’s important to know that if you are finding lockdown tough, there are services that can help you.
If you are 25 or under, you can get free counselling and support from Kids Helpline or eHeadspace:
ReachOut resources to help you cope during lockdown
It’s been a stressful time all around the world as we deal with coronavirus (COVID-19) and the uncertainty it brings. ReachOut have put together some awesome resources to help you take care of your wellbeing, especially during lockdown.
There are Centrelink payments available for some people who are financially affected by COVID-19. You can find out more about available payments and your eligibility on the Services Australia website.
If you are renting in Victoria, there is some help for tenants who are affected by COVID-19. For more information, we recommend you check out the Tenant’s Victoria COVID-19 Guide.
If you need crisis accommodation, or if you are at risk of homelessness, please call crisis and emergency housing services Victoria, a statewide homelessness information and referral telephone service. You can call them on 1800 825 955, and they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or you can visit their website https://www.housing.vic.gov.au/crisis-emergency-contacts
If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem. Just click on the button below.Get help now