Coronavirus update for Victorian readers

March 24, 2020 by J-Wire News Service
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Information for Victorian Jewish Communal Leaders on Coronavirus (COVID-19) published by JCCV.

Infographic of the Coronavirus. Feb 22, 2020. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

Jewish Care Victoria has launched a COVID-19 Helpline to assist and support those in the Victorian Jewish community impacted by the coronavirus.
Social distancing – of at least 2 metres between all people – is critical. Social distancing will save lives.
Where to direct community members for financial assistance.Where to direct community businesses for financial assistance.
Further restrictions on what is permitted to remain open and what must close have been made by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, this includes the closure of all places of worship.
Jewish Day Schools close.
What is open and what is closed in Victoria.
Language support for non-English speakers.
Downloadable resources:

Let’s be clear on COVID-19 (Infographic)
How to Self-Isolate (Infographic)
FACTSHEET: Information on Financial Assistance for Individuals and Families.
FACTSHEET: Information on Financial Assistance for Businesses.
The Victorian Jewish Community COVID-19 Taskforce

This taskforce has been established to provide community leaders and their organisations with context on the information released from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, the Victorian and Australian Governments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The taskforce provides community leaders and their organisations with expert advice to assist you in making informed decisions and the most efficient ways you can support your community members at this time.

Jewish Care Victoria has today launched a COVID-19 Helpline to assist and support those in the Victorian Jewish community impacted by the coronavirus.

The dedicated Helpline number is 03 8517 5555 and is initially operational Monday to Friday between 8:30am – 6:30pm for people who as a result of the coronavirus:

Are experiencing emotional distress and worry,
Are finding themselves socially isolated,
Are experiencing financial hardship, or
Are losing their connection to community and need a helping hand to run errands and collect groceries.
Jewish Care is delighted to be partnering with the Erdi Foundation to assist and support those in the Jewish community of Victoria who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.

For more information on this initiative from Jewish Care click here.

To access information the Jewish Care COVID-19 Helpline click here.

Pekelach Kosher Emergency Relief Packages

Pekelach continues to support the community at this time and can be contacted with respect to kosher food, Shabbat and Yom Tov meals, crisis aid and accomodation. Please visit their website here or SMS 0468 330 613 for their assistance.

C Care $10 Kosher Meals for the Ill, Aged and Vulnerable.

Social Distancing Saves Lives

You should act now to reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Everybody is being asked to take action. Employers, organisations, retail workers and general members of the community are all asked to practice social distancing. These are physical distancing measures that reduce the risk of disease transmission.

The only way to slow this disease down is for all of us to not spread germs. If we don’t, our elderly and those with chronic diseases or pre existing medical conditions are placed at great risk.

Read more on social distancing and other transmission reduction measures here.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services have published an online assessment tool for people to understand their personal circumstances. Designed for those living in or travelling from overseas, please ensure you share this tool with your communities.

You can access the online assessment tool here.

COVID-19 is already creating financial stress and strain on families and businesses

Where to direct community members for financial assistance

Jewish Care’s COVID-19 Helpline can provide assistance to community members impacted by this pandemic.

Their dedicated Helpline is available Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm.

Call 03 8517 5555 or visit them online here.

Centrelink has a range of services available for existing clients and those who do not ordinarily have occasion to be in contact with them.

People already receiving Centrelink payments and/or benefits can find updated information regarding the current situation here.

People who aren’t existing clients of Centrelink may be eligible for support from Centrelink if they are diagnosed with Coronavirus, are directed to self-isolate or quarantine, are unable to work, are required to care for others or are isolated in hospital. Information for these individuals is available here.

Centrelink supported clients stranded overseas

If a person or family cannot return to Australia as planned because of COVID-19, they should call International Services to try and have their Government payments extended. International Services contact details are here.


· Under the Working for Victoria Fund, displaced workers will be eligable to apply for different types of work. This presents opportunities for paid work and an opportunity to contribute to Victoria’s ability to manage this event and support the community. Register your interest here.


· How your bank can help you (PDF)

· Bank and financial institution phone numbers to access hardship provisions (PDF).

· Income support for individuals (PDF).

· Payments to support households (PDF).

· Temporary early release of superannuation (PDF).

· Providing support for retirees (PDF).

Where to direct community businesses for financial assistance

Both the Federal and State Governments have introduced significant stimulus packages to keep business in business and Australian’s in jobs. This includes a range of direct support mechanisms and investment incentives.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce has summarised the available information for businesses on their website here.

Businesses should register for the Victorian Government Economic Survival and Jobs Package here.


· Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses (PDF)

· Cash flow assistance for businesses (PDF)

· Supporting the flow of credit (PDF).

· Delivering support for business investment (PDF).

· Assistance for severely affected regions and sectors (PDF).

· AusTrade COVID-19 Updates for Exporters

· FairWork Australia advice about COVID-19 workplace laws

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry provides resources for businesses and is offering free annual membership up to $700 in value so all Victorian businesses can access its services. Find out more here.

The Australian Taxation Office have established a page for COVID-19 related information. It is important to remember that announcements from Government will only come into effect once the new laws have passed through Parliament, so you can expect this page to be updated frequently in the coming days. View the ATO COVID-19 page here.

Jewish Day Schools are Closed

The Victorian Government has directed that all Government schools close as of tomorrow – Tuesday 24 March 2020, bring forward the school holidays.

All Jewish Day Schools have already advised their parents and families that they have closed. Please reach out to your school directly for information on how classes will resume after the school holidays.

What is open and closed in Victoria


Supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, petrol stations, convenience stores, freight and delivery services, childcare (further information on this expected soon from the Victorian Government), shopping centres, bottle shops, hairdressing salons, beauty salons.

There is no immediate changes to Victorian Public Transport timetables. Further announcements on this from the Victorian Government are expected.


Pubs, clubs, cinemas, casinos, places of worship, nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cafes and restaurants (restricted to takeaway orders only), all schools will shut from Tuesday 24 March 2020 (the decision of when to reopen them will be made at a future date), the AFL season has been suspended, the AFLW season has been cancelled, licensed premises such as hotels are closed although any attached accomodation can continue running, many tourist attractions.

Language support for Non-English speakers

Those within our community for whom English may not be their strongest language may be finding navigating advice on COVID-19 difficult at this time. We have been in touch with the Port Phillip City Council who are having information translated into Russian, Hebrew and Polish in the coming days. We will share these translated documents with you as soon as they become available and thank the City of Port Phillip for their attentiveness and support.

In the interim, please ensure anyone you know who needs some additional language support at this time is aware of the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) which can be called on 131 450 for support in calling health providers or the Coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398.

Download a Fact Sheet on Coronavirus COVID-19 for over 65’s in Polish and Russian here.

The COVID-19 Taskforce FAQ webpage

The Victorian Jewish Community COVID-19 Taskforce FAQ webpage has been updated today. If you have ideas on which additional FAQ to include, please get in touch with us.

View the webpage here.

Where to find more information:

For further information as this dynamic situation continues to evolve, please ensure you keep up-to-date via the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website.

To contact the Taskforce email

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