At the direction of health officer Brett Sutton, authorities in Victoria can enter any home without a warrant or the home owner’s permission and take any action they deem necessary to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Victoria declared an “unprecedented” state of emergency at 12:00pm on Monday in an effort to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to The Guardian: “The state of disaster declaration will empower the police minister, Lisa Neville, to appoint police as authorised officers. This means when doing spot checks on people’s homes, if the residents did not give permission for them to enter, police will be authorised to enter without a warrant.”
ABC News reports: “At the direction of Professor Sutton, health authorities can detain people, search premises without a warrant and force people or areas into lockdown if it is considered necessary to protect public health.”
The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 states that authorities can, close any premises, and “direct a person or group of persons to enter, not to enter, to remain at, or to leave, any particular premises for the period of time reasonably necessary to investigate, eliminate or reduce the risk to public health.”
Authorities may also, “without a warrant, enter any premises and search for and seize anything that is necessary for the purpose of investigating, eliminating or reducing the risk to public health.”
Powers may also be granted to “direct any person to take any other action that the authorised officer considers necessary to eliminate or reduce the risk to public health.”