Covid-19 Community Up-date 2/4/20

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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) community update no. 10

Update on visa processing

As Australia’s diplomatic missions overseas work to manage the impact of COVID-19, the Department’s ability to process visa applications for offshore applicants has been severely limited.

Temporary residents in Australia who wish to remain in Australia beyond the expiry date of their current visa must apply for a further visa. Information on staying in Australia beyond their current visa expiry date can be found at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/visa-about-to-expire/stay-longer

Visa holders should explore their visa options to find a new visa that suits their circumstances and check whether they are eligible to apply for it. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder

Domestic and family violence

The Federal Government is aware that this national crisis may lead to some instances of increased domestic and family violence, so will be providing an additional $150 million over the next six months to ensure women and children can continue to access support. Funding will go towards critical frontline services to respond to the anticipated increased demand. This includes supports such as housing and emergency accommodation, crisis services, and perpetrator interventions. It will also support telephone counselling services such as 1800RESPECT and Mensline Australia.

For those who need it, help is available now.

o    1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) and MensLine (1300 789 978) are available 24 hours a day via phone or online

o    Children can talk to the Kids Helpline (1800 551 800)

o    And as always, in the case of an emergency you can contact Triple 0 (000)

Quarantine upon return to Australia

We continue to receive enquiries around the quarantine requirement for incoming international travellers.

To clarify, after arriving in Australia, all travellers will be required to complete their 14 days quarantine in the port of entry; no domestic on-travel is permitted. This is being enforced by State and Territory police, with assistance from the Australian Defence Force.

Please note that following this quarantine, should travellers then need to travel domestically to South Australia, they will be required to undertake a further 14 days of self-isolation immediately after arrival.

TPV/SHEV holders wishing to return to Australia

We have received enquiries in relation to TPV/SHEV visa holders who travelled offshore with the Department’s approval and were outside Australia at the time travel restrictions were imposed.

If TPV/SHEV holders have any questions about their individual travel status, including if they are permitted to return to Australia at this time, they should direct these questions to travel.request@homeaffairs.gov.au before they attempt travel to Australia.

Requests for exemptions to the travel restrictions for TPV/SHEV holders are referred to the ABF Commissioner for consideration of a discretionary exemption regarding their return to Australia. Exemptions are considered on a case by case basis. TPV/SHEV holders granted an exemption allowing them to return to Australia will be directly notified of this outcome in writing by the Department and can re-enter Australia.

Further information about current Exemptions to Travel Restrictions is available on the Department’s website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions#g

 Cessation of refugee resettlement

On 16 March 2020 the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees temporarily suspended resettlement travel for refugees. At this stage, we do not know when this travel will start again.

Subclass 200, 201, 202, 203 and 204 visa holders are considered Permanent Residents and are able to travel to Australia. For Subclass 200, 201, 203 and 204 visa holders the temporary cessation of IOM operations means that travel will only continue for vulnerable/exceptional cases on a case by case basis. Subclass 202 holders may travel to Australia, subject to the availability of flights.  They must arrange their own travel.

On arrival in Australia they will be subject to current quarantine and isolation rules.

Translations of COVID-19 information

We hope to shortly be able to distribute translated infographics (pictures with simple text) to better assist all communities understand some of these key messages.

SA Health has also translated a “Six Simple Steps” poster into 30 languages.

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+topics+a+-+z/covid+2019/community/translated+covid-19+information

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