This page is designed to provide older Canberrans with information regarding COVID and is based on the latest advice from the Australian and ACT Governments.
This page was last updated on Thursday 2 September.
Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT office
During the ACT lockdown, the COTA ACT office will be closed. However, staff are available to assist you with any issue between 9am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Contact us on 6282 3777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions regarding your Seniors Card or any other services that we manage, please call our office on 6282 3777 or email@example.com.
Getting vaccinated for COVID
For information about how the COVID vaccine will be rolled out, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
For information on how the vaccine will be rolled out across Canberra, visit the ACT Government Health website.
ACT Government COVID safe check in app – Check In CBR
The Check In CBR app is a contactless, secure and convenient way for people to sign into a Canberra venue.
The Check In CBR is mandatory for all retail settings, including supermarkets, department stores, petrol stations, take away services, other retail settings, public transport and taxi, hire car and ride share transport services and restricted businesses, venues and events.
You must check in at all of these locations regardless of how long you are planning to stay on the premises.
Anyone who is 16 years or older must check in, including staff.
COTA ACT has developed a flowchart designed to assist seniors with using the ACT Government’s COVID safe check in app. Please visit our Get IT program page on this website to view the chart. If you would like assistance with using the Check In CBR, contact the COTA ACT office on 6282 3777.
Face mask requirements
Wearing face masks became mandatory in the ACT from 5:00pm Thursday 12 August 2021. Everyone aged 12 years and over must wear a face mask at all times when leaving home, including in workplaces.
A person is not required to wear a face mask if they have a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, which makes wearing a face mask detrimental to their condition.
Read more about where face masks are required and what classifies as a face mask on the ACT Government COVID-19 website.
Advice for at risk groups
Senior Canberrans are classified as an ‘at risk group’. The Act Government has advice for people in the ‘at risk group’ category on the Department of Health website. For more information visit the Protect yourself web page.
The latest updates are available on the ACT Health COVID-19 website.
Questions about COVID-19
The ACT Government has established a helpline to assist the community through the challenges of COVID-19. The Helpline is to help the community stay informed and to access services related to COVID-19, including for businesses.
The Helpline operates on 02 6207 7244 between 8am and 8pm daily. Please remember that the Helpline deals with a large volume of calls, so there may be a wait for your call to be answered. Please be patient and think about using the callback function which will allow someone from the Helpline to return your call so you don’t have to wait on the phone.
For health questions, including information on symptoms, call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222.
The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line can provide information about how older Australians and carers can stay healthy and safe during the pandemic, call – 1800 171 866. This support line is run by the Federal Department of Health.
Assistance with food and meals for older Australians impacted by COVID
If you are experiencing hardship and cannot afford to feed your family or yourself during the lockdown in the ACT you can request a food and essential item delivery to your front door for free. To place an order for emergency food and essential items and to find out what items are available call VolunteeringACT on 1800 43 11 33, open Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.
If you are not in quarantine or isolation, and can go to a supermarket to shop, you can do so under the lockdown rules. Try to shop in your local region, and get in and out as quickly as possible.
If you need to order home delivery, there is a range of options to consider through other grocers and independent supermarkets as well as the major supermarkets. The ACT Government has collated information on a number of businesses providing delivery. Find out more on the ACT Health COVID-19 website.
If you are a senior, you may be eligible for Priority Assistance through Woolworths, with designated home delivery time slots. Click here to register for Woolworths Priority Assistance.
ACT Government COVID-19 website
Updated information – The ACT Government is continually updating their COVID website. For more information visit the ACT Government COVID-19 website.
Phone helpline – The ACT Government has established a helpline to assist the Canberra community through the challengers of COVID. Phone – 6207 7244 (8am and 8pm daily) or visit the contact us web page.
Access Canberra – To assist seniors and those that may not have access to online services, Access Canberra have introduced a dedicated quiet period between 9am – 11am to support vulnerable Canberrans including seniors and those with English as a second language. For more information visit the Access Canberra website.
Australian Government Department of Health website
Updated information – The Australian Government Department of Health also continually updating information about COVID on their website. For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
COVID and older Australians fact sheets – The Australian Government has a fact sheet specifically designed for older Australians. To access this fact sheet, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for older Australians web page.
Telehealth factsheet – To provide continued access to essential primary health services during the COVID pandemic, the Australian Government has expanded Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians and is providing extra incentives to general practitioners and other health practitioners. For more information visit the Telehealth web page.
Important phone numbers – You can call the Coronavirus health information line on 1800 020 080 If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000).
English as a second language
The ACT Government has developed a COVID information web page in seventeen languages other than English to support Canberrans who speak a language other than English. For more information, visit their translated resources web page.
Advice for aged care facilities
For information or support regarding aged care please call the Older Person’s Advocacy Network (OPAN) on 1800 700 600 or visit opan.com.au
The Australian Government Department of Health has a number of resources for older Canberrans and aged care facilities regarding COVID-19.
Isolation and mental health during COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID has impacted people in varying ways. It is understandable that during times like this, people may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and or overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus.
Lifeline – The Lifeline website is a great resource and includes information on how to look after your mental health during these uncertain times. There are some excellent wellbeing tips and strategies for yourself and others you might be caring for during this pandemic. For more information, visit the Lifeline website or phone 13 11 14.
Beyond Blue – Beyond Blue regularly update their website with information, advice and strategies to help manage well-being and mental health during this uncertain time. For more information, visit the Beyond Blue website or phone 1800 512 348.
Keep us informed of how you’re going
The staff at Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT are keen to understand how you are going and if you are receiving the information and support you need. We are committed to supporting you however we can and keeping you informed as the COVID-19 pandemic develops. Please let us know if there is some information or resources you would like to share on this web page. We are also keen to seek your feedback on how you're experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact the virus is having on your life. We want to be sure you are not alone during this pandemic. We are keen to put you in touch with the organisations that can support you. Send us a message anytime or call 6282 3777.