Police, firefighters and other frontline workers will get access to free accommodation if they need to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan today announced the Victorian Government will expand its Hotels for Heroes program to include even more critical workforces.
Hotels for Heroes provides free accommodation in hotels or apartments for frontline workers who have had exposure to coronavirus or have a positive coronavirus diagnosis and cannot safely self-isolate at home.
The program is already available to clinical and non-clinical hospital staff – including cooks and cleaners – at public and private hospitals that directly engage with patients, as well as frontline paramedics and patient transport staff.
Under the expansion, free hotel and apartment rooms will also be made available to Victoria Police, youth justice, Corrections Victoria, and Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Country Fire Authority firefighters involved in Emergency Medical Response.
Staff working in disability supported independent living, public sector residential aged care, Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations, community-based pharmacy, hospital laboratories, and workers in primary care settings would also be eligible for free accommodation to self-isolate under the expansion.
The expansion will ensure even more of our critical frontline workers can keep their families or housemates safe, without the financial burden of taking on extra rent.
This is particularly important for those who live with other frontline workers or members of vulnerable cohorts – including people over 65, people who are immunosuppressed or have an underlying chronic condition, pregnant women, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.