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
  • support work towards a vaccine
  • make a COVID-19 vaccines available to Australians for free.

What we are doing now

The Australian Government has developed and funded a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Government is:

    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.

    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 quarantine on arrival
    • continuing with border surveillance.

    Our response plans

    The Government bases its response on several key plans:

    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.

    The Australian Government has put together a team of widely respected clinicians, led by the Chief Medical Officer, to assist with the COVID-19 response.

    Visit 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.

    What you can do

    You can help us slow the spread of COVID-19 by:

    Last updated: 
    25 January 2021

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