As the spread of the global coronavirus continues, it is critical for Australians to stay well informed.

As a regional Senator for Victoria, I wish to highlight the importance of social distancing and good hygiene in all regional communities.

I call on every Victorian to undertake their civic duty and practice social distancing and employ good hygiene practices by:

  • Maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 metres from any other person (no handshakes etc);
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing (If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser which contains at least 60 per cent alcohol.);
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily;
  • Staying home if you are sick and seeking medical advice; and
  • Getting a vaccination for influenza this season. It is not yet known whether COVID-19 could significantly increase the risk of influenza infection.

Complying with these restrictions will help stop COVID-19 being transmitted to others: it will save lives.

The Morrison Liberal Government is focused on slowing the spread of coronavirus to save lives – and every Australian has a part to play.

In Victoria, as from midday today, the following facilities will be restricted from opening:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation);
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues;
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs;
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery;
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

These measures also apply to outdoor spaces associated with the above venues.

Our government has unveiled a comprehensive $2.4 billion health package to ensure our world-class health system is well prepared and has the resources to fight COVID-19 and protect Australians.

In order to deal with the significant economic impacts, we are investing more than $189 billion to keep Australians in jobs, keep businesses in business, support households and keep investment flowing.

Australians can be confident that our nation is one of the best prepared to respond to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is critical that Australians stay well informed.

Please see https://www.health.gov.au/, https://www.australia.gov.au/ and https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

Anyone needing further specific support can contact me directly at senator.henderson@aph.gov.au