COVID-19 timeline for Australia

Early 2020 - Initial Outbreak and Containment (January - March 2020)

  • The first COVID-19 case in Australia was reported in late January 2020.

Mid-2020 - First Wave and Lockdowns (March - May 2020):

  • Cases started to increase in March, leading to the first wave of the pandemic.
  • In March, several states and territories implemented various restrictions, including lockdowns, border closures, and travel restrictions.
  • Australia recorded its first COVID-19-related death in March.
  • By May, strict lockdown measures had largely contained the spread of the virus.

June-2020 to Dec 2020 - Suppression and Reopening (June - December 2020):

  • Throughout mid-2020, the number of new cases remained low, allowing for a gradual easing of restrictions.
  • Some states and territories maintained strict border controls.
  • A "COVID-normal" approach was adopted, with economic and social activities resuming, though with ongoing precautions.

Jan 2021 – March 2021 Second Wave and Vaccine Rollout 

  • Australia initiated its COVID-19 vaccination program in February 2021, beginning with healthcare workers and vulnerable populations.
  • A second wave hit Victoria in mid-2021, leading to a strict lockdown in Melbourne.

April 2021 to Dec 2021 - Vaccine Expansion and New Variants
 (April - December 2021)

  • April onwards, the vaccination rollout expanded to include the general population.
  • Mid of 2021, the Delta variant posed new challenges, leading to outbreaks in multiple states.
  • Lockdowns and border restrictions were reimposed in response to these outbreaks.
  • September 2021, government announced three stage system for COVID-19 preparedness, vaccination rates rose.
  • By November 2021, easing of restrictions began and International borders opened after nearly 2 years.
  • By December 2021, Omicron variant outbreak began.

Dec 2021 to Jul 2022 – Omicron and COVID-19 booster dose vaccine rollout

  • Omicron outbreak continues, but Australia focussed on managing outbreaks without restrictions. 
  • Booster dose of vaccine rollout began. 
  • Most of the population was vaccinated with at least 2 doses of vaccine.

Jul 2022 - Present 

  • Population getting additional booster doses
  • The situation continued to evolve, with the focus shifting from containment to managing the virus as an endemic disease.
  • Travel restrictions and quarantine requirements were eased as vaccination rates increased.
  • Australia adapted to living with the virus while continuing vaccination and booster efforts.