Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

We can all help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.

To protect others you must:

If you have a confirmed case, you must isolate yourself to stop the virus spreading to other people.

Please contact us should you change your email address or mobile number. Your contact details will enable us to provide you with current news via email and/or text. The Public Health Unit are here to assist and can be contacted on 9932 1504 or email publichealth@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au

The Public Health Unit continues to closely monitor the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) based on the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the lead Victorian agency dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. Visit the DHHS website.  

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that usually cause respiratory illness. They include viruses that cause the common cold and more serious illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Can the virus be transmitted through food?

Previous experience with outbreaks of illness due to MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and other respiratory viruses (e.g. avian influenza) suggest that novel coronavirus may have been transmitted from animals to humans.

Transmission through food is unlikely and there is no evidence of this occurring with novel coronavirus to date, however investigations into how the virus spreads are continuing.

General food safety advice

Everyone should practise good hygiene when preparing and handling food.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, they include:

  • washing hands between handling raw and cooked foods
  • thorough cooking and proper handling of meat products
  • covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing

Good hygiene and sanitation are important to avoid cross contamination between raw or undercooked foods and cooked or ready to eat foods in the kitchen.

As an added precaution, if you have suspected symptoms of respiratory illness you should avoid preparing food for other people and seek medical attention.

From 16 March 2020 the Public Health Unit will be conducting inspections and site visits by appointments.

View our COVID-19 Food Premises Information Sheet here(PDF, 687KB) .   

More information:

From 1 June, cafes, restaurants and the dining areas of pub and clubs may reopen with up to 20 patrons indoors.

All venues need to:

  • abide by existing physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metre
  • tables will need to be spaced at least 1.5 metres apart
  • venues will be required to take the contact details of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing
  • abide by other safety requirements including extra cleaning
  • staff should not work when unwell

To assist food businesses to prepare and safely resume operations the Public Health Unit have developed a guide(PDF, 664KB) and self- assessment checklist.(PDF, 664KB)  COVID-19 Certificate of Assessments will be issued upon the completion of the checklist for display in windows.

Useful resource material 

More information:

From 1 June, the following beauty and personal care service businesses will be allowed to reopen:

  • beauty therapy
  • tanning
  • waxing
  • nail salons
  • spas
  • tattooing and piercing
  • non-therapeutic massage

Venues may open with up to 20 patrons but must:

  • abide by existing physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metre for publicly accessible parts of the premises
  • a distance of 1.5 metre should be maintained between customers
  • venues will be required to take the contact details of each visitor who has attended the premises (staff, patrons, maintenance and delivery workers) to assist with contact tracing should it be required
  • abide by other safety requirements such as increased cleaning and disinfection

To assist beauty and personal care service businesses prepare and safely resume operations the Public Health Unit have developed a self-assessment checklist(PDF, 271KB) and information sheet(PDF, 473KB). COVID-19 Certificate of Assessments will be issued upon completion of this checklist should businesses wish to display in their windows.    

 For further information:

  • The Business Victoria website: