COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker

Keep Civic Space Healthy

This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws. For information about our methodology, click here.

For more information and analysis by region, click here.

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The COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker is a collaborative effort by the ICNL, ECNL, and our global network of partners, with generous research support from the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin. This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at adeblock@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.


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Australia

Emergency Management Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Act

The act amends Western Australia's Emergency Management Act of 2005, allowing the government to install surveillance devices in homes and direct people to wear monitoring devices, in order to ensure that those required to isolate during the coronavirus crisis do not interact with the community. Persons who fail to comply are subject to a $12,000 fine or up to a year of imprisonment.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 3 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Privacy

Type: law

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Australia

State of Disaster Lockdown Order

On August 2, the Premier of Victoria announced a State of Disaster in regional Victoria. Movement restrictions were imposed on the region, prohibiting residents from leaving their homes for any reason other than shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise, work and study that could not be done from home, or personal safety. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Aug 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Australia

Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020

The order by New South Wales requires individuals to stay in their place of residence absence a reasonable excuse, and prohibits public gatherings of more than two people. Exceptions include gatherings of members of the same household, and gatherings essential for work or education.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Australia

Direction under Section 16 of the Public Health Act 1997

The order declares a "state of emergency" in Tasmania and among other things prohibits all gatherings of three or more people, with limited exceptions, in order to combat the spread of Covid-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 30 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Declaration 2020

The Governor-General declares a "human biosecurity emergency," on account of the coronavirus. The declaration gives the Minister for Health expansive powers to issue directions and set requirements in order to combat the outbreak. The declaration was issued under Article 475 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, the first time these powers under the Act have been used.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 18 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

State of Emergency

The Premier and Minister of Health declare a 4-week "state of emergency" in the state of Victoria, to combat Covid-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 16 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

State of Emergency

The Minister of Emergency Services declares a "state of emergency" in Western Australia, on account of Covid-19.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

Emergency Management (Gatherings) (COVID-19) Direction 2020

The order by South Australia's government prohibits gatherings of more than 10 persons, or fewer than 10 if social distance is not maintained. The prohibition applies to public and private, indoor and outdoor spaces, and includes limited exceptions for essential businesses and health care facilities, among others.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 2 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Australia

State of Public Health Emergency

The Premier of Queensland declares a "public health emergency."

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 29 Jan 2020

Issue(s): Emergency

Type: order

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Australia

Military Enforcement of State of Disaster

The premier announced that military personnel would be deployed to enforce the curfew and that breaches of curfew could be punished with fines of up to 20,000 Australian dollars (US $14,250). 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 4 Aug 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement, Militarization

Type: practice

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This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at adeblock@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.