The Melbourne Buddhist Centre’s Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Updated:  20 March 2020

We will continue to monitor the situation daily and update this document as necessary, based on advice from Victorian Health and Human Services and Australian Government’s Department of Health.

During this time we’ll do everything we can to support you, our Saṅgha, to keep Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels. We want to maintain an environment that is both welcoming & safe by making the following changes. At this stage all meditation drop-in classes are going ahead with the following guidelines.

You must stay away from the Centre if you

  • have a fever, sore throat or respiratory disease.
  • are currently suffering from the flu, or having symptoms.
  • have returned to Australia from overseas in the last fortnight effective from midnight 16 March 2020.
  • have been in contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19 in the last fortnight.

For further information call the Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 675 398 (24 Hours)

We encourage you to consider not attending the MBC

  • If you are over 70 years of age
  • have an existing health condition
  • have a vulnerable immune system

What We’re Doing to Help at the MBC

  • Following the 4 square metre requirement per person for indoor gatherings.
    • Lower Shrineroom: 9 people maximum.
    • Main Shrineroom: 25 people maximum.
    • Downstairs space excluding shrineroom: 28 people maximum
    • Upstairs space excluding shrineroom : 12 people maximum
  • Creating more space at events.
    • Course participants: 8 people maximum
    • Day-retreat participants: 12 people maximum
  • Cancelling the following MBC retreats. Please email us ( if you have booked on any of these retreats and would like to arrange a refund.
    • Easter Retreat, 9-13 April
    • Order/ Mitra Day Retreat with Lokeshvara, 19 April
    • Introduction to Meditation Weekend Retreat, 15-17 May
    • Root Verses of the Bardo Weekend Retreat, 10-12 July
    • Impermanence Day Retreat, 19 July
  • Removing communal hand towels from the toilets, instead providing a hand-dryer & paper towels.
  • Disinfecting door handles & other hard surfaces frequently.
  • Providing soap for hand-washing.
  • Removing the biscuit container from the tea counter.
  • Replacing glasses & mugs with biodegradable, single-use cups.
  • Having one, gloved person serve everyone’s food during shared lunches.

What You Can Do to Help

  • Bring your own drink container (water bottle, Keep Cup, thermos, etc.).
  • Refrain from physical contact, such as hugs or shaking hands.
  • Practice good hygiene by washing hands & covering coughs & sneezes.

If You Need to Stay Home

We strongly encourage you to keep practising & stay in touch with friends. Here are just a few of the many online resources available to you:

What Would the Buddha Do?

The outbreak of COVID-19 is a graphic reminder of the interconnectedness of all life. It is also an opportunity to put the Buddha’s teachings into practice, by responding with kindness, clarity & calm. Please join us in extending metta to all beings, including yourself.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. We look forward to practising with you at the Melbourne Buddhist Centre.