State of Emergency Declared In Victoria in response to COVID-19 outbreak

  • March 16, 2020

Soon after the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison announced new self-isolation requirements on international arrivals to stop the spread of coronavirus, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has also declared an unprecedented state of emergency in Victoria, effective from Monday, 16 March 12:00pm for four weeks.

According to the Media Release in Premier of Victoria’s official website, under a State of Emergency, Authorised Officers, at the direction of the Chief Health Officer, can act to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health by detaining people, restricting movement, preventing entry to premises, or providing any other direction an AO considers reasonable to protect public health.

Emergency powers have also been invoked in New South Wales to force the immediate cancellation of public events of more than 500 people, with fines of up to $11,000 for those who break the laws.

The state of emergency is different to the state of disaster which was declared during the summer’s bushfire crisis.

Victorian health authorities said 14 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the state overnight.