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COVID-19 latest information

Relaxed teenage boy receiving his COVID vaccination with his dad.

Testimonial: "It's so important for us to have the right information to look after the health and wellbeing of our family." - Parent

COVID-19 latest information

Updated 15/10/2021

Here is the latest information to support your child and family.

On this page:

Speaking up for children and families

ACD is speaking up for the needs of children with disability and their families during COVID-19.

We are calling for:

  • Priority vaccine access for children with disability, their families and early childhood and school staff
  • Prioritise students with disability in the return to school
  • Put ventilation units in specialist schools first
  • Make sure VCAL students can complete their work placements
  • Remove the age restriction for playgrounds

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Summary of restrictions

Metro Melbourne and regions in lockdown

There are only five reasons to leave your home

  1. Essential shopping (15km limit)
  2. Exercise and outdoor social gathering. Up to five fully vaccinated adults plus dependants from two households for four hours per day (15km limit)
  3. Compassionate care, caregiving and medical care (no km limit or curfew)
  4. Authorised work and study with permit (no km limit or curfew)
  5. To get a COVID vaccine

Other important information

  • Children with disability can attend child care, kinder and school if they cannot learn from home
  • Playgrounds are open with no vaccinations
  • Support Workers and others who help care for your child with disability can come to your home OR your child with disability can go to their Support Worker or others for care
  • Single households and single parents can form a bubble with one other person
  • You can leave your home if you are at risk of harm, including family violence. This includes taking a child with disability for a drive to help support complex behaviour that may harm themselves or others
  • Melbourne only – curfew from 9pm to 5am

Masks

  • Masks must be worn indoors and outdoors for everyone aged 12 and older
  • Masks are recommended indoors for primary school-aged children

Regional Victoria

  • Lockdown ended
  • Child care and kinder open
  • Up to 10 people can gather outside
  • Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor pools open
  • Masks indoors and outdoors
  • No visitors to your home
  • Support Workers and others who help care for your child with disability are allowed in your home

For more information

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School, child care and kinder

Return to school plan

  • Specialist schools will follow the same timeline as mainstream schools. Your child will be able to attend school based on what grade they would be in if they were at a mainstream school
  • Children with disability who cannot learn from home can attend child care, kinder or school as needed throughout the return to school plan

Metro Melbourne and regions in lockdown

From Monday 18 October:

  • Prep students at school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Grade 1 and 2 at school Thursday and Friday

From Friday 22 October:

  • Child care and kinder open for children whose parents/carers are fully vaccinated
  • Grade 3 and 4, Year 8 and 9 at school Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Grade 5, 6 and Year 10 at school Thursday and Friday
  • Year 7 and 11 at school full-time
  • Prep – Grade 2 will continue as before

From Friday 5 November:

  • Child care and kinder is open for all
  • ALL students back at school full-time

Regional Victoria (not including regions in lockdown)

From Friday 22 October:

  • All students back at school full-time

Steps you need to take

  • Complete the Student Attendance Form from your child’s centre or school
  • If your child’s centre or school is unclear about who can attend school or turns down your application call the DET Parent and Carer Hotline on 1800 338 663
  • If your child meets the attendance criteria but you have been told they can’t attend, we may be able to help. Call our Support Line on 03 9880 7000 or 1800 654 013 (regional)

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Support for your family

  • Support Workers can come to your home
  • Family members or others who help provide care for your child with disability can come to your home
  • Your child with disability can go to another household (such as a Support Worker or extended family) to receive care
  • Siblings can go to another household for childminding so that you can care for your child with disability
  • You can leave home and take your child for a drive to escape harm, including harm to themselves. This includes taking your child for a drive to help support complex behaviour
  • If you are a single parent with a child under 18 years old you can from a household bubble with another person
  • Hospital visits are permitted for accompanying a birth, for a parent supporting a child or for end of life visits

All of these options are permitted under care and compassionate grounds. You can travel more than 10km for these options and the curfew does not apply.

You do not need a permit. You do not have to carry evidence of your child’s disability, but you may feel more confident if you have a letter from a GP, therapist or a copy of your child’s NDIS Plan.

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NDIS

Support Workers who provide essential caregiving can come to your home or your child can go to the Support Worker.

Most NDIS funded therapists are providing services via telehealth but some continue to offer face-to-face support. Speak with your provider.

You can arrange for Support Workers to come during school hours.

Here is the PPE advice for Disability Support Workers.

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Vaccination and testing

All children 12 and older are eligible for a COVID vaccine.

Children can have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Even if you have booked there are now more vaccines arriving in Victoria and it may be possible to get an earlier appointment. 

You need to book a second vaccine four to six weeks after the first.

When you speak to the Coronavirus hotline or your GP let them know your child is an NDIS participant or has an underlying medical condition and ask for a priority booking.

There are lots of ways to book:

If you or your child have specific disability support needs in accessing the vaccine, email the Disability Liaison Officer DLOcoordinator@dhhs.vic.gov.au

For more information

COVID-19 vaccination social scripts – Amaze
Visual schedules and information in Easy English – Scope
Supporting young people with disability with decision-making when getting consent for a COVID-19 vaccine

Testing

COVID-19 testing is free and available across Victoria.

In-home testing is available for people with disability who cannot get to a testing site. Call the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. If you need a translator, call the hotline and press zero when prompted.

If you or your child have disability support needs in accessing COVID testing, email the Disability Liaison Officer DLOcoordinator@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

For more information

Getting a test – Easy Read
Getting a COVID test video from the Royal Children’s Hospital

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Looking after yourself

Support is available over the phone and online:

Parentline 13 22 89
LifeLine 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
1800Respect 1800 737 732
Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre 1800 015 188

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Easy English and stories to share

COVID-19 vaccination – Easy Read
Information for people with disability and carers – Easy English
I am going back to school story (PDF)
I am going back to school story (DOCX)
Wearing a mask story

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Read more ACD information and resources.