We know everything is uncertain at the moment, and the situation is constantly changing. We’ll do our best to keep you updated on disability-related COVID-19 response news.
Monday, January 11: The lockdown on Greater Brisbane will begin to ease starting tonight at 6pm. People will be allowed to leave their homes for any reason, but restrictions will still apply. You can find updated information here.
Friday, January 8th: As a case with the UK strain of the virus was found in Brisbane, the Greater Brisbane area will be placed under a 3-day lockdown to ensure it is under control. The following information is taken directly from QLD Health, you can find all the information here.
From 6pm tonight, Friday 8 January, until 6pm Monday 11 January people in the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan will be required to stay at home except for the following reasons:
- Shopping for essentials, food and necessary supplies
- Medical or healthcare needs, including compassionate requirements
- Exercise with no more than one other person, unless all from the same household
- Providing care or assistance to an immediate family member
- Work, or volunteering, or study if it is not reasonably practicable to work or learn remotely
- Child custody arrangements
- Legal obligations
- Visit for end of life
- Attend funeral or wedding in line with restrictions
Masks will also need to be worn everywhere in those local government areas except if people are at home.
Monday, January 4th: Over the holiday period, the situation across various states changed. New South Wales remains on high alert while cases are still being monitored. A new public health order requires the use of face coverings in all public areas around Greater Sydney, subject to a $200 fine. Most states continue to hold hard borders with NSW and travel is strongly discouraged. Victoria is also on high alert as small clusters are found, but all cases are being closely monitored. You can find information of case outbreaks and locations here.
Thursday, December 24th: In the lead up to Christmas, Greater Sydney and the Northern Beaches will remain under certain restrictions. Until the 26th, 10 guests not including children under 12 will be allowed to visit a household. There is also new advice for people with disability in residential settings.
Monday, December 21st: Over this past weekend there has been a resurgence of cases in the Northern Beaches and other areas of Sydney. THe situation is being monitored closely, and people have been urged to stay home to avoid a larger outbreak. We know this is a difficult time as we approach the holidays, but we urge everyone to stay safe. You can find more information about the ongoing situation in NSW here.
- If you live in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, there is a public health order. Find more information here.
- Gatherings have been limited to 10 people for households until the 23rd of December.
- If you are providing health care or accompanying someone for support, you will still be allowed to visit.
You can find all the information about the new restrictions here. The restrictions will be reviewed on the 23rd for the upcoming holidays.
Wednesday, August 8th: As the situation in Victoria has continued to get worse, new restrictions have been put in place. If you live in Victoria, you can now only leave your home for the following reasons:
- Shopping for food or essential supplies: this must be done within 5km of your house, and only one member of your household is allowed to shop for essential supplies each day.
- Exercise: you are allowed to leave for 1 hour of outdoor exercise within a 5km radius of your house. You may only gather with one other person.
- If you are providing health care or accompanying someone for support.
- Work, if you are not able to work from home. All study and TAFE should be done remotely.
Curfews are also now in place in Victoria. Curfews will be in operation from 8pm to 5am every evening. People are only allowed to leave their house for work and essential health, care or safety reasons.
Monday, July 22th: Victoria and New South Wales have begun implementing new mask rules to control the spread of the virus. In Victoria, mask use will be mandatory startin today, July 22nd around the Melbourne and Mitchell Shire areas. Masks will also be mandatory in schools. In New South Wales, mask use will be mandatory for people in south west Sydney who are providing disability support, personal care, or in home care. You can find more information, as well as instructions on how to make a mask and Easy English resources here.
Monday, July 13th: As states begin to experience a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, some restrictions are being put back into place. Victoria has been placed under lockdown for another 6 weeks after a spike in cases, you can keep updated here.
Monday, June 22nd: A Return to School for Students with Disability COVID-19 Risk Management Health Plan has been published on the Australian Government Department of Health website. This plan can help prepare for the return to school. The document is an optional resource for parents and carers. It can aid discussions with a student’s school and doctor on strategies to reduce risks in the school environment.
Friday, June 5th: The Advisory Committee on Health Emergency Response to COVID-19 for People with Disability has published a communique in regards to their latest meeting held on June 2nd. The committee is reviewing and discussing the “COVID-19 Companion”, as well as how the easing of restrictions will affect the supports people with disability will be able to receive. The advisory committee also discussed the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of people with disability, and the need to expand inclusive initiatives.
Monday, May 11th: Because of the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases, states are starting to ease restrictions around visiting other people, and when you can leaver you house. These restrictions vary from state to state, you can find information here: New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania
Thursday, April 30th: On April 28 the NDIS Commission sent a COVID-19 Provider Alert to registered providers about their new FAQ page. All correspondence and information once sent is made available on a COVID-19 information page on our website.
Monday, April 27th: The Advisory Committee on Health Emergency Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) for People with Disability has released a communique about last week’s meeting. One of the key themes that emerged from the meeting was the need to prioritise, where possible, implementation of the Plan towards people who are at most risk of exposure and developing adverse outcomes related to COVID-19, especially people with complex health care needs. The Advisory Committee will continue to meet weekly.
Monday, April 20th: The federal government has released their Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability to guides the Australian health sector response to COVID-19 for our community.
Thursday, April 16th: The Guardian confirms that Mobility Allowance eligibility reviews for people with disability on Centrelink have been stopped, so you shouldn’t lose that money just because the epidemic has restricted your travel.
Tuesday, April 14th: There is now a Disability Information Helpline you can call on 1800 643 787 for all kinds of coronavirus-related help and information. It’s available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm (AEST). It’s not available on national public holidays.
Monday, April 6th: There is a new service for NDIS participants to get priority home delivery during the coronavirus pandemic from some of the country’s biggest supermarkets. Starting today, every NDIS participant should get an individual code via SMS or email which will give them access to the priority delivery offer. When you complete an online shopping order, you can enter your code when you choose the home delivery option.
Friday, April 3rd: We have come together with over 70 national, state and territory disability organisations and released a letter to the National Cabinet with ten vital points for immediate action to keep people with disability safe in the pandemic. Read our media release on our website, where you can also download the letter, including in Auslan, Plain English and Easy Read versions.
There has also been an announcement today about an advisory group to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) formed to develop and implement the part of the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is meant to ensure the health care needs of people with disability, their families and carers can be met during the pandemic, including access to coronavirus screening, prevention and health care. Our CEO, Jeff Smith, has joined the advisory group, and we hope this is the first step towards a more proactive government response to the needs to people with disability.
Monday, March 31st: New social distancing rules announced. See our disability support page for details – we believe they should not affect your ability to access support.
Here are some news resources that will provide constant live updates as things change:
Please take care of yourself – if you’re concerned about your mental health, consider setting practical limits on the time you spend on live updates. There are links to mental health resources on our help page.