24 May 2020

Creative Victoria is monitoring the rapidly changing situation with regard to coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria and its impacts on the creative industries and will continue to share information and updates as they come to hand.

The following information is correct as of 24 May 2020. For the latest information, visit Victorian Government's coronavirus website.

State of Emergency

A State of Emergency has been declared in Victoria to combat coronavirus (COVID-19) and is in place until midnight 31 May 2020. This enables the Victorian Government to enforce public health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, protecting the community and giving our health system the best chance of managing the pandemic.

Staged easing of restrictions

Thanks to progress in slowing the spread of coronavirus, restrictions have begun to ease under the latest Directions from the Victorian Chief Health Officer. For up to date information on current restrictions and the next steps visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

For the creative industries, this means that a range of arts and cultural venues and organisations can plan for re-opening, with some restrictions and measures in place to keep staff and the public safe.

From 1 June 2020, museums, galleries and libraries can open with up to 20 visitors in a single space. This will expand to 50 people from 22 June. Physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metres must be applied.

From 22 June 2020, indoor cinemas, performance venues and theatres can open with up to 50 people in a single space. People who are not from the same household should be seated at least 1.5 metres from other people in the venue and the four square metre rule applies.

Increased hygiene measures for staff and patrons will be required.

Creative Victoria is developing tailored guidelines for museums, galleries, libraries, performance and other cultural venues outlining the actions to be taken to ensure the safety of visitors, as well as staff, volunteers and other workers.

These are being finalised in close consultation with sector bodies, the Victorian Chief Health Officer and other relevant authorities, and will be made available as soon as possible.

All eased restrictions and the proposed dates are subject to the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the continued and effective management of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Restriction of non-essential activities, events and gatherings

A range of restrictions remain in place in Victoria in relation to non-essential activities, organised events and gatherings. Visit the Department of Health and Human Services website for the most up to date information and directions from the Chief Health Officer.

Fines and penalties apply if directions are breached.

If you are unsure or have any questions about your business’s ability to open, contact the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15.

Stay safe

With the cautious and gradual easing of restrictions, the message to Victorians is to stay safe, by:

  • Maintaining good hygiene
  • Keeping your distance from others
  • Staying home if you feel unwell
  • Getting tested if you have symptoms of coronavirus

Read more information about staying safe.

Work from home

Those who can work from home, should work from home.

If you’ve been working from home, the advice is that you should continue to do so.

If it’s not possible for your work to be done from home, you can still go to work. When at work, you should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others and practising good hygiene.

Organisations and employers responsible for a workplace, facility or venue must comply with occupational health and safety and workplace safety requirements.

Find out more about work-related restrictions, advice and actions that should be undertaken by workplaces and employers.

Government support

The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments have announced various economic support measures to help individuals, businesses and organisations that have been impacted by coronavirus.

Read more about the Commonwealth Government support.

The Victorian Government has announced of a total of $49.1 million to specifically help the state’s creative sector through this crisis. This is in addition to broader programs and support.

This dedicated funding will help maintain creative jobs and activity, help individuals, organisations and businesses to regenerate income, develop new work and provide new opportunities for creative community participation during the current shutdown and beyond. It includes:

  • $26.3 million for Victoria’s iconic state-owned arts and cultural institutions – including NGV, Arts Centre Melbourne, Museums Victoria, Geelong Arts Centre and Melbourne Recital Centre.
  • $13 million for almost 100 non-government arts and cultural organisations state-wide
  • $4.2 million in quick response grants for independent creatives and micro-businesses through the new Sustaining Creative Workers initiative
  • $4 million for a Music Industry Support Package, including support for new work, training, and professional and business development.
  • $1.6 million in grants through Creative Victoria’s programs focusing on activities that can be undertaken in the current climate, such as the research and development of new creative works, professional development activities and new ways of reaching audiences.

This targeted funding complements broader Victorian Government initiatives including the $500 million Business Support Fund which is providing vital support to impacted businesses, including in the creative industries; and the Working for Victoria scheme which is helping those who are out of work to secure alternative employment during this time.

We have summarised various government and other support programs that are relevant to the creative industries on our Coronavirus and the Creative Industries sub-site.

Enforced quarantine following overseas travel

From 11.59pm on Saturday 28 March 2020, all travellers returning from overseas to Victoria will be placed in enforced quarantine for a self-isolation period of 14-days to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). More information can be found in the Premier’s media release.

Overseas and domestic travel

On 24 March 2020 the Prime Minister announced a ban on all overseas travel, with few exceptions.

For the latest international travel advice, visit Smart Traveller.

Interstate travel is possible but people are being asked not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Several Australian states now also prohibit entry, so you may not be able to travel to some states.

Visit the Australian Interstate Quarantine website for the latest information.

From 1 June 2020 travel within Victoria is allowed. More information is outlined on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Reducing exposure, physical distancing and staying healthy

The latest advice from government is that Victorians should stay home, as outlined above. You can take the following steps to reduce your exposure and chances of getting ill with coronavirus:

  • Wash 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 that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover 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.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
  • Stay home if you are sick and don’t expose others. If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms, do not go outside your property or home, do not go to work, school or shops unless it is essential.
  • Get vaccinated for flu (influenza) when available in April. It is not yet known whether coronavirus could significantly increase the risks of influenza infection.
  • Ensure you have enough supply of any medications being taken by you or your family.
  • Stop shaking hands or kissing as a greeting.
  • Avoid crowds if possible. If not, keep the time short.
  • Where possible, consider home delivery and take-aways.
  • To minimise contact, and where possible, use debit and credit cards instead of cash and make use of online and self-serve transactions (for example, Myki top ups).
  • Use public transport in less busy periods if you can, or avoid it altogether if you are vulnerable.
  • Sit in the back of taxis and ride shares
  • Consider whether future travel plans are sensible and necessary.

In addition to the above, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website also contains transmission reduction tips for organisations, workplaces and employers and information on caring for sick family members.

Advice for Creative Victoria funding recipients and applicants

We understand that many plans have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) and this is an anxious and uncertain time. We are being as flexible as possible with our grant recipients - both with grant variations and reporting. Please get in touch to discuss.

Please call your Creative Victoria program manager if your funded activity or funding application is impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) and the public health measures in place, or you have any concerns.

Due to changing circumstances, there may be changes to some of our funding programs. Visit our grants pages for details, or keep informed by subscribing to Creative Victoria eNews.

Further information and resources