Victoria’s latest COVID-19 rules, restrictions, and testing guidelines

woman wearing mask

RACV Staff

Posted January 06, 2022


There has been a major change to the way Victorians need to test for COVID-19 and report a positive result, as density requirements for hospitality venues are also reinstated.

Under the new pandemic orders in effect from January 7 2022, those who test positive to COVID-19 via a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), will be considered a ‘probable case’ and will then be required to have a PCR test to confirm. PCR tests are no longer encouraged for close contacts or people with symptoms until after receiving a positive RAT.

Anyone with a positive result from a RAT test is required to notify the Department of Health via an online form or by phone and will be enrolled by a health professional into a care pathway.

Also from January 7, all hospitality and entertainment venues including cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, and gaming venues (but not cinemas or theatres) in Victoria will be required to reinstate a density limit of one person per two square meters.

Masks continue to be a requirement in all indoor settings outside of the home for anyone over the age of eight years old.

The following guidelines are presented in the Victorian Government's roadmap, as outlined on coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

In this article:

Victoria COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines

Victoria COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines

Victoria COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines

Testing advice

Isolation period

I don't have COVID-19 symptoms, am not a close contact

No action required unless travelling or certain medical procedures, see state or country guidelines for details

I have COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive on RAT

PCR test

Isolate and test daily if symptoms persist

I have been diagnosed with COVID-19

No need to continue RAT if PCR is positive

Isolate for 7 days. Can leave isolation after 7 days if symptoms dissipate

I'm a household contact – no symptoms

Advised to take RATs and monitor for symptoms throughout isolation period

Isolate for 7 days

I'm a household contact – have symptoms

PCR test

Isolate for 7 days

Other or casual contact – social, workplace etc. 

Monitor for symptoms, RAT advised

Definition of close and casual contacts

Household and household-like contacts

If you have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation or care facility, you must isolate for seven days. You must also do a RAT or PCR test on day one of your isolation period.

Casual or other contacts

For all other contacts, if you have been in close proximity to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in a social, workplace or education setting, and you have developed symptoms, you can take a PCR or RAT and isolate until you get your result. If you don't have symptoms, it is strongly advised that you use a Rapid Antigen Test every day for five days.

If you receive a positive result on a RAT or PCR, you must isolate for seven days.

 

 


Current restrictions in Victoria

Gatherings

There are no limits to the number of people gathering indoors or outdoors (including the home).

Retail, entertainment, events and hospitality

Retail venues, cinemas and theatres can operate at maximum capacity subject to vaccination and COVIDSafe requirements. 

Hospitality and other entertainment venues can operate with a density limit of 1 person per 2 sqm. 

Major events have resumed, with gatherings above 30,000 people subject to masks rules and COVIDSafe venue plans.

Masks

 Masks must be worn in all indoor settings outside of the home for those over eight years of age. This applies for all industries including retail, hospitality and workplaces, thought masks are not required at the home. 

Masks are also still required in high-risk environments where physical distancing is not possible, such as public transport, hospitals and aged care facilities. 

Workplace

On-site work has returned for the fully vaccinated. Many businesses and services will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or medical exemption for those aged 12 and above, as well as the use of masks in some settings. 

People working indoors will also be required to wear face masks, although workplaces no longer need to be deep cleaned if a COVID-19 case is detected. 

Working from home, when able, is encouraged.

Travel

Victorians can travel to other states and countries on the approved travel list, subject to the rules and conditions of the place they are travelling to.

Travellers from the approved list of countries coming into Victoria must follow quarantine and testing requirements.

 

Victoria's current COVID-19 restrictions

Victoria's COVID-19 roadmap

Victoria's COVID-19 roadmap

94.5% fully vaccinated (12+) | Rules from 11.59 pm 6 January 2022

Leaving home

No restrictions

Masks

Masks required:

 

In all indoor settings outside of the home for those aged eight years and over

 

At major events with more than 30,000 people

 

Recommended where physical distancing is not possible, or if you have COVID symptoms

 

Travel

No restrictions on intrastate or interstate travel

 

Masks required indoors

 

Check COVID restrictions for your destination

 

International travel in alignment with National Plan

Private gatherings

No limit

Public gatherings

No limit

Hospitality

Density limit of one person per two sqm rule applies, vaccination requirements remain

 

Masks required indoors

 

Vaccination requirements do not apply for takeaway-only venues

Weddings

Masks required indoors, subject to hospitality rules, COVIDSafe Plans and mandates

Funerals

Masks required indoors, subject to hospitality rules, COVIDSafe Plans and mandates

Schools, Childcare and Higher Education

Schools and childcare - Open to all ages. Masks required indoors at primary school for staff and visitors, and all students in years 3 and above. Vaccination requirements remain

 

Higher education - Must be fully vaccinated unless the class cannot operate online

Workplace

Some restrictions apply depending on the workplace and industry. Vaccination requirements remain for certain businesses that are only open for fully vaccinated people, or for workers who are required to be vaccinated

 

Advised to work from home when able

 

COVIDSafe plans and check-in requirements apply

Retail

Masks required

Beauty therapy

Mask required, vaccination requirements remain

Religious gatherings

Masks required indoors

Sport & Outdoor

No restrictions, vaccination requirements remain

Entertainment

Masks required indoors, vaccination requirements remain

 

Density limit of one person per two sqm rule applies to indoor entertainment venues (not including cinemas and theatres)

 

Outdoor events with more than 30,000 people attending require a COVIDSafe plan

Hospitals & care facilities

Advised to take a RAT before visiting


Restrictions for high-risk settings remain, even for fully vaccinated persons

 

Masks required indoors, vaccination requirements remain

 

Aged care: Visitors limited to five people per day, including dependents

 

Hospitals: Visits limited to certain circumstances such as end-of-life

Real estate

Masks required indoors


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