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The Australian government has announced measures to support and help protect the community from the impact of the coronavirus.

New measures have been introduced to help stop the spread of the coronavirus which can be dangerous, especially to people who are over 65 years old and those with a pre-existing medical condition. The multicultural community are advised to keep up to date with the latest information through credible sources such as Australia.gov.au.

The Department of Health is encouraging the community to be aware of the following important measures to help protect the community.

Keep your distance
Social distancing has been identified as an important way to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. People should stay at least 1.5 metres away from each other. People should only go out for essential shopping, exercise, going to work or school, or need medical care. The best way to protect yourself is to stay at home as much as possible.

Practising good hygiene is important
You can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus by washing your hands regularly with soap and water for more than 20 seconds and drying your hands, avoid touching your face, and regularly cleaning surfaces with disinfectant.

Travellers
Travellers returning from overseas must quarantine for 14 days in designated facilities such as hotels. This is being enforced by both local police and the Australian Defence Force. This is because the majority of Australia’s infections have been from people being infected overseas. The quarantine applies equally to all travellers regardless of their nationality or country of origin.

Services
Essential businesses, including supermarkets and pharmacies, remain open. Other businesses are closed, including pubs, licensed clubs, hotels, gyms, skate parks, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, beauty salons, play centres and playgrounds, places of worship and other public places.

If you are unwell
People who are sick are advised to contact their doctor. If you are eligible, you are able to use a service called telehealth where a doctor will use a video or phone call to provide you with medical advice. Contact your doctor first to find out if this service is available to you.  

Stay connected
Prioritising our mental wellbeing is an important part of staying healthy. The Government’s Head to Health website (www.headtohealth.gov.au) is the best place to start if you feel like you might need some help coping with anxiety and worry about Coronavirus. Make sure you stay connected to family and friends through phone and online conversations.

Support
The Australian government is also strengthening the health system and the supports available to the community during this challenging time. Evictions from rental property will be put on hold for 6 months, and the government will invest $1.1 billion in emergency food relief, mental health, telehealth services, and domestic violence services in Australia.

More information
As the spread of the coronavirus continues, it is very important to stay informed through credible official sources. Stay up to date via australia.gov.au, call the Coronavirus Helpline at 1800 020 080 or the translating and interpreting service 131 450. There is also a free app available, which provides official information and advice. Search for ‘Coronavirus Australia’ on the apple store or google play.