A State of Emergency has been declared in Victoria to combat COVID-19 and help to provide the Chief Health Officer with the powers he needs to enforce 14-day isolation requirements for all travellers entering Australia and cancel mass gatherings of more than 500 people, as agreed by

National Cabinet yesterday.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced that the State of Emergency would begin on Monday, 16 March at midday and be in force for the next four weeks to assist with measures designed to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 and give our health system the best chance of managing the virus.

Under a State of Emergency, Authorised Officers, at the direction of the Chief Health Officer, can act to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health by detaining people, restricting movement, preventing entry to premises, or providing any other direction an AO considers reasonable to protect public health.

The first direction from the Chief Health Officer under these new powers will include banning

non-essential mass gatherings of over 500 people such as cultural events, sporting events or


A number of our state’s largest cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria, the State Library and Museums Victoria have also announced temporary closures, and events such as the Melbourne Comedy Festival and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival have already been postponed.

Gatherings that are deemed essential and may continue include.. Click here to read more..

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