Australian COVID-19 Pandemic Timeline 2020 .. 2021 ---------------------------------------------------------


China informs the World Health Organization of a mysterious pneumonia cluster linked to a fish market in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province.


Sydney airport starts screening passengers arriving from Wuhan


University of Queensland starts working on finding a vaccine


First recorded new coronavirus case in Australia - a Victorian man in his 50s, then three confirmed cases in NSW, also returned travellers from Wuhan

Australia says "do not travel" to China


Close to 3,000 confirmed new coronavirus cases over 12 countries - China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, USA, Canada and France

Australia has 6 cases with nil deaths


A Chinese man tests positive for the virus on the Gold Coast, and is Queensland’s first confirmed case. At this stage there are four confirmed coronavirus cases in NSW and two in Victoria


Melbourne's Peter Doherty institute becomes the first to recreate the virus in laboratory conditions

Queensland declares a public health emergency as the Chinese women's soccer team is put into hotel quarantine in Brisbane


A 42-year-old Chinese woman becomes Queensland’s second case


WHO declares the virus outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern"


Government imposes a travel ban on foreign arrivals from mainland China


Australians evacuated from Wuhan and quarantined on Christmas Island for 14 days


Two Australians contract the new coronavirus on the cruise ship Diamond Princess quarantined off Japan

Australia announces a 14 day ban for non-citizens arriving from China, ban extended further on 20 February


Emergency laws rushed through Parliament give Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young powers to put people into quarantine against their will and force others to be tested


Australia: 15 cases notified, 0 deaths. Globally: 34,886 cases, 721 deaths


Global cases exceed 43,000 with death toll over 1,000 people

Australia has 13 cases with nil deaths

The World Health Organisation announces the coronavirus strain will be named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes will be COVID-19


WHO offically names the new coronavirus as COVID-19: CO(rona)VI(rus)D(isease)(of 20)19


Prime Minister Scott Morrison declares a Pandemic, activating Australia’s Emergency Health Response Plan


US stock markets at their highest point (Dow Jones at 29,348 points; S&P at 3,386 points; Nasdaq at 9,817 points)


Australian stock market hits a record high at 7,162 points


US stock market falls 3.4%, the worst single day in two years, and marks the start of US stock market decline


Australia's first COVID-19 fatality, a man who had been on the Diamond Princess cruise ship


RBA slashes cash rate to record low of 0.5%

Australian supermarket panic buying begins in earnest around this time

There have been 29,020 confirmed cases in Australia and, 909 people have died. More than 14.5 million tests have been undertaken in Australia


Australia: 71 notified cases, 2 deaths. Globally: 101,927 cases, 3,486 deaths

Australian Government bans all international travel 


WHO declares COVID-19 a global pandemic


Stock markets worldwide suffer greatest single day fall since stock market crash in 1987

Australian Government announces first round of business financial assistance - $17.6 billion (increasing instant asset write off threshold; cash boost by way of reduction in amounts of PAYG withholding tax to pay to ATO; wage subsidies for apprentices and trainees; increased payments for welfare recipients)


Australia: 295 cases notified, 3 deaths. Globally: 142,539 cases, 5,393 deaths

Australian Government bans gatherings of more than 500 people

Health authorities confirm Queensland's first COVID-19 death, a 77-year-old woman from the Sunshine Coast who died after falling ill on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney


People arriving in Australia from overseas must self isolate for 14 days and we are told to start implementing stricter social distancing rules

Australian stock market plunges 9.7% (at 5,002 points), its largest one day fall since the 1987 stock market crash, losing $165 billion in value, and 30% down on its peak of 20 February 2020 (at 7,162 points) and at its lowest point so far

Non-essential static gatherings of more than 500 people banned

Australian supermarkets impose purchasing limits on staple items


Australian Government bans indoor gatherings of more than 100 people

International airline travel ceases and domestic airline travel plummets 


Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin supend all international flights and Qantas stands down 20,000 employees

RBA slashes cash rate to record low of 0.25%

The infamous Ruby Princess cruise ship docks in Sydney Harbour. The NSW government assesses the ship as “low risk” despite more than 100 passengers presenting with acute respiratory symptoms. The ship spawns 900 COVID-cases and 22 people die

Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin announce the suspension of all international flights while the former stands down 20,000 workers


Global cases of COVID-19 surpass 234,000 with 9,800 deaths

Australia has 875 cases with 7 deaths

Social distancing guidelines are issued, requiring four square metres per person in indoor spaces

Australia bans non-citizens and non-residents from entering Australia while incoming citizens/residents must self quarantine for 14 days


Qld, WA, NT Tas and SA close borders to non-essential travellers. Confirmed Australian cases of coronavirus balloon to more than 1000

Australia’s coronavirus death toll rises to seven


Government unveils a second economic support package of $66 billion, expanding unemployment payments, allowing early access to superannuation and helping businesses with cash flow. The package brings the total value of emergency economic measures to $189 billion

Australian Government announces greater leniency for insolvency and bankruptcy as well as temporary relief for directors trading whilst insolvent

An additional 97 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in NSW, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in NSW to 533


Australia starts to lock down - bars, clubs, cinemas, places of worship, casinos and gyms are closed; schools start to close. Restaurants/Cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery

Around this time marks the peak of the growth of new daily cases in Australia

US stock markets at their lowest point so far (Dow Jones at 18,592 points; S&P at 2,237 points; Nasdaq at 6,861 points) - down more than 30% since 19 February 2020


Guests are banned from weddings and no more than 10 mourners can attend funerals. State government unveils $4 billion rescue package.

National restrictions come into force. Australians must stay home unless they're going out for an 'essential' purpose.

The number of confirmed cases from the Ruby Princess rises to 133, with a woman in her 70s who was on the ship dies ibn Sydney

Queensland border road closures and police checks on major highways, advice at departure point that all travellers to Qld will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, police and other officers at arrivals gates, and termination of rail services.

Virgin Australia stands down about 8000 of its 10,000 workers


Global cases of COVID-19 surpass 410,000 with almost 19,000 deaths

Australia has 2,432 cases with 9 deaths

Australia closes its borders. Ban on Australian's from travelling overseas


Australia locks down some more - restaurants, cafes, food courts, auction houses are closed; open house inspections banned; weddings restricted to 5 people in total; funerals to 10 people

Queensland closes its borders for the first time in 100 years.

Thousands of Australians are stranded on cruise ships overseas


Many shops in Australia close their doors and stand down staff and so begins a sudden and swift mass growth of the unemployed numbers


Australian Government announces six month moratorium on rental evictions

Australian Government urges Australians to stay at home other than for food shopping, medical or care needs, exercise or work/education that cannot be done at home

Australia – along with one-third of the world’s population, is officially in lockdown

Australian Government states that no more than two people may be together in public


Australian Government announces third round of business financial assistance - $130 billion (wage subsidies in the form of Jobkeeper payments backdated to 1 March)


More than one third of the world's population is under some type of lockdown


Global cases of COVID-19 surpass 820,000 with 40,500 deaths

Australia has 4,864 cases with 21 deaths, but growth rate of new cases reducing significantly


Des Williams becomes the fourth Queenslander to die while infected with the virus after disembarking the Ruby Princess

Australian Government announces that childcare will be free for essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis

Australian supermarkets increase in store social distancing measures


Australia: 5,805 confirmed cases, 33 deaths. Globally: 1,133,758 cases, 62,784 deaths

Ruby Princess outbreak claims another life. A 78-year-old man dies in Prince Charles Hospital and is Queensland’s fifth COVID victim


Australian Government announces mandatory code for commercial tenancies

Modelling reveals 30,000 Queenslanders would have died from COVID-19 if strict distancing laws were not introduced


Jobkeeper Scheme passed by Parliament. The tax office will give businesses with a 30% fall in turnover due to coronavirus $1500 for each worker a fortnight, with payments to reach employers in the first week of May


Global cases of COVID-19 surpass 1 million with close to 100,000 deaths

Australia has 6,203 cases with 53 deaths


Coronavirus cases around the world surpasses 2 million


Global cases of COVID-19  around 2.5 million with around 176,000 deaths

Australia has 6,661 cases with 75 deaths


Australian Government declares that relaxation of restrictions will be examined on 11 May 2020

USA expects to reduce restrictions and reopen the economy in May 2020


Global cases of COVID-19  around 3.1 million with almost 218,000 deaths

Australia has 6,762 cases with 92 deaths as of 6am on 1 May 2020


600,000 Australians have lost their jobs, spending at cinemas has fallen by 98.5%, online gambling has increased by 20%, sales of tinned foods increased by 50% in March, spending on rail transport decreased by 80% in month of April, national road toll dropped by 12.5% in first three months of 2020, data flowing through NBN system has increased by 101%


Australia: 6,971 notified cases, 98 deaths. Globally: 3,917,366 cases, 274,361 deaths

NSW Government announced that from 15 May: gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted outdoors, in cafes and restaurants, or in places of worship; up to 5 visitors may gather in a household; weddings up to 10 guests, indoor funerals to 20 mourners and outdoor funerals to 30


Public transport restrictions: 12 people on a bus, 32 people in a train carriage, 245 on a Freshwater Ferry. Cruise ships will be barred from entering Australian waters until at least September. Cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time, including children


Global coronavirus tally surges past 7 million infections and 400,000 deaths


House parties, nightclubs, casinos and concerts are back. One-hundred people allowed to gather indoors and event attendance can swell to 10,000 people if venues have a COVID-safe plan


Australia: 8,566 notified cases, 106 deaths. Globally: 11,125,245 cases, 528,204 deaths>

Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire re-enter lockdown for at least 6 weeks

Queensland’s border reopens to all but travellers from Victoria, where hundreds of new cases are being reported each day. Australia halves international arrivals and launches hotel quarantine inquiry. The cut in international arrivals will see 4,000 fewer people come to Australia each week

From 11.59 pm on Wednesday (22 July), masks will be made compulsory for people who leave their homes in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire New South Wales intoduces legislation for all persons to Self-quarantine for 14 days following travel outside of Austalia


Victoria intoduces legislation for all persons to Self-quarantine for 14 days following travel outside of Australia


All of greater Sydney declared a hotspot. A pair of travellers test positive for COVID-19 after travelling from Melbourne and avoiding mandatory quarantine. Queensland has gone three months without community transmission


Queensland has the highest unemployment rate in Australia, at 8.8 per cent, with 234,800 Queenslanders now unemployed


Australia: 18,367 notified cases, 240 deaths. Globally: 17,660,523 cases, 680,894 deaths

Victoria enters Stage 4 Lockdown. 8pm - 5am curfew

Non-essential businesses to close in Victoria


Returning Queenslanders must now arrive only by air and spend 14 days in hotel quarantine at their own expense, with the state closing its border with NSW overnight


Wearing face masks outside the home is mandatory in Melbourne


Treasurer Cameron Dick reveals the $234 million budget surplus forecast for the financial year has turned into an $8.1 billion deficit


After 250 days, Queensland border wall is taken down. Travellers from NSW and Victoria are permitted back into the state


Queensland blocks the arrival of anyone from greater Sydney

The virus continues to spread across the world, with more than 81 million confirmed cases in 190 countries and over 1.7 million deaths


A cleaner at one of Queensland’s quarantine hotels tests positive to the highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19 – the first case of local transmission in the state for almost four months

Brisbane goes into a three-day lockdown


Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is provisionally approved for Australian use

Australia: 28,811 notified Covid-19 cases, 909 deaths