Government response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Find out how the Australian Government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, who we are working with to limit the spread of the virus in Australia and what you can do to help.

Our aims

The Australian Government’s health response to the COVID-19 outbreak aims to:

  • minimise the number of people becoming infected or sick with COVID-19
  • minimise how sick people become and the mortality rate
  • manage the demand on our health systems
  • help you to manage your own risk and the risk to your family and community

Who manages the response

State and territory governments are mainly responsible for health matters.

When a major health issue like COVID-19 faces our country, they:

  • work together with the Australian Government
  • share information so they can provide the best possible care
  • ensure the response is consistent and integrated across the country
  • The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) makes key decisions and coordinates this response.

The AHPPC is made up of:

  • the Chief Health Officers from each state and territory
  • the Chief Medical Officer
  • representatives from key departments

It meets daily to assess the risk to Australia and recommend public health actions. The AHPPC endorsed the Government’s emergency response plan.

Australia.gov.au

Visit Australia.gov.au to learn more about COVID-19 support from all of government including financial support and advice for businesses and employees, help for education providers, advice on domestic and international travel and other community services.

Our response plan

The Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Short Form outlines how key activities will operate and how the public can support the response. It outlines:   

  • what we know about the disease and the outbreak
  • what sort of risk COVID‐19 represents
  • what the Australian Government health sector will be doing to respond
  • how the Government’s response will affect people
  • what people can do to contribute
  • how people can manage their own risk, the risk to their families and their communities

As we learn more about COVID-19 we are:

  • regularly reviewing our response
  • moving resources into activities that are working well
  • scaling back activities that are not working

The plan focuses on government activities. But many government and private agencies are working together to support the Australian Government response.

Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Short Form

The Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (Short Form) outlines how key activities will operate and how the public can support the response.

What we are doing now

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading through international travel, the Government is:

  • applying travel restrictions 
  • screening travellers who arrive in Australia and ensuring they self-isolate on arrival
  • continuing with border surveillance

The Government is also:

State and territory health authorities are:

  • testing people suspected of having the virus
  • monitoring close contacts of confirmed cases every day
  • imposing travel restrictions between states
  • opening fever clinics

What you can do

Help us stop the spread of the virus by:

Last updated: 
1 April 2020

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