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clock iconPosted Friday, 17 September 2021

COVID-19 Restrictions: Guidance for Complementary Therapists in Australia & New Zealand

By Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

Regular updates on how to move forward in response to COVID-19 can be found on this page for complementary therapists in Australia and New Zealand.

Please note the information contained on this page is general in nature and does not contain professional IICT advice or recommendations, nor does it take into account your personal situation.

You must follow guidance from the government of the country you practise in:

Australia: We recommend that you visit www.australia.gov.au to stay up to date with the latest news, updates and advice from the Australian Government. If you require further information, seek professional advice from the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is operated by the Australian Government. 

New Zealand: We recommend that you visit www.covid19.govt.nz for the latest alert levels, updates, resources and support from the New Zealand Government. 

 

9th September 2021

ACT Lockdown Extension

From 11:59pm Friday 17 September 2021, the current lockdown in the ACT will be extended for a further four weeks, until 11:59pm Friday 15 October 2021.

Essential reasons you can leave your home during this lockdown include:

  • to buy essential groceries and medicine
  • to access essential healthcare including in-home care
  • for essential work
  • to exercise outdoors for two hours per day in your region
  • to get a COVID-19 test
  • to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Residents are encouraged to buy only what they need, maintain social distancing and be considerate. Anyone aged 12 years and over must wear a mask at all times upon leaving home. For some people this is not possible. 

For all current restrictions please see visit the ACT Government website.

 

9th September 2021

Lockdown Lifted In Parts of Regional NSW

Parts of regional NSW currently deemed low risk and which have seen zero COVID cases for at least 14 days will emerge from lockdown at 12:01am Saturday 11 September, but will continue to operate under restrictions to ensure the safety of regional communities.

Local Government Areas (LGAs) still seeing COVID case numbers will continue to follow stay-at-home orders and will be monitored by NSW Health with updates provided as circumstances develop.

Please click here to read the media release from the NSW Deputy Premier, which includes information about the new  restrictions and a map indicating the LGAs where stay-at-home orders will be lifted and the LGA's where stay-at-home orders will remain in place.

 

8th September 2021

Update to Restrictions for Regional/Rural Victoria

Following the Premier’s announcement regarding revised public health directions for regional/rural Victoria (with the exception of Greater Shepparton) effective as of 11.59pm Thursday 9 September, please note below updated restrictions for allied health private practice and community workforces;

Allied Health Intervention –Private Practice Settings

Regional Victoria

  • Individual face to face services for essential care - only if care/service is not able to be provided via telehealth
  • Group face to face interventions not permitted
  • No restrictions on care/service types provided via telehealth

Metro Melbourne 

  • Individual face to face services for urgent critical care - only if care/service is not able to be provided via telehealth
  • Group face to face interventions not permitted
  • No restrictions on care/service types provided via telehealth

Group Interventions (Regional Victoria and Metro Melbourne) - Group face to face interventions not permitted

Face Coverings (Regional Victoria and Metro Melbourne)

  • Must be carried at all times
  • Must be worn indoors except if at home, or if an exemption applies
  • Must be worn outdoors

Density Quotient (Regional Victoria and Metro Melbourne) - Applies to all venues and spaces that are accessible to the public (and in closed workplaces, to shared spaces such as lunchrooms) – 1 to 4m2

QR Codes (Regional Victoria and Metro Melbourne)

  • All businesses and workplaces must ensure all workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service; https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/about-victorian-government-qr-code-service
  • Exemptions to the use of QR codes cited for support groups and health services related to confidentiality are very much focused on significant risk issues (eg. family violence services), and will not apply to the majority of Allied Health services

To summarise, there is no change to current restrictions for Allied Health practitioners in metro Melbourne. 

Allied Health practitioners  in regional Victoria (excluding Greater Shepparton) may return to face to face essential clinical care (excluding group interventions).

For this purpose, essential clinical care is defined as care/services:

  • to prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence which would result in an escalation of care needs (e.g. an increase in frequency of treatment needed, an increased need for prescription medication due to a significant increase in pain, requirement for specialist input or review, an increase in care needs, and/or a substantial increase to anticipated recovery time associated with a delay in receiving services)
  • to provide assessment and diagnostic services to clients / patients whose care have been delayed as a result of previous restrictions, with any further delay likely to result in deterioration in functional independence or adverse health outcomes (including access to diagnostic imaging services or assessment for prescription of assistive equipment and technology)
  • to provide services that are essential as part of a broader plan of care with a medical practitioner (e.g. fitting a brace post-surgery)
  • to provide services that are part of a conservative management plan to avoid or delay elective surgery (as agreed with treating team)
  • to provide services immediately following elective surgery that prevent secondary complications or aid functional recovery (as agreed with treating team).

If you are looking for more Coronavirus information or support, please phone 1800 675 398 for general enquiries regarding the pandemic, or visit the Victorian Government website.


7th September 2021

New Zealand Current Alert Levels 

  • The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm Tuesday 7 September. 

Guidance for Alert Level 2:

  • At Alert Level 2, there are no restrictions on who can be included in your household bubble.
  • You can go to work, and all businesses and services can open but legally must follow public health rules.
  • Early learning services, schools, kura and tertiary education facilities are open to everyone.
  • Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe.

Wear A Face Covering

You are encouraged to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distance from others. If you are around people you do not know, it is a good idea to wear a mask. 

In some situations, you legally must wear a face covering if you are aged 12 or over. For example on public transport, inside retail businesses and public venues. Get more information here about Face covering advice and requirements.

Work and Business 

Businesses can open at Alert Level 2, but they legally must follow public health rules, including record keeping. All workers should keep at least 1 metre apart, where possible. Some workers legally must wear a face covering. Get more information here about How to do business at Alert Level 2.

If you are looking for more Covid-19 information or support, please contact COVID-19 business helpline 0800 500 362 for North Island, or 0800 50 50 96 for South Island or visit the NZ Government website.

 

1st September 2021

Victoria Lockdown to Continue

Due to the ongoing level of community transmission and the continued number of unlinked cases popping up across the state, Victoria’s lockdown will be extended.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that almost all of the current lockdown restrictions will remain in place until 70% of Victorians have had at least one dose of vaccine. This is estimated to be around 23 September.

Until then there will still be only five reasons to leave home: shopping for food and supplies, authorised work and study, care and caregiving, exercise, and getting vaccinated. Other restrictions – including mask wearing – will stay the same.

However, from 11.59pm on Thursday 2 September, playgrounds will re-open – with strict rules to keep everyone safe. Playgrounds will be for children under 12 with only one parent or carer, and adults should not remove their masks to eat or drink. Playgrounds will also have QR codes for checking in.

For further information, please click on the Premier's Statement and Table of Restrictions and COVIDSafe Settings for Victoria.



31st August 2021

New Zealand Alert Levels and Updates

All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 4 until 11:59pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021.

  • From 11:59pm on Tuesday 31 August, areas south of Auckland will move to Alert Level 3.
  • Northland will remain at Alert Level 4 until at least 11:59pm on Thursday 2 September.
  • Auckland will remain at Alert Level 4 for at least another 2 weeks, with a review on Monday 13 September.

Guidance for Alert Level 4: Everyone must stay home in their bubble. You can only leave home for essential personal movement, like to:

1. shop for groceries
2. access necessary healthcare
3. get a COVID-19 test or vaccination
4. exercise in your local area
5. go to work if you are an Alert Level 4 worker and you cannot work from home.
6. Only make physical contact with those in your household bubble.

Work and business: Only certain businesses may remain open to the public at Alert Level 4.

Some other businesses and services can operate at Alert Level 4 without customers on their premises. If a business is not sure if it provides Alert Level 4 services or products, it should close. 

If you are a business or worker in a non-Alert-Level-4 business, you may still work — as long as this is from home. If you cannot work remotely, you must stay home.

Please click on the topics below for more information:

Guidance for Alert Level 3:

  • Everyone should work from home if they can. Children and young people should learn from home. You legally must stay within your household bubble whenever you are not at work or school. 
  • Keep your bubble as small as possible. If you need to, you can expand it to bring in close family, isolated people or caregivers.
  • Even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow the rules to keep everyone safe.

Work and business: At Alert Level 3, there are restrictions to keep workers safe, limit interaction with customers and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Everyone should work from home if they can. Businesses that require close physical contact cannot open. 

All other businesses can operate, but with restrictions. This includes physical distancing, having extra hygiene measures and contactless options for ordering, pick-up, delivery and payment.

Please click on the topics below for more information:

 

26th August 2021

Stay-at-home orders for regional NSW extended

Stay-at-home orders for regional and rural NSW are extended until at least 11:59pm on 10 September, in line with existing orders for the Greater Sydney area.

For more information about the extension, please visit the NSW Government website.

 

21st August 2021

Regional Victoria Lockdown

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that all metropolitan Melbourne restrictions – except for the curfew – will be implemented across regional Victoria until 11.59pm, Thursday 2 September 2021.

This means that in regional Victoria there will be only five reasons to leave your home: to get the food and the supplies you need, to exercise for up to two hours no more than 5km from your home, for care or caregiving, authorised work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.

Face masks will still be mandatory outdoors and indoors (not at home) unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools. To give industry time to adjust, workforce permits will be required to leave the house for authorised work from 11.59pm Monday 23 August. 

Playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment will be closed. Masks will also not be able to be removed to drink alcoholic beverages. Exercise will be limited to just one other person, plus dependants if they can’t be left at home. And more than ever, it’s so important people do not have visitors to the home.

Please click the following links for more information: Premier's Statement and Table of Restrictions and COVIDSafe Settings for Victoria.

 

20th August 2021

Extended lockdown in Greater Sydney 

The current lockdown in Greater Sydney will be extended until the end of September, and new rules will apply for local government areas of concern. Please click on the following links for more information:

 

16th August 2021

Extended Melbourne Lockdown

Following the Premier’s announcement regarding revised public health directions for metro Melbourne effective as of 16 August 2021 11.59 pm, please take note of the requirements for authorised allied health workforces;

  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as authorised workers in hospitals, in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or
  • Allied health professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing urgent clinical care Note: face to face appointments should only occur for urgent clinical care that cannot be deferred - routine face to face care is not permitted but may be provided via Telehealth; or
  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options;
  • Medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health students on placement providing authorised care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth.

The definition of urgent clinical care for this purpose is:. 

Direct clinical care (and other clinical support activity necessary to support direct clinical care) that prevents a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care OR is required as an adjunct to other urgent medical/surgical interventions 

For example, urgent clinical care;

  • that avoids a potential hospital admission or emergency department presentation
  • that avoids serious acute consequences or acute deterioration
  • that prevents/delays the need for further specialist medical or surgical intervention
  • that prevents an increase in care needs that would necessitate additional carer supports or change in accommodation needs
  • that limits secondary complications post surgery
  • where deferral would lead to long term adverse consequences (ie. delays to child development)

Face-to-face group interventions are not permitted in metro Melbourne at this time.

Lockdown restrictions strengthened and extended in metropolitan Melbourne, until 11.59pm on Thursday, 2 September. 

  • The strengthened settings will see a curfew imposed from 9pm to 5am every night. 
  • Permits will be required to leave the house for authorised work. Authorised workers will be required to carry permits when working, and when travelling for work, from 11:59pm on Tuesday August 17. The permits need to be certified by an employer. Permits will be available on the coronavirus website before these directions come into effect.
  • Permits will also need to be carried by higher education students who are on the Authorised Provider list.

Under the strengthened restrictions designed to curb potential transmission events, playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment will now be closed. People will not be able to remove their masks to drink alcoholic beverages in public.

Exercise will be limited to just you and one other person, plus dependants if they can’t be left at home (you can no longer exercise with all members of your household).

Otherwise, the restrictions will remain the same – there are still only five reasons to leave your home: shopping for the things you need – one person per household per day, care and caregiving, exercise, authorised work and study – and to get a vaccine.

Exercise and shopping are still limited to 5km from your home. If there’s no shops in your 5km radius, you can travel to the ones closest to you. You are also able to travel more than 5km to get a vaccine if you need to. And more than ever, it’s critical people do not have visitors to the home.

For further information regarding the extended lockdown in Melbourne, please click on the following links:



14th August 2021

Stay at home restrictions for regional NSW

To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, new stay-at-home orders are now in place for all of regional and rural NSW until 12.01 am 28 August 2021. This new order will replace any existing orders in regional NSW.

You must stay home. Only leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse.

  • If you must leave home, stay within your local area. Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it.
  • Limit your physical contact with people you do not live with. See the restrictions for visitors to a residence
  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave your home.

For further information regarding the NSW regional and rural restrictions, please click here

 

12th August 2021

Lockdown in the ACT

In response to positive cases of COVID-19 and to help slow the spread of the virus, lockdown is in place for the ACT until midnight Friday 17 September 2021.

The six essential reasons you can leave your home during this lockdown are:

1. to buy essential groceries and medicine
2. to access essential healthcare including in-home care
3. for essential work
4. to exercise outdoors for one hour per day in your region
5. to get a COVID-19 test
6. to get a COVID-19 vaccinated.

Essential retail will remain open for the duration of the lockdown. Anyone aged 12 years and over must wear a mask at all times upon leaving home. Please stay up to date on the evolving situation by visiting the ACT Government website.

 

11th August 2021

Extended Lockdown for Metropolitan Melbourne

Due to the current level of transmission of coronavirus in the community, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that the current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne will remain in place until at least 11:59pm, Thursday 19 August.

For the next seven days, you can still only leave home for five reasons:

1. to get the food and the supplies you need
2. for exercise for up to two hours
3. for care or caregiving
4. permitted work or education if you can’t do it from home or
5. to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.

Shopping and exercise must be done within 5km of your home or the nearest location. Face masks will remain mandatory outdoors and indoors (not at home) unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools.

Read the Premier’s statement here and we recommend that you visit the Victorian Government website to stay up to date on the COVIDSafe Settings.

 

9th August 2021

Regional and Rural NSW restrictions

Stay at home rules are in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the following NSW regional local government areas.

Armidale

  • People who live in or are temporarily staying in the Armidale local government area after 29 July 2021.
  • Start date: 5pm, Sunday 8 August 2021
  • End date: 12:01am, Sunday 15 August 2021

Dubbo

  • People who live in or are temporarily staying in the Dubbo local government area after 1 August 2021.
  • Start date: 1pm, Wednesday 11 August 2021
  • End date: 12:01am, Thursday 19 August 2021

Newcastle and the Hunter

  • People who live in or are temporarily staying in the Newcastle, Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens and Singleton local government areas after 31 July 2021.
  • Start date: 5pm, Thursday 5 August 2021
  • End date: 12:01am, Friday 20 August 2021

Northern Rivers

  • People who live in or are temporarily staying in the Ballina, Byron, City of Lismore and Richmond Valley local government areas after Saturday 31 July 2021.
  • Start date: 6pm, Monday 9 August 2021
  • End date: 12:01am, Tuesday 17 August 2021

Tamworth

  • People who live in or are temporarily staying in the Tamworth local government area after 5 August 2021.
  • Start date: 5pm, Monday 9 August 2021
  • End date: 12:01am, Tuesday 17 August 2021

Western NSW

  • People who live in or are temporarily staying in the Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine, Walgett and Warren local government areas after 5 August 2021.
  • Start date: 7pm, Wednesday 11 August 2021
  • End date: 12:01am, Thursday 19 August 2021

You must stay home. Only leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse.

  • If you must leave home, stay within your local area. Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it.
  • Limit your physical contact with people you do not live with. See the restrictions for visitors to a residence
  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave your home.
Reasonable excuse to leave home - A reasonable excuse is if you need to:
  • obtain food or other goods and services
    • in your local government area, within 10km of your home if reasonably practicable
    • for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes (including pets)
    • for vulnerable people
    • only one person per household may leave the home to obtain food or other goods and services each day (you may take a dependent person with you if that person cannot be left at home on their own)
  • leave home to go to work if
    • you cannot reasonably work from home  and
    • the business is allowed to be open
  • leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home
  • exercise and take outdoor recreation in the local government area you live in or 10km from your home
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.

Fore more information on the Stay at Home rules for affected regional local government areas, please visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/affected-regions

 

9th August 2021

Lockdown Lifted for Regional Victoria

Following the Premier’s announcement regarding the easing of restrictions for regional Victoria, please see below a  summary of revised restrictions that comes into effect as of 11.59pm, Monday 9 August:

Restrictions on Movement from Home

  • Regional Victoria - Unrestricted movement from home
  • Metro Melbourne - 5 reasons for individuals to leave their home remain in place
Allied Health Intervention –private practice settings
  • Regional Victoria
    • Individual face to face services for routine and essential care permitted
    • Delivery via Telehealth should be preferenced wherever clinically appropriate
  • Metro Melbourne
    • Individual face to face services for essential care - only if care/service is not able to be provided via telehealth
    • Group face to face interventions not permitted
    • No restrictions on care/service types provided via telehealth
Group Interventions
  • Regional Victoria
    • Group face to face interventions permitted
    • Group size determined by venue size and compliance with density quotient – 1 to 4 square metres
  • Metro Melbourne
    • Group face to face interventions not permitted

Movement

  • Regional Victoria
    • Movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria only as required for authorised work
  • Metro Melbourne
    • Wherever practical, individuals should work at a single practice/clinic
    • Movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria only as required for authorised work

Face Coverings (Regional Victoria and Metro Melbourne)

  • Must be carried at all times
  • Must be worn indoors except if at home, or if an exemption applies
  • Must be worn outdoors

Density Quotient

  • Applies to all venues and spaces that are accessible to the public (and in closed workplaces, to shared spaces such as lunchrooms) – 1 to 4 square metres

QR Codes

  • All businesses and workplaces must ensure all workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service; https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/about-victorian-government-qr-code-service

  • Exemptions to the use of QR codes cited for support groups and health services related to confidentiality are very much focused on significant risk issues (eg. family violence services), and will not apply to the majority of Allied Health services

Routine care is not permitted

Please note, clinicians based in metro Melbourne and travelling to/from regional Victoria for the purposes of authorised work are still bound by the restriction levels of metro Melbourne and therefore cannot access services/facilities that are not currently available in Melbourne (for example, eating in a restaurant/café).

Conversely, clinicians based in regional Victoria and travelling to/from metro Melbourne for the purposes of authorised work are bound by the restrictions in place for metro Melbourne when at work/in Melbourne.

 

5th August 2021

7-day Statewide Lockdown for Victoria

Victoria is now in lockdown for seven days from 8:00pm, Thursday 5 August to slow the spread of COVID-19.

You cannot leave your home other than for one of the five following reasons:

1. Shopping for necessary goods and services - must be done within 5km of your home or the nearest location
2. Caregiving or compassionate reasons, including medical care or to get a COVID-19 test
3. Authorised work or permitted education
4. Exercise (once a day for 2 hours) - you must stay within 5km of your home and is limited to two people
5. To get a COVID-19 vaccination

Face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces and secondary schools.

Private gatherings are not permitted except for an intimate partner or nominated person visits. Public gatherings are not permitted. 

Work and Education

  • A list of who is considered an authorised provider or an authorised worker is available here
  • If you can work from home – you must work from home
  • You can go to work to collect the materials or equipment you need to work from home
  • The 5km limit does not apply to work
  • All schools will close, except for vulnerable children and children of authorised workers or authorised providers, who can attend for onsite supervision. Schools will continue to support students through remote learning or providing learning materials for use at home
  • Universities and TAFEs will close or move to remote learning
  • Childcare, family day care, early learning centres and kinders will remain open. A permit is not required.
  • Victorians may work interstate (where permitted by the state you are working in).

For more information on the lockdown and COVIDSafe Settings in Victoria, please click here.

Read the Premier’s statement and the revised Table of Restrictions here: www.premier.vic.gov.au/seven-day-lockdown-keep-victorians-safe.

 

5th August 2021

Stay-at-home Order for Newcastle and the Hunter Region (NSW)

Rules and restrictions for the Newcastle, Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens and Singleton Local Government Areas (LGAs) to help stop the spread of COVID-19 are now in place until 12.01am Friday 13 August.

You must stay home. Only leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse.

  • If you must leave home, stay within your local area. Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it
  • Limit your physical contact with people you do not live with. See the restrictions for visitors to a residence
  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave your home in Newcastle and the Hunter.

The reasons you may leave your home include to:

  • Obtain food or other goods and services
    • in your local government area or within 10km of your home, if reasonably practicable
    • only one person per household may leave the home to obtain food or other goods and services each day (you may take a dependent person with you if that person cannot be left at home on their own)
  • Leave home to go to work if you cannot reasonably work from home and the business is allowed to be open
  • Leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home, noting that schools will only be open for children of parents who cannot work from home
  • Exercise and take outdoor recreation within your local government area or up to 10km from your home
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including for a COVID-19 test or vaccination

Closure of Retail Businesses

 
Retail premises will be required to close (‘click and collect’, takeaway and home delivery can still operate), except for critical retail.
 

Masks

  • Masks must be worn in all indoor areas (not including the home) and in certain outdoor settings, such as all people working outdoors or while queuing for takeaway or shopping for critical items
  • Masks do not have to be worn while travelling in a car alone or with members of your household in a car, or while exercising vigorously
  • Masks must be carried whenever a person is away from their home, even if they are not required to be wearing it.
For further information on the lockdown in Newcastle and the Hunter region, please click here. Please continue to check the NSW Government website for the latest COVID-19 news and updates. 

 

2nd August 2021

Lockdown extended for South East Queensland

Due to the number of new COVID-19 cases in the community, lockdown will be extended in South East Queensland until 4pm, Sunday 8 August.

Stay at home restrictions are in place unless it's absolutely essential to leave for one of these reasons:

  • to buy essentials such as groceries or medications
  • attend essential work if you can't do so from home
  • exercise within 10km from home
  • healthcare (including to get a COVID-19 test or vaccination) or to provide help, care or support to vulnerable persons

If it's essential to leave home, remember to wear a face mask and stay socially distanced at all times. For further information on the lockdown in South East Queensland, please click here.

 

2nd August 2021

FAQs for Victorian Allied Health re COVIDSafe guidance for businesses/sectors

Below are links to Allied Health Industry FAQs to help keep your business and customers COVID-19 safe:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support

The Business Victoria hotline provides information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19). Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15 or visit https://business.vic.gov.au/contact-us

 

31st July 2021

South East Queensland LGAs 3-day lockdown

From 4:00pm Saturday 31 July 2021 to 4:00pm Tuesday 3 August 2021, 11 local government areas in South East Queensland (Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim) will be in lockdown to keep Queenslanders safe.

Residents in these areas must stay at home except for the following key reasons:

1. Obtaining essentials such as groceries or medications
2. Essential work if you can’t work from home
3. Exercise within your local area (within a 10km radius of your home, with no more than one person from outside your household)
4. Healthcare, including to get a COVID-19 test or vaccination, or to provide help, care or support to a vulnerable person, or for an end-of-life visit to a hospital or aged care facility.

Gatherings

  • No visitors to your home unless to provide care or support for a vulnerable person (such as paid or voluntary disability or aged care services)
  • 10 people can attend funerals and weddings, this includes those officiating the funeral or wedding.

Businesses

The following businesses may not open:

  • Non-essential businesses
  • Restaurants and cafés – takeaway or home delivery service only
  • Cinemas, entertainment and recreation venues, hairdressers, beauty and personal care services, gyms and places of worship.

Schools and childcare for children of essential workers and vulnerable children only. Universities and TAFEs online learning only.

Masks

  • High Schools: masks must be worn by teachers, staff and students that are permitted to be at school.
  • Primary Schools: masks must be worn by teachers and staff permitted to be at the school.

A mask must be worn at all times when outside your place of residence, including on public transport and when doing non-vigorous exercise. You must wear a mask in indoor workplaces, even where social distancing is possible, unless one of the standard exceptions apply.

For more information, visit the Queensland Health website or call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

 

29th July 2021

Greater Sydney Stay at Home Orders to Remain Until 28 August With Additional Restrictions

The current stay at home orders across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour will remain in place for another four weeks (until Saturday, 28 August at 12.01am). Restrictions in regional NSW will remain unchanged.

You must stay home. Only leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse.

In line with exercise rules, residents must limit their shopping to within their Local Government Area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within 10km from home, unless the item is not available locally.

  • If you must leave home, stay within your local area. Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it
  • Limit your physical contact with people you do not live with. See the restrictions for visitors to a residence
  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave your home

If you are in the local government areas of Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Liverpool or Parramatta, go to the local government areas of concern (Sydney) to show a distance of 5km.

Rules for leaving home to go to work

You may only leave your home to go to work if the business is allowed to be open and if you cannot reasonably work from home

Western Sydney

If you live in the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool or Parramatta local government areas you can only go to work if

Find out more about the rules if you live in Sydney's western suburbs.

If you cannot work from home and you go to your workplace that is allowed to be open, you must wear a face mask (unless an exemption applies). If you go to your workplace, follow the rules for wearing a face mask.

For more information on the restrictions for Greater Sydney, please click on the following links:

Please continue to check the NSW Government website for the latest COVID-19 news and updates.

 

28th July 2021

SA Lockdown Restrictions Easing

Level 3 restrictions are now in place in South Australia, with some additional requirements.

  • 1/4 density (1 person per 4 square metres)
  • Masks for high risk settings, personal care services (but not by the customer if it inhibits the service), health care services, passenger transport services, indoor fitness facilities (except while exercising)
  • Restrictions on dancing and singing
  • Working from home is still recommended if possible.

Additional Restrictions:

  • Private activity cap: 10 (including residents of residential premises, unless more than 10 people live at a residence then it is that number)
  • Masks for shared indoor public places
  • 1/8 density (indoor fitness facilities) for means gymnasiums, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, dance and pilates studios and swimming pools (other than swimming pools being used for rehabilitation purposes authorised by a health or disability practitioner).

Masks (covering the mouth and nose) are required in:

  • High risk settings
  • Personal care services*
  • Health care services
  • Passenger transport services
  • Indoor fitness facilities (except while exercising)
  • Shared indoor public places

*Personal Care includes services such as hairdressers, barbershops, beauty salons, nail salons, tattoo parlours, and other premises at which beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, piercing, body modification services are provided, as well as wellness centres, day spas, massage parlours, saunas, and bathhouses.

COVID Marshals are required for Gyms/Fitness centres/Swimming pools. A COVID Safe Plan is required for a defined public activity unless a COVID Management Plan is in place.

For more information on the restrictions for South Australia, please visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ or call the dedicated SA information line on 1800 253 787.

 

27th July 2021

Lockdown Lifted Across Victoria

Following a reduction in community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has advised that the lockdown will be lifted state-wide from 11.59pm, Tuesday 27 July. 

From 11.59pm tonight, Victorians will be able to leave their homes for any reason. Restaurants and cafes can also reopen for seated service. Retail and beauty and personal care will open in line with density limits, as will entertainment venues and community facilities.

The Authorised Worker List will no longer apply, meaning businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits of 1 person per 4 square metres. Victoria will return to the rule that ‘if you can work from home, you should work from home’ but office workers will be able to return up to 25 per cent or up to 10 people, whichever is greater.

Public gatherings will be allowed with up to 10 people, with infants under 12 months not included in the cap. However, due to the significant transmission risk, gatherings in the home are still not permitted.

Live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities, including gyms, will all open with density requirements of 1 person per 4 square metres.

Masks will continue to be required everywhere indoors and outdoors (except private residences), unless an exception applies. 

For Allied Health private practice (and other primary care providers), the industry specific restrictions are summarised as follows for Metro Melbourne & Regional Victoria:

  • Allied Health Intervention – Private Practice Settings
    • Individual face to face services are permitted for essential and routine care, where that care/service is not able to be provided via telehealth
    • Telehealth remains the preferred service delivery model wherever clinically appropriate
  • Group Interventions 
    • Maximum of 10 participants for face to face group interventions (inclusive of staff members)
  • Face Coverings
    • Must be carried at all times
    • Must be worn indoors except if at home, or if an exemption applies
    • Must be worn outdoors
  • Density Quotient
    • Applies to all venues and spaces that are accessible to the public (and in closed workplaces, to shared spaces such as lunchrooms) – 1 to 4 square metres
  • QR Codes
    • All businesses and workplaces must ensure all workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service; https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/about-victorian-government-qr-code-service
    • Exemptions to the use of QR codes cited for support groups and health services related to confidentiality are very much focused on significant risk issues (eg. family violence services), and will not apply to the majority of Allied Health services

Read the Premier's Statement and the updated Table of Restrictions for Victoria, by clicking here.

 

20th July 2021

Extended Lockdown for Victoria

Due to the current level of transmission of coronavirus in the community, Victoria's lockdown restrictions will continue for the next seven days until 11.59pm Tuesday, 27 July.

There are only five reasons to leave home: getting the food and the supplies you need, exercising for up to two hours, care or caregiving, work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.

Shopping and exercise must be done within 5kms of your home or the nearest location. It also means face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools.

To read the Premier's Statement, further details on the extended lockdown and stronger borders to keep Victoria safe, please click here.

 

Level 5 Restrictions for South Australia

To stop the spread of COVID-19 in South Australia, new restrictions will come into effect from 6pm Tuesday 20 July 2021. There will be 5 essential reasons to leave your home:

1. Undertake essential work
2. Shop for essential goods and services
3. Medical reasons (including COVID-19 vaccination and testing)
4. Care and caregiving
5. Exercise (with people in same household)

Closure of community activities and masks for public places is a requirement. For more information on the restrictions for South Australia, please visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/

 

16th July 2021

Restrictions extended for parts of South East Queensland

From 6.00am Friday 16 July until 6.00am Friday 23 July restrictions for South East Queensland will continue, with requirements for face masks and other restrictions in place to protect Queensland. Find out more information about South East Queensland LGAs here.

Restrictions ease for Townsville (including Magnetic Island) and Palm Island from 6.00am Friday 16 July, in line with the rest of Queensland.

 

15th July 2021

5-day Statewide Restrictions in Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced a lockdown from 11:59pm on Thursday 15 of July to 11:59pm on Tuesday 20 of July 2021. There are only five reasons to leave home:

1. to get food and supplies
2. exercise, for up to two hours and no more than 5kms from your home
3. work or education if you can’t do it from home
4. care and caregiving
5. getting vaccinated at the nearest possible location.

The new COVIDSafe Settings for Victoria have been introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the number of people leaving their homes and moving around Victoria.

You must stay within 5km of your home for shopping and exercise. This limit does not apply to work, when giving or receiving care, getting a COVID-19 vaccination or visiting an intimate partner or your single social bubble buddy.

Face masks must be worn indoors and outdoors whenever you leave your home. Face masks do not need to be worn indoors or outdoors if you are working alone unless another person enters that indoor or outdoor space.

Work and Education:

  • A list of who is considered an authorised provider or an authorised worker is available here.
  • If you can work from home – you must work from home.
  • You can go to work to collect the materials or equipment you need to work from home.
  • The 5km limit does not apply to work.
  • All schools will close, except for vulnerable children and children of authorised workers or authorised providers, who can attend for onsite supervision. Schools will continue to support students through remote learning or providing learning materials for use at home.
  • Universities and TAFEs will close or move to remote learning.
  • Childcare, family day care, early learning centres and kinders will remain open. A permit is not required.
  • Victorians may work interstate (where permitted by the state you are working in).

Read the Premier’s statement and the revised Table of Restrictions here: www.premier.vic.gov.au/statement-premier-92

Allied Health professionals are recognised as an authorised workforce for the following services:

  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as authorised workers in hospitals or in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or
  • Allied health workers professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing essential clinical care where telehealth services are not clinically appropriate; or
  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options; or
  • Allied health students on placement providing authorised care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth; or
  • Pharmacies.

For this purpose, essential clinical care is defined below:

  • to prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence which would result in an escalation of care needs (e.g. an increase in frequency of treatment needed, an increased need for prescription medication due to a significant increase in pain, requirement for specialist input or review, an increase in care needs, and/or a substantial increase to anticipated recovery time associated with a delay in receiving services)
  • to provide assessment and diagnostic services to clients / patients whose care have been delayed as a result of previous restrictions, with any further delay likely to result in deterioration in functional independence or adverse health outcomes (including access to diagnostic imaging services or assessment for prescription of assistive equipment and technology)
  • to provide services that are essential as part of a broader plan of care with a medical practitioner (e.g. fitting a brace post-surgery)
  • to provide services that are part of a conservative management plan to avoid or delay elective surgery (as agreed with treating team)
  • to provide services immediately following elective surgery that prevent secondary complications or aid functional recovery (as agreed with treating team).

Routine care is not permitted.

Specific restrictions applicable at this time are also as follows for Metro Melbourne & Regional Victoria:

  • Allied Health Intervention –private practice settings
    • Individual face to face services for essential care -only if care/service is not able to be provided via telehealth
    • Group face to face interventions not permitted
    • No restrictions on care/service types provided via telehealth
  • Group Interventions
    • Individual face to face services for
  • Movement
    • Wherever practical, individuals should work at a single practice/clinic
    • Movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria only as required for authorised work only
  • Face Coverings
    • Must be carried at all times
    • Must be worn indoors except if at home, or if an exemption applies
    • Must be worn outdoors
  • Density Quotient
    • Applies to all venues and spaces that are accessible to the public (and in closed workplaces, to shared spaces such as lunchrooms) – 1 to 4 square metres
  • QR Codes
    • All businesses and workplaces must ensure all workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service;https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/about-victorian-government-qr-code-service
    • Exemptions to the use of QR codes cited for support groups and health services related to confidentiality are very much focused on significant risk issues (eg. family violence services), and will not apply to the majority of Allied Health services

For more information and resources on COVIDSafe Settings for Victoria and financial support for businesses and workers, please visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

14th July 2021

Greater Sydney Lockdown extended to 30 July 2021 & NSW COVID-19 support package announced

Given the ongoing number of infectious cases in the community, the current lockdown will be extended for at least another two weeks until 11:59pm on Friday, 30 July.

This means the restrictions currently in place across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour will remain in place until this time. Restrictions in regional NSW remain unchanged.

The following places in are directed to be closed to the public:

  • Retail premises, except for limited exceptions
  • Entertainment facilities, such as theatres, cinemas, music halls, concert halls and dance halls
  • Indoor recreation facilities such as squash courts, indoor swimming pools, gyms, table tennis centres, health studios, bowling alleys and ice rinks.
  • Hairdressers, spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours, massage parlours.

Please click here to see the full list of places directed to be closed to the public.

Read the NSW Premier's announcement, stay at home rules for Greater Sydney and rules for regional and rural NSW by visiting www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules.

Financial Assistance for Businesses and Employers

The NSW Government will be offering financial support to businesses impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders. If your business or not-for-profit organisation has been impacted by the restrictions, you may be eligible to apply from 19 July 2021. Financial support that will be available includes:

  • COVID-19 Business Grant: if you’re a business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, you may be able to apply for a grant of up to $15,000 from 19 July 2021.
  • Saving Jobs: a support program funded jointly by the NSW and Commonwealth governments to maintain employment of staff for small and medium businesses impacted by the current health restrictions.
  • Micro Business Grant: if you’re a micro business (small business or sole trader with annual turnover of more than $30,000 and under $75,000) impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, you may be able to apply for a $1500 payment per fortnight of restrictions from late July 2021.

Please visit the Service NSW website for more information and to complete a form to get notified about COVID-19 financial support programs when they are available.

Financial Support for Individuals and Households

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is available to eligible people in a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot in Sydney. This is a lump sum payment to help workers unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 lockdown, hotspot or period of restricted movement. You may be eligible if all of the following apply:

  • you can’t attend work and have lost income on or after day 8 of a COVID-19 restriction of movement event
  • you don’t have access to appropriate paid leave entitlements through your employer
  • you’re not getting an income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay
  • you're not getting a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period.

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment to help you when COVID-19 restrictions last for more than 7 days. You can’t get this payment for the first 7 days of an event. You must submit a new claim for each additional week of lockdown or restricted movement. This is so the government can make sure your circumstances haven’t changed and that you’re still eligible to get the payment.

Lockdown is a period of restricted movement when people must stay at home and can only leave for approved reasons. A hotspot is an area of COVID-19 local transmission declared by the Chief Medical Officer. The Department of Health website lists the current hotspots.

For more information and resources on who can get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, how much you can get and how to claim, please visit the Australian Government website: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment

For further information on the NSW COVID-19 support package, please see www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/nsw-covid-19-support-package-announced

We hope the above information is useful. We know this is a difficult time for the community. Please continue to check the NSW Government website for the latest COVID-19 news and updates.

 

13th July 2021

Roadmap to easing restrictions for Queensland

The following additional measures remain in place until 6pm on Friday 16 July for Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Logan City, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Gold Coast, Townsville (including Magnetic Island) and Palm Island LGAs:

  • A mask must be worn at all times when outside of your place of residence, including in workplaces, where safe to wear a mask and you cannot physically distance, on public transport and when doing non‑vigorous exercise.
  • Gatherings: Up to 30 people in homes and public spaces.
  • Businesses and venues: (including places of worship, convention centres etc.)
    • Retail dining allowed
    • Indoor – 1 person per 4 square metres or 100% capacity with ticketed and allocated seating.
    • Smaller venues up to 200 square metres – 1 person per 2 square metres up to max 50
    • Outdoor – 1 person per 2 square metres
    • Eating and drinking must be seated
    • No dancing except at weddings
  • Indoor and outdoor events:
    • 100% allocated seated and ticketed capacity for indoor events (with new COVID Safe Checklist) and outdoor events, including stadiums, amphitheatres and large convention centres (with COVID Safe Plan), or 1 person per 4 square metres indoors and 1 person per 2 square metres outdoors.

For information about current restrictions for the rest of Queensland, please click here.

Further eased restrictions for Queensland from 6am Friday 16 July 2021

From 6am Friday 16 July, all of Queensland will be operating on the same restrictions. Queensland will be open for business, but there are still requirements to keep COVID safe. Businesses need to follow the Chief Health Officer public health directions and keep up-to-date with guidelines to make your business and customers COVID Safe.

All businesses which are restricted under the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction are required to:

  • use the Check In Qld app to collect contact details from patrons
  • encourage staff and customers to observe physical distancing
  • regularly clean and disinfect their business premises, particularly surfaces used by customers and other frequently touched surfaces
  • ensure handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers are available for use by visitors and workers
  • notify visitors, either verbally or through signage, that they should not enter your premises if they are showing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • have COVID Safe management plans (Work Health and Safety) in place which detail how you, your workers and your patrons will stay COVID safe
  • operate under a COVID Safe Checklist for Restricted Businesses, which outlines the COVID Safe requirements.

Any person found in breach of the Public Health Directions and/or Public Health Act 2005, i.e. to whom a Direction/Act applies, without a reasonable excuse, could face a penalty of up to a maximum of 100 penalty units or 6 months' imprisonment. On the spot fines can also be issued.

Indoor Premises:

  • Three people per 4 square metres or 100% allocated seated and ticketed capacity (e.g. restaurants, cafés, pubs, clubs, museums, art galleries, places of worship and convention centres)
  • Three people per 4 square metres for commercial residential facilities (including hostels, B&Bs and short term rentals)
  • Three people per 4 square metres at indoor play areas and need to comply with the COVID Safe Checklist.
Collecting Contact Information

All restricted businesses must electronically collect contact information about all guests, patrons and staff at the time of entry unless otherwise specified, by either:

  • the Check In Qld app; or
  • registering guests, patrons and staff through the Business Profile mode of the Check In Qld app.

If a person is unable to use the Check In Qld app due to language barriers or other reasons, the business must register the guest through the Business Profile mode.

If a restricted business is unable to collect contact information using the Check In Qld app due to unexpected circumstances, the business must collect and keep the contact information using another method.

If the contact information is collected using another method, the restricted businesses must:

1. Transfer any non-electronic information to an electronic system within 24 hours of collecting the information.
2. Securely store the contact information, not use for any other purposes, and delete the contact information after 30 days.
3. If requested, provide the information to a public health officer within a stated time.

Any changes to collecting contact information requirements will be detailed in the Direction for Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings.

COVID Safe Checklist for Restricted Businesses

Masks
You must wear your mask when at an airport or on a domestic or international flight departing or arriving in Queensland. While not mandatory, you are encouraged to:

  • carry a mask with you at all times when you leave home
  • wear a mask when travelling on public transport, in a taxi or ride share or in shopping centres
  • wear a mask in any indoor or outdoor space when physical distancing is not possible.

For more information and resources on COVID Safe management plans, Determining occupant density and Grants and business support, please visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/covid-safe-businesses.

 

7th July 2021

Stay at home orders extended for Greater Sydney

The Greater Sydney lockdown will remain in place for another week, as will the existing restrictions for regional NSW. 

Stay at home orders apply to Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour until 11.59pm on Friday 16 July 2021.

Masks and Social Distancing

  • Masks remain mandatory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces;
  • Masks must be worn on public transport; and
  • Social distancing is in place via green dots on public transport.

The NSW government will release a roadmap in coming days for exiting the current restrictions. Learn more about COVID-19 rules and restrictions on the following links:

 

2nd July 2021

Lockdown for parts of Queensland

Lockdown restrictions for City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay region LGAs have been extended until 6pm Saturday 3 July.

Lockdown restrictions ends at 6pm Friday 2 July for the following LGAs: City of Gold Coast, City of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Logan City, Noosa Shire Council, Redland City, Scenic Rim Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Townsville City Council and Palm Island Aboriginal Shire. Face mask wearing and gathering restrictions will continue to apply in these areas.

 

29th June 2021

4-day Lockdown for Perth and Peel

Perth and Peel will be in a minimum 4-day lockdown from 12:01am, Tuesday 29 June 2021 until 12.01am, Saturday 3 July, 2021. Masks are still mandatory and regional travel restrictions apply after the lockdown period.

You are required to stay home unless you need to:

  • work because you are an essential worker and it is not reasonably practicable to work from home. Refer to list of essential workers
  • shop for essentials like groceries, medicine and necessary supplies, including click and collect, within 5km from your home or closest practicable location
  • attend to medical or health care needs including emergencies, compassionate requirements, looking after the vulnerable, or donate blood or plasma
  • exercise with a maximum of two adults from the same household (children under 18 years are not counted), limited to one hour per day within a 5km radius from home, and masks must be worn, except for vigorous exercise.
  • receive a COVID-19 vaccine, or
  • leave due to an emergency (e.g. emergencies, fleeing domestic violence).

Masks

  • Masks are mandatory indoors, outdoor spaces (except for vigorous exercise) and on public transport.
  • Mask-wearing mandatory except for primary school students and those who are exempt.
  • Anyone who has travelled outside of the Perth and Peel regions since Sunday, 27 June must continue to wear face masks in public, as per the existing directions.
Visitors

Private indoor and outdoor gatherings are not permitted. Visitors to the home are only permitted for the following reasons:

  • essential services
  • critical maintenance
  • caregiving
  • compassionate grounds
  • in an emergency

Business and venues

The following facilities in the Perth and Peel will need to close:

  • Hospitality - Restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars to provide takeaway service only
  • Beauty, nail, hairdressing
  • Public venues (swimming pools, recreation centres)
  • Fitness venues (gyms, Pilates, yoga, dance studios)
  • Casinos
  • Nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Places of worship
Retail
  • Essential providers may open only.
  • Click-and-collect and delivery permitted for non-essential providers.

All these measures will be reviewed regularly and the Chief Health Officer will continue to monitor the serious situation and provide more ongoing advice. 

For more information and to understand if this affects you, please click on the following links:

 

29th June 2021

3-day Lockdown for parts of Queensland

A 3-day lockdown for South East Queensland, Townsville (including Magnetic Island) and Palm Island is in effect from 6pm AEST Tuesday 29 June. The lockdown restrictions will be reviewed on Friday 2 July. The following Local Government Areas (LGAs) affected are:

  • Noosa
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Ipswich
  • Logan
  • Redlands
  • Moreton Bay
  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Scenic Rim
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Somerset
  • Townsville City
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Shire

Anyone in the affected LGAs will be required to stay at home except for essential reasons. You should stay in your local area wherever possible. You can only have two visitors to your residence (excluding volunteers and workers).

Anyone who was in South East Queensland, Townsville (including Magnetic Island) or Palm Island on or since 6pm Tuesday 29 June 2021 is required to follow the same lockdown rules even if they are no longer in those areas.

You can only leave your residence (which includes temporary accommodation such as a holiday rental) for limited permitted purposes such as:

  • obtaining essential goods or services, including healthcare (including vaccinations)
  • exercise (You can exercise away from your home with your household group and/or one other person not from your household)
  • attending essential work or childcare
  • assisting vulnerable persons

You must carry a face mask at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to. You must wear a mask in indoor spaces, such as:

  • shopping centres and supermarkets
  • hospitals and aged care facilities, if permitted to visit
  • indoor workplaces (where safe to wear a mask and you can’t physically distance)
  • public transport, taxis and rideshare, and waiting places or queues for this transport airports and travelling on planes.

Masks do not need to be worn in some circumstances, including children under 12 years, where people have certain medical conditions, and in workplaces where it is not safe to do so. Masks may be removed when sitting down to eat and drink, undertaking strenuous exercise and for employment purposes.

Non-essential businesses are not allowed to operate. Cinemas, entertainment and recreation venues, hairdressers, beauty and personal care services, gyms and places of worship will all close. Fore more information 

Restrictions for rest of Queensland

  • If you have been in South East Queensland, Townsville, Magnetic Island or Palm Island since 6pm Tuesday 29 June 2021 you are required to follow the same lockdown rules as above
  • If you have been in South East Queensland since 1am Tuesday 29 June you must carry a mask and wear it whenever you are outside the house (excluding vigorous exercise or when eating and drinking)
  • All indoor settings: 1 person per 2 square metres, or 100 per cent capacity with ticketed and allocated seating
  • Private gatherings: limited to a maximum of 100 people
  • Indoor wedding ceremonies and funerals: 1 person per 2 square metres or 200 people (whichever is greater) or 100 per cent capacity with ticketed and allocated seating.

For more information on the restrictions for impacted areas in Queensland, including information on movements and gathering, business and event closures and facemasks, click here. Please continue to check the Queensland Government website for the latest COVID-19 updates.

 

26th June 2021

Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour Stay at home Restrictions

To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, stay at home orders is now extended to Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. New restrictions apply to all parts of NSW from 6pm, 26 June until 11.59pm Friday, 9 July.

Everyone in Greater Sydney must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason. The reasons you may leave your home include:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact)
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home

People across NSW should only enter Greater Sydney for essential purposes.

In all other parts of NSW the following restrictions will apply:

  • People who have been in the Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong) on or after June 21 should follow the stay-at-home orders for a period of 14 days after they left Greater Sydney.
  • Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests – including children
  • Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events
  • Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed
  • Singing by audiences and choirs at indoor venues or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;
  • Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the wedding party only (no more than 20 people)
  • Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn)
  • The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals
  • Outdoor seated, ticketed events will be limited to 50 per cent seated capacity

For more information on the COVID-19 restrictions extended in NSW, please click here. Please continue to check the NSW Government website as more information will be made available.



25th June 2021

Additional Restrictions for Sydney

From 11.59pm, Friday 25 June, Stay at Home rules and restrictions apply to people who live or usually work or study in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, and Randwick local government areas to protect the community from COVID-19.

If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential reasons.

Residents across Greater Sydney should also limit unnecessary activity and avoid large gatherings in coming days as broader restrictions are considered.

Stay at Home Orders from 26 June 2021

From Saturday 26 June until at least 11.59pm on Friday 2 July, residents of the four LGAs (City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, and Randwick) must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason. The face mask rules apply.

The reasons you may leave your home include:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
  • Medical care or compassionate needs
  • Exercise outdoors
  • Essential work or education, where you cannot work or study from home

Visiting the City of Sydney and Eastern Suburbs

A person must not enter the City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, and Randwick local government areas without a reasonable excuse.

Reasonable excuses for entering the area also include:

  • returning to your home if you live in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, and Randwick local government areas
    transiting through these local government areas so long as you do not leave your vehicle.
  • You cannot take a holiday in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, and Randwick local government areas.

We understand this is a difficult time for everyone, however we need to take these steps now to get on top of this outbreak.

For more information on what the rules are in NSW and how to stay safe whether you are working, visiting family and friends, or going out, visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules. Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions can also be found on the following links: 

 

24th June 2021

Victoria Restrictions from 11:59pm, Thursday 24th June

With restrictions in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne easing, below is a summary of the revised restrictions that will come into effect as of 11:59pm, Thursday 24 June:

Movement

Metro Melbourne & Regional Victoria:

  • Movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria unrestricted

General Workplace Guidelines

Metro Melbourne:

  • Work from home requirement removed.
  • Office work – 75 per cent return or up to 30 people if total workplace is 40 or less, subject to density quotient
  • Density quotient - 1 person per 4sqm

Regional Victoria:

  • Work from home requirement removed.
  • Office work – 75 per cent return or up to 30 people if total workplace is 40 or less, subject to density quotient
  • Density quotient - 1 person per 2sqm

Face Coverings

Metro Melbourne & Regional Victoria:

  • Must be carried at all times
  • Must be worn indoors except if at home, or if an exception applies
  • Recommended to be worn outdoors where 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained

Allied Health Intervention –private practice settings

Metro Melbourne & Regional Victoria:

  • Routine 1:1 face to face care permissible
  • Telehealth preferenced where clinically appropriate

Group Interventions

Metro Melbourne 

  • Maximum indoor group 50 people
  • Density quotient - 1 person per 4sqm

Regional Victoria:

  • Maximum indoor group 50 people
  • Density quotient – 1 person per 2sqm applies when using a COVID Check-in Marshall, otherwise density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies
All businesses and workplaces must also ensure all workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service

For further information on the Acting Premier’s statement and the revised Table of Restrictions, please see https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/statement-acting-premier-5

We hope the above information is useful and thank you in advance for your assistance in keeping Victoria COVIDSafe. Are you looking for more Coronavirus information or support? For general enquiries regarding the pandemic, please phone 1800 675 398 or visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

17th June 2021

Victoria Restrictions from 11:59pm, Thursday 17th June

On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the Acting Premier of Victoria has released a statement about changes in the COVIDSafe Settings for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

These changes will take place from 11:59pm, Thursday 17th June. Please click on the following links to read the updates:

The other positive news is that indoor group classes are now able to recommence with a maximum of 10 people (including practitioner) and 1:4sqm density quotients.

Contact Tracing 

Record keeping continues to be an important tool for helping Victoria stay safe and stay open. The need for fast and accurate contact information for anyone who has visited a COVID-19 public exposure site is vital.

All workplaces must ensure all workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service

The Victorian Government QR Code Service is free for all Victorian businesses, organisations, clubs and events. This service helps contact tracers to contain a COVID-19 outbreak.

For more information about the free Victorian Government QR Code Service, please click here.

10th June 2021

Victoria's Updated COVIDSafe Settings

Following the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the Acting Premier released an update on the easing of restrictions from 11:59pm on 10th June 2021 - read the statement by clicking here.

Metropolitan Melbourne - 

From 11:59pm Thursday 10 June, the five reasons to leave home will no longer apply in metro Melbourne, and the existing 10-kilometre limit will be increased to 25 kilometres. People are asked to stay local and travel into regional Victoria to visit family and friends or take a holiday is still not permitted.

Cafes, restaurants and pubs will open – with strict safety measures like density limits, seated service and QR codes in place. Remaining retail will also open. Hairdressing, beauty and personal care can resume, but only for services where masks can be kept on. 

Read the details on current restrictions here: How we work metropolitan Melbourne

Regional Victoria

Allied Health providers are now able to return to providing routine care in metropolitan Melbourne, with the exception of indoor group classes which are still not permitted.

In regional Victoria, restrictions will also ease. Visitors to the home are allowed – limited to two people and their dependants – once per day. Public outdoor gatherings will be limited to 20 people. Indoor group classes with a maximum capacity of 10 people (incl practitioner) and density quotient of 1:4sqm.

Read the details on current restrictions here: How we work regional Victoria

Restrictions for the operation of Allied Health practices from residential premises:

  • The person operating the service must comply with any other obligations that apply to workplaces, such as having a COVIDSafe Plan and complying with requirements around density limits, cleaning and face coverings.
  • Other COVIDSafe principles should also be applied to the work premises including maintaining physical distance where possible and encourage regular hand hygiene
  • Clients must be made aware not to attend their appointment if unwell, and if they do, there must be a process in place to manage this.
  • It is also recommended that the practice:
    • should have a separate entry/exit point from the home residence, and
    • should have a separate space from their place of residence for the business to operate from, with no shared facilities.

Please refer to the Table of Restrictions effective from 11:50pm, Thursday 10th June for Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria. Stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 restrictions, by visiting www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

 

3rd June 2021

Restrictions continue in metropolitan Melbourne with some changes. Eased restrictions for regional Victoria.

With 60 local cases and more than 350 exposure sites, and a variant of the virus that is quicker and more contagious, the Chief Health Officer has given the advice for the current restrictions to remain in place in Melbourne for a further seven days, with some small changes.

For metropolitan Melbourne, there will still be only five reasons to leave home: shopping for food and supplies, authorised work and study, care and caregiving, exercise, and getting vaccinated. People will be able to travel further for exercise and shopping, with an expanded 10km radius.

Restrictions in regional Victoria will be eased from 11:59pm, Thursday 3rd June, which means business can return to providing routine care, with the exception of group classes which are not permitted at this time. Outdoor group classes are permitted to a maximum of 10 people and a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies. Masks must be worn indoors at all times.

In regional Victoria if you can work from home, you should continue to work from home. Capacity limits in workplaces such as offices are capped at 50% or 20 people, whichever is greater.

Please be aware of the restrictions that apply to you, and sticking to them to help in stopping the spread – and getting the state of Victoria back to normal.

Click on the following links for full details of the Statement from The Acting Premier and the Table of Restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

 

17th May 2021

Victoria 7-day Lockdown

From 11:59pm tonight AEST Thursday 27th May 2021 to 11:59pm Thursday 3rd June 2021, Victoria will move to circuit breaker restrictions. You must stay home unless:

  • shopping for necessary goods and services (one person per household, once per day, a support person can accompany if required)
  • caregiving or compassionate reasons
  • authorised work or permitted education, or work interstate
  • exercise (up to two hours, with one other person or members of your household)
  • receive a vaccination
  • other specified reasons (specific exemptions apply)
Exercise and shopping will be limited to five kilometres from home. If there are no shops in your 5km radius, you can travel to the ones closest to you. Shopping is also limited to one person per day, per household.

Face masks will also need to be worn inside and outdoors – everywhere except your own home.

Private and public gatherings will not be permitted, although visiting your intimate partner continues to be okay. Single person bubbles will also be allowed.

Childcare and kinder will remain open, but schools will need to close other than for the children of authorised workers and vulnerable kids.

Shops like supermarkets, food stores, bottle shops, banks, petrol stations and pharmacies will also remain open. Cafes and restaurants will be able to offer take-away only. Gyms, hairdressers, community facilities and entertainment venues will all close. Non-essential retail may only open for click and collect.

Hotels and accommodation can only stay open to support guests already staying onsite. No new bookings can be made – unless it’s for a permitted purpose, like authorised work.

Please click on the links for full details of the Acting Premier’s statement and the 7-day Circuit Breaker Restrictions.

Definition of Authorised Workers

Authorised workers pertains to work considered essential and includes:

  • the continued operation of Allied Health students on placements, when undertaking critical training and examinations
  • Allied Health working in private or public community services, whether clinic or home-based, providing essential clinical care where telehealth services are not clinically appropriate. e.g orthotists and prosthetists providing services such as fitting a brace post-surgery
  • immunisation and vaccination providers including pharmacy immunisers and Aboriginal Healthcare Workers.

For this purpose, essential clinical care is defined below:

  • to prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence which would result in an escalation of care needs (e.g. an increase in frequency of treatment needed, an increased need for prescription medication due to a significant increase in pain, requirement for specialist input or review, an increase in care needs, and/or a substantial increase to anticipated recovery time associated with a delay in receiving services)
  • to provide assessment and diagnostic services to clients / patients whose care have been delayed as a result of previous restrictions, with any further delay likely to result in deterioration in functional independence or adverse health outcomes (including access to diagnostic imaging services or assessment for prescription of assistive equipment and technology)
  • to provide services that are essential as part of a broader plan of care with a medical practitioner (e.g. fitting a brace post-surgery)
  • to provide services that are part of a conservative management plan to avoid or delay elective surgery (as agreed with treating team)
  • to provide services immediately following elective surgery that prevent secondary complications or aid functional recovery (as agreed with treating team).

Routine care is not permitted.


Definition of Authorised Health Services
  • Pharmacy and urgent services are permitted to open under circuit breaker restrictions.
  • Allied Health services provided by allied health professionals working as authorised workers in hospitals or in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or
  • Allied Health workers professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing essential clinical care where telehealth services are not clinically appropriate; or
  • Allied Health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options
  • Allied Health professionals providing mental health services in hospital; or
  • Allied Health professionals providing mental health services in community settings by telehealth, or by face-to-face (but only for urgent care where telehealth is not clinically appropriate)
  • Students, medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health on placement providing authorised care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth.


Clinical Placements

Essential adult education services including health care worker and aged and disability care clinical placements is permitted under the circuit breaker lockdown.

For the latest COVID-19 updates please visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

 

 

1st April 2021

Restrictions for Queensland

From 12pm (midday) AEST Thursday 1 April 2021 to Thursday 15 April 2021, restrictions will ease in greater Brisbane. All of Queensland will be subject to the same restrictions:

  • you must carry a face mask at all times and wear indoors, unless you have a lawful reason not to
  • gatherings in private residences (homes and accommodation) are limited to 30 persons in total
  • you can leave your home for any purpose. You can travel anywhere in Australia. Please note other states and territories may have restrictions in place that prevent you from travelling to them
  • visitors to aged care facilities, disability accommodation services, hospitals and correctional facilities are restricted across the state
  • Retail food services, entertainment venues and high risk businesses must only open for seated eating and drinking (inside), standing to eat and drink as well as dancing (outside), takeaway and delivery. Remember to always check in when visiting a venue.

For the latest COVID-19 updates please visit www.qld.gov.au.

 

30th March 2021

DHHS Victoria Update: PPE for Allied Health services in private practice

The latest guidance for Coronavirus (COVID-19) - PPE for Allied Health in Private Practice Settings has been published. Download the PDF here.

In the changing coronavirus (COVID-19) environment, content is often being updated. To ensure you are
aware of the most recent changes, all content updates and the date the document was last updated will be
highlighted in yellow.

 

29th March 2021

Greater Brisbane 3-day lockdown

From 5pm AEST Monday 29 March 2021, greater Brisbane will enter a 3-day lockdown and mandatory mask wearing requirements will change for all of Queensland.

People who have been in the greater Brisbane region since the 20 March 2021 will be subject to home confinement restrictions. The impacted Local Government Areas are: City of Brisbane, City of Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay Region and Redland City.

If you have been in these areas on or since 20 March please ensure you follow the restrictions outlined on the Queensland Government website.

Masks for all of Queensland including Greater Brisbane

Mandatory mask wearing requirements will change for all of Queensland.  You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to.

It is strongly recommended you wear a mask when outdoors if you are unable to stay more than 1.5m distance from other people, such as busy walkways and thoroughfares. Please click here to see the guidance on wearing a mask in indoor spaces and circumstances when wearing a mask is not required.

Non-essential businesses, activities and undertakings

A person who owns, controls or operates a non-essential business, activity or undertaking in an impacted area, including operating at a private residence, must not operate the business, activity or undertaking, with limited exceptions.

  • Cafes, pubs and restaurants no dine in customers – takeaway allowed.
  • Boot camps and personal training to two people outdoors (including the trainer), with physical distancing observed.
  • Social sport is permitted, such as golf and tennis, limited to two people outdoors, with physical distancing observed.
  • Community facilities to remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services. Community facilities may continue to operate if they provide formal out of school hours care. Physical distancing must be observed to the extent possible.
  • Food markets and farmers markets to continue to operate.
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections to private appointments only.

Queensland is continuing to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. To keep safe, it is important to know what you can and can’t do. For more information on general restrictions, please visit www.qld.gov.au.

 

26th March 2021

Victoria COVIDSafe Settings Relaxed & Update on COVID/PPE/Vaccines

Following reduced exposure risk and low community transmission, the Acting Premier James Merlino and Minister for Health Martin Foley announced that Victoria would return to COVIDSafe settings from 6pm Friday 26 March 2021.

The Acting premier provided further detail of the easing of restrictions here: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/victoria-further-relax-covidsafe-settings.

The Department of Health and Human Services Victoria (DHHS) have received a number of queries and are aware of concerns raised about when and where face masks are required to be worn in patient and non-patient facing healthcare settings and retail premises. They have been advised that updated guidance and further information is being developed which aims to address common practitioner and consumer questions, and will be available shortly. DHHS are working with the relevant areas of government and will provide further information as soon as it is available.

The DHHS are also getting an number of queries in respect of the vaccine roll out. The COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be over three phases, prioritising vaccinations for people at high risk.

These priority groups have been set by the Australian Government based on recommendations by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

Please see click here for an overview of who will be vaccinated for COVID-19 under Phase 1b, based on recommendations by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

Thank you for your understanding and patience. We will provide further details as updates are received from the DHHS.

 

17th February 2021

Victoria Returns to COVIDSafe Summer Restrictions

From 11:59pm 17 February 2021 Victoria returns to COVIDSafe Summer restrictions with some revised conditions.

For more information, please click on the following links:

 

12th February 2021

Victoria Circuit Breaker Action

From 11:59pm on 12 February new circuit breaker actions will be in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 across Victoria.

New changes have been introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the number of people leaving their homes and moving around Victoria.

This means that you cannot leave your home unless you are doing it for one of the following four reasons: shopping for necessary goods and services; care and caregiving; exercise; and essential work.

You must stay within 5km of your home. This limit does not apply to work or when giving or receiving care.

You can leave your home in an emergency or if there is family violence.

Face masks will need to be worn indoors and outdoors whenever you leave your home.

Please find links below for more information about the new restrictions:

At this time, unless you are employed within an inpatient health service setting or residential aged care facility, it's recommended that you cancel all face to face appointments for the next 5 day period and reschedule to telehealth where possible.

 

4th February 2021

DHHS Victoria Update: Revised state-wide restrictions and impacts for Allied Health and primary care providers

In response to a hotel quarantine worker testing positive, new state-wide restrictions came into effect in Victoria as of 11:59pm on 3 February 2021, and are as follows;

  • The limit on the number of people gathering in a household has been reduced from 30 to 15.
  • Face masks are again mandatory in all public indoor spaces, apart from when eating or drinking.
  • The 75 per cent ‘return to work’ cap in both public and private sectors scheduled for Monday 8 February has been paused and the current cap of 50% will remain in place.
At this time, there is no indication as to how long these new restrictions will be required.

For Allied Health and primary care providers, industry restrictions remain consistent with the industry guidance aligned to ‘COVIDsafe Summer restrictions’; https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-sector-guidance-health-care-and-social-assistance. Requirements for physical distancing and density quotients for group interventions remain unchanged with the new state-wide restrictions. That is, physical distancing of 1.5m should be maintained wherever possible, with a density quotient of 1:2 metres2 for group interventions, meetings, etc.

Whilst the industry guidelines state that patients/clients do not need to wear a face mask unless the Allied Health practice is located in a shopping centre/retail setting, it's strongly encourage practitioners (in all private practice settings) to reinstate requirements for mask wearing by patients/clients in shared waiting rooms and other communal spaces (ie. reception areas, bathrooms).

We hope this information is of assistance to you. Fore more information, please visit the www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au website.

 

31st January 2021

Perth metro, Peel and South West to enter hard lockdown

Due to the detection of a positive COVID-19 case in a hotel quarantine worker, a lockdown has been introduced in specific areas of Western Australia - the Perth metropolitan area, Peel and South West regions. Effective from 6pm Sunday, 31 January until 6pm Friday, 5 February 2021, the following restrictions apply for the lockdown period:

  • People should not leave Perth, Peel or the South West during this period
  • People can enter Perth, Peel or the South West only to access or deliver essential health and emergency services and other essential requirements
  • Non-residents currently in Perth, Peel and the South West are required to remain until the end of the restriction period however if you must leave for serious reasons you are to then return home immediately, stay home and get tested if symptoms develop

Masks are to be worn at all times when outside of your place of residence, this includes at workplaces and on public transport. For more information about masks, see the Healthy WA website

Beauty therapy services, parlour or salon including hairdressers, barbershop, nail salon, tattoo parlour, spa or massage parlour in the Perth, Peel and South West regions will need to close.

For more information, see Five-day lockdown frequently asked questions.

 

17th January 2021

Victoria COVIDSafe Summer: Industry Restart Guidelines for Allied Health & other primary care services

Updates to reflect the COVID-safe Summer restrictions have been made to the Industry Restart Guidelines: Allied Health and other primary care services. Please click here to view the guidelines.

The density quotients for indoor groups are now confirmed as;

  • 1 to 2 square metres for services in clinical settings
  • 1 to 4 square metres for services delivered in fitness industry settings (refer to p.2 of the document)

Specific requirements for clinical services provided from a residential address are also outlined on p.3 of the document, which states services operated from a residential address can operate, subject to the following restrictions:

A fact sheet of the PPE guidance as applied to private practice allied health, which is also relevant to complementary therapists is available via the Industry Victoria website - click here to view

Checklist for business owners/managers

  • Prepare your COVIDSafe Plan
  • Ensure workplace is set up to adhere to relevant limits and density quotient
  • Prepare a cleaning schedule
  • Signage requirements
  • Establish your record keeping
  • Consult with workers

 

11th January 2021

Greater Brisbane - Restrictions for Impacted Areas

To protect the health of Queenslanders, from 6pm AEST 11 January 2021 to 1am 22 January 2021, the Greater Brisbane region will be subject to new restrictions. This includes: City of Brisbane, City of Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City. 

A summary of restrictions that apply to impacted areas are available at www.qld.gov.au.

COVID Safe Businesses

Queensland is open for business, but there are still some things businesses need to do to keep COVID safe:

  • Follow the public health directions to keep your business and customers COVID Safe.
  • Ensure staff and customers observe physical distancing.
  • Collect and keep customer details (if required).
  • Don’t allow staff or customers showing any COVID-19 symptoms to enter your premises.
  • Ensure COVID Safe management plans (Work Health and Safety) are in place which detail how you, your workers and your patrons will stay COVID safe.
  • Operate under a COVID Safe Industry Plan or a COVID Safe Checklist, which detail how COVID safety is managed in specific industries.
  • Develop COVID Safe site specific plans if your business has an individual, unique and complex site (like large outdoor amusement parks, zoos etc.).
  • The COVID Safe Business Framework outlines how workplace health and safety requirements, checklists and industry and site specific plans work together to help ensure Queensland businesses continue to operate COVID safely.

Penalties - Any business found in breach of the Public Health Directions and/or Public Health Act 2005 could face a penalty of up to $6672.50 or 6 months' imprisonment. 

On the spot fines can also be issued.

To avoid this, we recommend you check back to the Queensland Government website regularly for updates to the Roadmap, plans and checklists.

Beauty and Personal Care Services

I am a massage therapist. Can I offer massage therapy?

You can provide massage therapy to clients for the management or prevention of a disease, injury or condition, if you comply with a COVID Safe Checklist or COVID Safe Plan.

If you provide massage for non-therapeutic purposes, like relaxation massage, you may operate in accordance with a COVID Safe Plan, or with a maximum of 50 people in compliance with a COVID Safe Checklist.

What is included in beauty therapy?

Businesses can operate for all personal appearance/beauty therapy and nail services including, for example, facials, makeup, waxing, laser hair removal, laser treatments and eyelash extensions. Spray tans, cosmetic injections, body piercing and micro needling and tattooing (including tattoo parlours) are also included. Water-based spa services and non-therapeutic massage may also be provided.

Beauty therapy businesses must operate in compliance with a COVID Safe Checklist or COVID Safe Plan. Beauty therapy businesses that offer water-based spa services like saunas and bathhouses or non-therapeutic massage will be limited to 50 people for their business if they are complying with a COVID Safe Checklist.

 

4th January 2021

DHHS Victoria Update: PPE guidance for Allied Health services in private practice

The Health Care and Social Assistance sector guidance page on the Victorian Government website has been updated to include a downloadable PDF about PPE guidance for Allied Health private practice. They've also included a FAQ section for practitioners and clients in this sector on the website.

  • View the updated Industry Restart Guidelines for Allied Health and other primary health services with information about PPE guidance here - Industry Restart Guidelines PDF
  • Read answers to frequently asked questions by practitioners and clients within the healthcare and social assistance sector here - www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

3rd January 2021

NSW Health: Restrictions for Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong

In Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong areas, it is mandatory to wear a face mask indoors.

A face mask (fitted face covering) is mandatory in the following indoor settings:
  • shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres)
  • public and community transport
  • indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres)
  • places of public worship
  • hair and beauty premises
  • tattoo parlours
  • massage parlours
  • betting agencies
  • gaming areas in licensed premises.
Under the public health order, a "fitted face covering" means a mask or other covering that:
  • fits securely around the face, and
  • is designed or made to be worn over the nose and mouth to provide the wearer with protection against infection.
  • You may be fined $200 on the spot for not wearing a face mask.

Children aged 12 and under, are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.

For more information on the restrictions for Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong, list of premises where a mask must be worn, please visit the www.nsw.gov.au website.

Guidelines for Gyms and Fitness Classes

Gyms must be registered as COVID Safe and have a COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal present when there are more than 25 people using the gym at the same time.

The gym COVID Safety Plan applies to any gym that is an indoor recreation facility open to members of the public. This includes gyms that are in a hotel or workplace.

Indoor gyms are subject to the one person per 4 square metres rule.

A maximum of 30 people per class applies to gym and recreation classes such as yoga, tai chi and pilates.

If a gym is not open to members of the public – such as a gym in residential premises, a home or an apartment building – these requirements do not apply.

A gym does not include a studio for dance, yoga, pilates, gymnastics or martial arts.

See the COVID-19 Safety Plans that apply to:

 

8th December 2020

DHHS Victoria Update: Further advice on continued wear of a Tier 1 mask when providing clinical services to patients

The Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) received further advice from Public Health regarding the transition to ‘COVID-safe summer’ restrictions for Allied Health and primary care practitioners.

Public Health have confirmed that all Allied Health and primary care practitioners must continue to wear a Tier 1 mask (at minimum) when providing clinical services to patients.

Mandatory indications for mask wearing for members of the general public are now limited to public transport, commercial passenger vehicles, ride share and indoor shopping/retail. In this context, patients do not need to wear masks when been treated by an Allied Health or primary care practitioner unless the practice is located within a shopping centre/retail setting.

Further advice from Public Health is still pending regarding a potential change in density quotients. We will provide updates as soon as this information is available.

In addition, requirements for the provision of clinical services from a residential address currently remain unchanged.

 

1st December 2020

SA Health: Mandatory Mask Use

From the 1st of December, all people in health care settings must wear a single-use surgical mask (covering mouth and nose) at all times when in the physical presence of other people on the premises.

The Emergency Management (Public Activities No 13) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 includes details around mandatory mask use in health care settings.

All people in health care settings are required to wear a mask while in the physical presence of other people. This includes:

  • care providers
  • patients
  • clients
  • residents
  • administrative and other staff
  • employees
  • visitors
  • students
  • contractors and
  • any other person present on site.

Masks are also required for:

  • Employees at nail salons, tattoo parlours, hairdressers and similar businesses.
  • People who are in self-quarantine or self-isolation who need to leave their home to seek urgent medical care, seek urgent medical supplies or get tested for COVID-19 must wear a mask when in public.

For more the latest information on COVID-19 restrictions in SA, please visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au. You can also the FAQs for the mandatory mask use in health care settings by clicking here.

 

30th November 2020

DHHS Victoria Update: Guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers

Eye protection is no longer mandated for Tier 1 PPE, for patient facing health care workers providing care and or treatment to COVID negative patients and/or patients who have no risk factors for COVID-19 (e.g. clinical risk factors or epidemiological factors).

This replaces the advice in Conventional use of PPE guidance published on the 21st of October. Please note the Conventional use of PPE guidance document is currently being updated.

As yet, it's not confirmed when the revised guidance document will be endorsed, however the statement on the DHHS website should now be applied to implementation of the department’s PPE guidance.

We will share information on the PPE guidance document for Allied Health in private practice, as soon as we receive an update.

We hope the above information proves useful. To find out more about guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers, click here.

 

23rd November 2020

Summary of Last Step restrictions for metro Melbourne and regional Victoria - Allied Health and Primary Care 

Following the Victorian Premier’s announcement yesterday, a summary of the Last Step restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria (effective as of 11.59pm, 22 November 2020) has been released. Click here to download the summary.

Based on this document, there are limited changes for Allied Health and Primary Care providers, which are summarised below;

  • Indoor group therapies in clinical treatment settings and fitness industry settings may increase to a maximum cap of 20 participants (within density quotients).
  • Indoor group therapy classes conducted in a fitness industry setting may now operate with a density quotient of 1 to 4 metres square (i.e. previous density quotient was 1 to 8 metres square). This brings into alignment the density quotients for clinical treatment settings and fitness industry settings.
  • Outdoor group therapies may increase to a maximum cap of 50 participants. Owing to the proximity to other participants and potential for contact, face masks still should be worn by all participants.
  • Caps on group sizes for hydrotherapy in indoor and outdoor pools have been removed, however a density quotient of 1 to 4 metres square still applies.
  • Restrictions on the purpose, number and time limits for visitors to hospital and care facilities have been removed, but remain subject to the rules/regulations of each individual facility.
  • The conventional use of PPE guidance (upon which the Allied Health private practice PPE guidance is based) has not changed at this time. The requirement for use of a face shield remains under all three risk Tiers, noting where practicable.

The Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) are continuing to seek further guidance from Public Health regarding provisions for therapy services operating from a residential address, and will share updates as soon as they have additional detail.

For the most up-to-date information on Mapping Victoria’s path toward COVID Normal, please visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

2nd November 2020

Revised Industry Restart Guidelines    

An updated version of the Industry Restart Guidelines is now available on the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) website – www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au reflecting requirements for Third Step restrictions; Download the updated guidelines here. Metropolitan Melbourne has now entered the Third Step.

Updates on Group Therapy Density Quotients and Services operating from Residential Addresses

Formal confirmation has been received from Public Health that indoor therapy groups (in both clinical settings and fitness industry settings) will be allowed to recommence in metro Melbourne from 11.59pm on Sunday 8 November 2020. Please note the details provided outlining differences in the requirements for density quotients between these two settings.

  • For clinical settings, indoor groups (when permitted) will need to operate with a density quotient of 1 person per 4 square metres, maximum number of 10 people per group – practitioners excluded from the group numbers. 
  • For health professionals, that provide clinical services in a fitness industry setting (ie. public/commercial gym) a density quotient of 1 person per 8 square metres will apply with a maximum group size of 10 people – practitioners again excluded from the group numbers.

Advice for Allied Health and other Healthcare Services operating a business from home

Please find below additional information from the DHHS Public Health unit with regard to requirements for Allied Health and other healthcare services operating from a residential address.

To operate a ‘business from the home’, the owner/practitioner of the business must ensure their compliance with Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions as follows;

  • The residential premise must be registered as a business premise and have a COVID-safe plan in place
  • A separate entry/exit point must be available for patients/clients to access the premise
  • Patients/clients cannot access any shared facilities in the owner/practitioner’s place of residence – including bathrooms/toilets and foyer areas
  • Density quotients, physical distancing and PPE requirements remain applicable
  • Patients/clients must wear a face covering for the duration of the intervention/treatment – the only exception being where a patient/client is legally exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering as per DHHS directives. For more information on Exceptions for not wearing a face mask, click here. 

Departmental Guidance for Workplace Cleaning and Disinfection

Practical actions can be taken to keep your staff and customers safe by implementing hygiene and physical distancing measures. Please be aware of the guidelines and refer to the useful fact sheets below on how best to clean and disinfect to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission:

These resources are also available via the DHHS COVID-19 website; www.dhhs.vic.gov.au

 

28th October 2020

Victoria Allied Health and Other Primary Care Services Update

We are pleased to share the information that as of 11.59pm, 27th October, all allied health and other primary care services are able to resume routine 1:1 patient care with a COVID-safe plan in place. Complementary and alternate therapies are included within the definition of ‘other’ primary care services. Telehealth is the preferred method, where possible.

The only exception/restriction for metro Melbourne that remains is indoor group activity. This is still not permitted until the restrictions for metro Melbourne aligns with regional Victoria on the 8th November 2020. Any form of indoor activity that brings members of different households together is still considered the highest risk, irrespective of the reason those people might be in the indoor space.

A COVID-safe plan is a mandatory requirement

Please ensure you are aware of the six COVID-safe principles and requirements for COVID-safe plans. To view the document click here.

Further revision of the Industry Restart Guidelines for Allied Health and other primary health services is expected within the coming days. This update will be available via the Business Victoria website.   

We're waiting on further information about home based practices. However, the following rules apply: 

  • Covid-safe plan must be in place
  • Separate entry and exit point from premises
  • Must be a registered business – registered with local council with correct zoning in place (it cannot be a side business).

PPE for Allied Health in Private Practice Settings

For information on recommended PPE for allied health professionals in private practice settings, please click here.

 

27th October 2020

From Tuesday 11:59pm, 27th October changes are being made to restrictions in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Following Premier, Daniel Andrews announcement yesterday afternoon, please find below updates on easing of restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Metropolitan Melbourne: See the Premier's metropolitan statement here

Hair, Beauty & Personal Care Services:

  • Restricted. Hairdressers and beauty services open where a face mask can be worn for the duration of service.
  • To view the summary of the Third Step and further easing of restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne click here

Healthcare & Social Assistance:

  • Restricted. All AHPRA-registered health workers - and in addition, social work, speech pathology, dietetics, audiology, exercise physiology, orthotists, orthoptits, art therapists, music therapists. and prosthetists may provide face to face services for routine and preventative care (noting that telehealth remains preferred and indoor classes are not allowed) 
  • Any other health worker providing services required under a Chronic Disease Management Plan, a care plan endorsed by NDIS (including self-managed plans), TAC, Workcover or DVA - if care is required to prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care (e.g. an increase in frequency of treatment needed, an increased need for prescription medication due to a significant increase in pain, requirement for specialist input or review, an increase in care needs, and/or a substantial increase to anticipated recovery time associated with a delay in receiving services).
  • No group classes / services to be provided (face-to-face) unless the session can be conducted safely outdoors (maximum 2 people plus health worker).
  • To view the Industry Restrictions Level for Healthcare (Allied Health and other primary health services) click here

Regional Victoria: See the Premier's regional statement here

Hair, Beauty & Personal Services:

  • Restricted. Hairdressers and beauty services open where a face mask can be worn for the duration of service.
  • To view the summary of further easing in the Third Step for Regional Victoria click here

Healthcare & Social Assistance:

  • Restricted.  For more information about health care and social assistance sector guidance click here 

We'll provide more information as we receive detailed changes to these guidelines.

 

26th October 2020

Victoria COVID-19 restrictions update

Below is an update on COVID-19 restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria:

Metropolitan Melbourne (Currently at Second Step)

  • Personal services including massage is not permitted.

Regional Victoria (Currently at Third Step):

  • Massage & Beauty Therapy are allowed with the use of face masks. Personal services where a face mask can be worn for the duration of service is permitted, however with restrictions eg providing facials is not permitted as clients cannot wear a mask for total duration of the treatment.
  • If a service is required as part of a Chronic Disease Management Plan (as authorised/endorsed by NDIS, TAC, Workcover or DVA) then the practitioner is permitted to provide services.
  • All AHPRA registered health workers, including social workers, speech pathologists, dietetics, audiologists, exercise physiologists are permitted to provide face to face services if required to prevent significant deterioration in a patient.

For more information, please refer to the following helpful links:

 

15th October 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap for the reopening of Victoria

Regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne each have their own roadmaps, based on the number of active cases currently in the community. Each are will be able to move to the next step of the reopening roadmap subject to public health advice. 

Metropolitan Melbourne. Currently at Second Step can move to the Third Step of the roadmap to easing restrictions when the daily average number of cases in the last 14 days is less than five state-wide and when there are less than five cases with an unknown source in the last 14 days.

Regional Victoria. Currently at Third Step. The Last Step on regional Victoria's roadmap to easing restrictions can start when there have been no new cases for 14 days, across Victoria.

For further information on Victoria's roadmap for reopening, please refer to the useful links below:

On behalf of the IICT team, we encourage IICT Members to stay strong as we patiently wait for restrictions to ease in keeping with the lower case numbers across the state. Keep safe and take care.

 

16th September 2020

Regional Victoria moves to the Third Step from 11:59pm, Wed 16th Sept

IICT welcomes the announcement that regional Victoria has commenced the Third Step to reopening from 11:59pm, Wednesday 16 September 2020.

For all natural therapy practitioners in regional Victoria, you can continue to practice (as has been the case under Stage 3 restrictions). For more information and FAQs on the Third Step visit www.vic.gov.au.

For our Melbourne Metro members, we are hopeful that there will be further announcements soon that may indicate some good news for all. 

 

8th August 2020

COVID-19 Victoria Restrictions Update

To our Victorian IICT Members, below are updates on the COVID-19 restrictions in your state. Please read the guidelines below that apply for Regional Victorian and Melbourne metropolitan members:

Regional Victorian Members:
Stage 3 restrictions permit you to continue practising at this time, but we do urge you to exercise a high level of caution with regard to clients you accept, ensuring they are adequately screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to their appointment, that appropriate hygiene processes are adhered to, and that both you and your client are wearing a mask at all times.

Melbourne Metropolitan Members:
Stage 4 restrictions are aligned to Victoria’s current State of Disaster declaration and are understandably focused on saving and protecting the lives of all Victorians through restricting non-essential movement across the State.

What does this mean for you?

  • All therapeutic health services are not permitted
  • If you can conduct your services online via zoom, Skype etc, this is permitted
  • We very much appreciate that these restrictions will mean that closing your practices for now will be the only option for many Melbourne based therapists.

In addition to the above critical information, we have been advised the following:

  • You can leave home to receive health care or attend medical appointments. If you need to see a doctor or health care professional, you should do so. Do not put off getting medical care. Your doctor or health care professional can provide advice on how to stay safe.
  • You can leave home to care for a sick or elderly relative. If you are providing care for someone you should try to keep 1.5 metres between you when you can. Wear a face covering.
  • You can leave home to accompany someone for essential medical treatment only if you are a parent, guardian or necessary support person.

For further information and resources to help you create a COVID Safe Plan for your practice, click here.

 

8th July 2020

Victoria Reinstates Stage 3 Stay At Home Restrictions

To all our loyal IICT members in Victoria dealing with the second wave of Covid-19 restrictions, our heart goes out to you all as the impact of a second wave affects natural therapists across the state.

Below are all the details to assist you during this very difficult time:

Based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government announced Stay at Home directions for metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from 8 July until 11.59pm on 19 August. For six weeks, people who live in these areas are only allowed to go out for: shopping for food and supplies, health care and caregiving, outdoor exercise, and study or work (if unable to work or study from home).

Indoor sports centres including gyms, training facilities and pools will be closed.

Community sport training and competition cannot occur within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. People living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, cannot attend or participate in community sport elsewhere.

People can only exercise or undertake sporting activities outside with one other person or household members. A 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others must be kept.

Some outdoor sport facilities will be closed. Personal training outdoors can occur but with a limit of two participants, in addition to the instructor.

For more information on Victoria's restriction levels, click here.

Business Support Package

A $534 million Business Support Package was announced on the 10th July to provide more support to help businesses and workers through these renewed restrictions. This includes:

  • The expanded Business Support Fund, that will provide more than 80,000 eligible businesses with a new $5,000 grant to support them through the renewed restrictions
  • $26 million in mental health support to ensure Victorians dealing with the compounding challenges of running a small business can get the support they need as they navigate their way through the crisis
  • A $10 million business mentoring program, pairing small business owners with experienced professionals who can help them navigate their way through the crisis
  • A $20 million fund to support small businesses in Melbourne’s CBD that are faced with a large and sustained shock to their trading environments.
Get more information about the Victorian Business Support Package and view the details of each program by clicking here.

 

2nd June 2020

Gyms to Reopen in NSW June 13

The NSW Government announced restrictions on gyms to be lifted from June 13, including yoga and Pilates classes. Read the latest update here

 

25th May 2020

Further Restrictions Eased 

Yesterday, both NSW and Victoria announced an easing of restrictions to personal care services and offering treatments to clients.

In addition, six states and territories have confirmed when indoor gyms can reopen, including yoga and Pilates classes. Please find below update for both:

Personal Care Services Update

New South Wales - JUNE 1

Victoria - JUNE 1

Queensland - MAY 15 (Stage 1) & JUNE 12 (Stage 2)

  • Currently, up to a maximum of 10 clients at any one time 
  • This will increases to a maximum of 20 clients at any one time in stage 2
  • Click here for more details

South Australia - JUNE 5

Tasmania - JUNE 15

Northern Territory - MAY 15 (currently in effect)

Western Australia - To be confirmed

Australian Capital Territory - To be confirmed

Indoor Yoga and Pilates Classes and Gyms Update

New South Wales - To be confirmed

Victoria - JUNE 22

Queensland - JULY 10

South Australia - JUNE 5

Tasmania - JUNE 15

Northern Territory - MAY 15 (currently in effect)

Western Australia - MAY 18 (currently in effect)

Australian Capital Territory - To be confirmed

If you have any information to share regarding COVID-19 that you feel other members would find useful, please contact our team by clicking here.

For advice relating to your specific circumstances, seek professional advice from the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. 

 

20th May 2020

Latest State News & Updates

New South Wales

Free COVID-19 webinars for small businesses

Support and financial relief for businesses, workers and jobseekers

What you can and can't do under the easing of restrictions

Victoria

Latest business support, advice and information

Current State of Emergency in Victoria

Queensland

Roadmap to easing restrictions

South Australia

Roadmap to easing restrictions

Business restrictions and closures

Western Australia

COVID Safety Plans key to reopening WA businesses

Roadmap to easing restrictions

Tasmania

Roadmap to recovery

Northern Territory

Roadmap to the new normal

Steps to the new normal business restart

ACT

Restrictions and advice

Dates for stage two and three easing of coronavirus restrictions in Canberra announced

 

13th May 2020

Stage 2 Easing of Restrictions

Based on the new three-step framework, it appears that most therapists will be able to reopen in stage two with a maximum of 20 clients on the premises at any one time. This increases to 100 clients in stage three. However, each state and territory is different and we strongly recommend you visit your local government website (links below). For example Queensland is allowing some beauty therapies to open for up to 10 people at one time in stage one from Friday May 15.

At this stage Western Australia is planned to begin stage two on Monday May 18 (however beauty therapy and personal care services won't be permitted until stage 3), Queensland Friday June 12, Northern Territory Friday May 15, South Australia Monday June 8 and Tasmania Monday 15 June. Some of these dates are still subject to public health advice.

NSW, VIC and ACT will consider stage two restrictions in due course and have not announced any dates at this stage. 

11th May 2020

National Three-Step Plan to Relax Restrictions

A national three-step plan to relax coronavirus restrictions has been announced, with states and territories to decide when each step will be implemented locally. To read more click here.

While step one requires 'hair and beauty services' to remain closed, step two will allow allow these services to re-open with up to 20 clients in the premises and a requirement to record contact details. Step three allows all establishments to reopen with up to 100 people.  

three-step-framework-covidsafe-australia

For state and territory government information regarding stage one easing of restrictions please read below or click on your local state government for the latest responses:

New South Wales

New South Wales will start relaxing lockdown restrictions from Friday, but does not plan to implement all step one measures agreed to by National Cabinet.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Sunday that outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted and people can have five visitors at any one time.

Cafes and restaurants will also be able to have up to 10 people dining in.

Weddings will be allowed to have up to 10 guests while funerals can accommodate up to 20 mourners indoors and 30 outdoors.

The rules have also been relaxed for places of worship, where there can now be up to 10 people at religious gatherings.

Outdoor gyms and playgrounds will open and outdoor pools with restrictions.

But New South Wales does not intend to follow the National Cabinet's plan to permit local and regional travel.

From today, students across NSW will return to school at least one day a week as part of the Government's managed wind-back of coronavirus restrictions.

Victoria

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced Victorians will be able to have five guests to their home from Wednesday.

As well, groups of 10 will be allowed to participate in outdoor activities.

Mr Andrews said the state was close to finalising a plan to see face-to-face learning return to schools before the end of term two, but said no details would be provided today.

Queensland

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Queensland's plan for the next three months, with the first step taking effect from midnight Friday, May 15.

Under step one, restaurants, cafes and pubs will begin re-opening and bigger public gatherings will be allowed.

Queenslanders will be able to have up to five visitors in their home, with those visitors allowed to be from various households.

Gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed for outdoor activities, personal training, pools, parks and playgrounds, libraries, hiking in national and state parks and places of worship.

Some beauty therapies and nail salons for up to 10 people at one time

The number of people allowed at weddings will increase to a maximum of 10 people, with up to 20 for indoor funerals and up to 30 for outdoor funerals.

South Australia

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall also announced a raft of restrictions would be easing across the state from Monday, May 11.

Outdoor dining at restaurants and cafes will be allowed, and university and TAFE tutorials, as well as public libraries, pools, churches, community halls and auctions will also be reopened.

Groups will be limited to 10 people, however, funerals will soon be able to have 20 people at indoor ceremonies, or 30 for outdoor funerals.

Caravan and camping holidays, as well as regional travel in general, will also be allowed from Monday.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier described the announcement as a "really positive start to looking at moving forward".

The SA Government plans to ease restrictions on cinemas, theatres, seated dining, galleries, museums and gyms for groups of up to 20 people on June 8.

Western Australia

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has announced a roadmap for the reopening of the state's economy, doubling the number of people allowed at non-work gatherings and removing some regional travel borders.

Up to 20 people will be allowed to gather indoors and outdoors. The rule will apply to pubs, bars, community clubs, hotels and the casino.

Up to 20 people will be permitted to attend weddings and funerals, with the cap lifting to 30 people if the service is held outdoors.

WA's temporary regional borders have been reduced from 13 to four, allowing travel between some regions that were previously closed off.

Travel will be permitted within the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara; the Esperance-Goldfields region; and within the Kimberley.

Restrictions will be removed in the remaining regions — including the South West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Peel — to permit travel between those areas and Perth.

Travel between Perth and the other regions will remain prohibited, and WA's interstate border will remain shut for now.

Mr McGowan said the state's success in fighting the spread of coronavirus meant Western Australia was ready to "take the next step".

The changes will take effect from Monday, May 18.

Tasmania

Premier Peter Gutwein has unveiled Tasmania's three-stage plan to roll back restrictions, which could see students back at school by the end of the month.

From Monday, May 11, the limit on the number of people attending a funeral will increase from 10 to 20, aged care visits will be allowed once a week for a maximum of two visitors and national parks and reserves will be opened up to residents who live within a 30-kilometre distance.

Under the second stage, coming into effect on May 18, public gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed but visits to households will be capped at five people.

Restaurants, cafes, playgrounds, pools and boot camps will be allowed to restart for up to 10 people at a time.

The third stage will come into effect on May 25, and is set to see some students return to classrooms while aged care visits will be allowed daily for a maximum of two visitors.

The Premier said each stage will be subject to public health advice.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory has already entered stage one of its restriction-easing plan, opening parks, pools and playgrounds, and lifting limits on outdoor social activities.

From 12:00pm Friday, stage two activities including dining at restaurants, going to the library and exercising at the gym for less than two hours, will be allowed.

Whether the Territory will end its total border closure is still up in the air.

Australian Capital Territory

From midnight on Friday in the ACT, up to 10 people will be allowed to gather indoors or outdoors.

The changes also allow picnics and family gatherings to go ahead, and boot camps to resume.

Ten people can gather for weddings, but special allowances are being made for funerals with 20 people indoors or 30 outdoors.

Home inspections and auctions will also resume, but will be limited to 10 people.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr warned the easing of restrictions was not a licence to throw house parties.

COVIDsafe App

The COVIDSafe is now available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Safe Work Australia

Safe Work Australia has COVID information across 23 industries so that businesses can return to work in a COVID safe environment. Click here to view the health care advice.  

 

5th May 2020

Bowen Therapists

As of the 2nd May, Bowen Therapists who work in NSW, WA and QLD have been allowed to reopen their clinics. If you require further information, seek professional advice from the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is operated by the Australian Government. 

3rd May 2020

Small businesses offering beauty and personal care products can now open their doors

The NSW Government has made the decision to allow spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons and tanning salons to open their doors, but only to sell goods and gift vouchers.

Read more here

28th April 2020

NSW Health: COVID-19 - Health services and therapies

Under the the Public Health Act, a health service includes “optical dispensing, dietitian, massage therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, speech therapy, audiology and audiometry service”.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 requires certain premises to close, including spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours or massage parlours. This does not apply to premises offering health services.

People providing health services may include non-registered health practitioners. All non-registered health practitioners must comply with the code of conduct for non-registered health practitioners. The code requires, among other things, that “a health practitioner must adopt standard precautions for the control of infection in his or her practice.”

Health services that continue to operate should implement processes to minimise risk of transmission, including screening clients for symptoms or contact with a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, identifying and excluding unwell staff members, social distancing measures where feasible e.g. waiting rooms, and infection control procedures including access to soap and water or hand sanitising and enhancing environmental cleaning.

The Health Care Complaints Commission can issue a prohibition order against a practitioner who fails to comply with the code and who poses a risk to the public. A prohibition order can prevent the practitioner from practising or place conditions on their practice.​​​​​

To find out more, click here

20th April 2020

JobKeeper

Enrolment is now open for the government's $130 billion JobKeeper Payment scheme. Eligible employers will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee. For details on how to enrol - click here

15th April 2020

Therapeutic and Remedial Massage Allowed to Remain Open

While spas and massage parlours providing relaxation massages must cease operating, this is distinct from therapeutic or remedial massage services which are allowed to remain open:

NSW Government

VIC Government

For more information visit your local state government or health department website for more information. 

JobKeeper Payment Update

The Government has passed legislation for the $130 billion JobKeeper Payment to keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the Coronavirus. Discover more here

9th April 2020

Commercial Tenancies

The National Cabinet has agreed that states and territories will implement a mandatory Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies. Click here to read more

Managing Employees During the Crisis

Finding and keeping good employees can be challenging at the best of times. We understand that you don’t want - if possible - to lose them during the pandemic.

To help you understand your options, and to keep your employees’ healthy and safe, please find below some handy legal articles:

Standing Down and Ending Employment

Options for Managing Employees

Employee Health and Safety

7th April 2020

Free TAFE Courses

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAFE NSW, in conjunction with the NSW Government, is offering a number of fee-free short courses that can be completed in just days or weeks, offering practical skills and experiences across a range of industries. Discover more

6th April 2020

Boosting cash flow for employers

Legislation has been enacted to provide temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations that employ staff during the economic downturn associated with COVID-19. This will be done through two sets of cash flow boosts delivered from 28 April 2020 to support employers to retain employees.

The Australian Government will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses, delivered through credits in the activity statement system, when eligible businesses lodge their activity statements.

Grants of up to $10,000 are available

The NSW Government has announced that it will put $750 million into the Small Business Support Fund to provide grants for small and micro businesses impacted by the Coronavirus shutdown.

The funding is particularly targeted at local cafés, restaurants, corner shops, gyms and small accommodation providers and is aimed at helping those businesses keep their doors open and staff employed.

To be eligible, businesses will need to:

  • Have between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000;
  • A payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000;
  • Have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020;
  • Be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020;
  • Use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice;
  • Provide appropriate documentation upon application.

Applications for a small business grant of up to $10,000 will be available through Service NSW within a fortnight and remain open until 1 June 2020. Click here to read more

Registrations now open for apprentice/trainee subsidies

Registrations are open for small businesses, and other eligible employers, to apply for a 50 per cent wage subsidy of their apprentice’s or trainee’s wage from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Click here to discover more

Update on Commercial Tenancies

The National Cabinet has agreed that a mandatory code of conduct, guided by certain principles, will be developed and subsequently legislated by State and Territory Governments to apply for tenancies where the tenant is eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper assistance and is a small- or medium-sized enterprise (less than $50 million turnover).

The principles that guide the code will be:

  • Where it can, rent should continue to be paid, and where there is financial distress as a result of COVID-19 (for example, the tenant is eligible for assistance through the JobKeeper program), tenants and landlords should negotiate a mutually agreed outcome
  • There will be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants
  • There will be a prohibition on termination of leases for non-payment of rent (lockouts and eviction)
  • There will be a freeze on rent increases (except for turnover leases)
  • There will be a prohibition on penalties for tenants who stop trading or reduce opening hours
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords passing land tax to tenants (if not already legislated)
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords charging interest on unpaid rent
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords from making a claim to a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent
  • Ensure that any legislative barriers or administrative hurdles to lease extensions are removed (so that a tenant and landlord could agree a rent waiver in return for a lease extension)

For landlords and tenants that sign up to the code of conduct, States and Territories have agreed to look at providing the equivalent of at least a three month land tax waiver and three month land tax deferral on application for eligible landowners, with jurisdictions to continue to monitor the situation. Landlords must pass on the benefits of such moves to the tenants.

In cases where parties have signed to the code of conduct, the ability for tenants to terminate leases as mentioned in the National Cabinet Statement on 29 March 2020 will not apply.

Mediation will be provided as needed through existing State and Territory mechanisms.

The proposed code of conduct will be discussed at the next meeting of the National Cabinet on Tuesday 7 April.

31st March 2020

New JobKeeper Payment

The Australian Government has announced a new subsidy program, the JobKeeper Payment, designed to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 to access $1500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees.

Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of 6 months. Eligible employees will receive a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of JobKeeper Payments.

Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment.

Eligible employers will receive the payment for each eligible employee that was on their payroll from 1st March 2020 and continues to be engaged by that employer – including full-time, part-time, long-term casuals and stood down employees.

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
  • their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Businesses with employees

Initially, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.

Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application.

The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO.

Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.

Businesses without employees

Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.

Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent business activity.

People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.

You can register your interest for JobKeeper NOW. Click here or click on the below button:
Register your Interest in JobKeeper Now

29th March 2020

Public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to a maximum of two people. Check State and Territory websites for further enforcement information.

Everyone should stay home unless you are:

  • shopping for essentials,
  • receiving medical care,
  • exercising or
  • travelling to work or education.

People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.

Evictions will be put on hold for 6 months by State and Territory governments. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements. 

If you are in self-isolation because you are confirmed or suspected to have Coronavirus (COVID-19), or have been in close contact with a confirmed case, use this form to help governments track the spread of the virus.

A safety net package of $1.1 billion has been announced by the Prime Minister to expand mental health and telehealth services, increase domestic violence services and provide more emergency food relief.

Pubs, licensed clubs and hotels (excluding accommodation), gyms, skateparks, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, beauty salons, play centres and outside playgrounds, places of worship and other public places remain closed. Restrictions on attendance at weddings, funerals and outdoor fitness classes remain in place. Supermarkets and pharmacies remain open.

New official "Coronavirus Australia” app. To stay informed download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play. Or join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

All travellers returning home from overseas will be quarantined in a hotel or designated facility for 14 days.

You can now check your symptoms online using the Australian Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker tool

The Australian Banking Association have advised that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for 6 months. If you experience financial difficulty the ABA have further info and the appropriate contact details for all member banks here.

25th March 2020

Last night Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced beauty salons (including tanning, waxing and nail services), spas and massage parlours, yoga, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres will need to close from midnight tonight. Hairdressers can remain open, but appointments can take no longer than 30 minutes. 

To read the full list of prohibited activities and venues please click here

If you are having difficulty paying rent or are worried about breaching contractual obligations, you might like to read these articles:

My Retail Business Is Struggling. How Can I Reduce the Rent?

Coronavirus Is Impacting My Contractual Obligations. What Can I Do?

My Supplier Cannot Perform Under Their Contract Due to Coronavirus. What Can I Do?

It also helps to understand your consumer law obligations, and whether your contracts have a force majeure clause.

Consumer Law and Coronavirus: What are my Obligations?

Coronavirus and Contracts: Will a Force Majeure Clause Help?

The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians. This includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.

Refer to the stimulus payments to households to support growth on the Government website - find out if you're eligible.

For stimulus payments to businesses - click here.

 

24th March 2020

These webpages provide guidance for healthcare workers, staff, healthcare students and volunteers on COVID-19:

NSW Health - Guidelines for healthcare workers who have travelled overseas, had contact with a case, or develop an acute respiratory illness

NSW Health - Guidelines for clinics

NSW Health - Guidelines for community-based and outpatient health services

Queensland Health - Guidelines for Queensland clinicians 

Department of Human Services and Health Victoria - Guidelines for clinicians

SA Health - Health topics

WA Health - Fact sheets and articles

Department of Health Northern Territory - Updates

Tasmanian Health Services - FAQ's Page

Current guidelines include:

Before attendance 

  • Develop a system, prior to attendance (e.g. phone call, SMS), to ask patients whether they’ve been overseas or have had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 while infectious, in the 14 days before the scheduled outpatient appointment.
  • If the patient meets the above criteria:
    • consider alternate of methods of conducting the appointment if appropriate (e.g. telephone or tele-medicine)
    • if it is not possible to conduct the appointment in an alternate way, reschedule their appointment unless it is medically necessary
    • reschedule the appointment for as soon as possible after the 14 day exclusion
    • remind them they are to self-isolate at home for 14 days after they returned or if they have had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 while infectious
    • remind them if they develop respiratory symptoms or fever to call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or call their GP.
  • Note, facilities will need to develop a system to implement the above steps, including appointing an appropriate person to assess whether or not it’s safe to defer the outpatient appointment.

During attendance

  • Consider options to identify patients in the clinic waiting room, e.g.
    • waiting room signage
    • asking patients at reception whether they have been overseas in the last 14 days or have had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 while infectious, in the previous 14 days
  • For patients who meet the above criteria:
    • ask the patient to wear a surgical mask
    • ask the patient if they have any respiratory symptoms or fever.
  • For patients who meet the above criteria and who report symptoms manage the patient in conjunction with the emergency department as per the clinician guidance.
  • Other guidance: ensure availability of surgical masks and hand hygiene facilities

 

23rd March 2020

The Australian Government has announced the following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

Current advice on COVID-19 for the health and aged care sector can be found here:
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-the-health-and-aged-care-sector

Including information on:

  • Public Health Unit guidelines
  • Temporary COVID-19 telehealth Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items
  • Using personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • When you can and cannot work
  • When you should be tested
  • What employers should do
  • Cleaning in the workplace
  • Food and water
  • Training
  • Support for the aged care workforce
  • Stay informed
  • Resources

Who is most at risk:

In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:

  • recently been in in a high risk country or region (mainland China, Iran, Italy or Korea)
  • been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19

In addition those most at risk of serious infection are:

  • people with compromised immune systems (such as people who have cancer)
  • elderly people
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (as they have higher rates of chronic illness)
  • people with chronic medical conditions
  • people in group residential settings
  • people in detention facilities

If your clients are concerned:

They can call the National Coronavirus Helpline for advice on 1800 020 080.

Helpline for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

From today, the Morrison Government's Business Hotline -13 28 46 - will be expanded to provide specialist advisers and extended hours to support small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operations at the contact centre will increase from five days to seven days per week, and provide an additional two hours a day of support outside standard operating hours for the first month, answering calls from 7.00 am to 11.00 pm AEST.

For more information on the assistance available for businesses please go to:

www.business.gov.au 
https://www.australia.gov.au - This site will link you to the latest COVID-19 news, updates, and advice from Australian Government Agencies.


18th March 2020

For a community committed to healing, health, and wellbeing, the last couple of weeks have been difficult for us all. At present, the situation appears to be changing on an hourly basis, and our #1 priority is to keep our team safe and to help our members.

Given this current uncertainty, please find below a statement from our insurance partner, BMS Group. We hope this will answer some of your insurance questions. Please be assured we will continue to monitor the situation very closely and advise of any further changes as they come to light.

If you have questions, please email BMS directly at iict@bmsgroup.com. The BMS team are working around the clock to provide support to customers during this difficult time. If you’re waiting on a reply email, please be patient as they're doing all they can to contact customers as quickly as possible.

If you don't already, we recommend following us on Facebook to stay up-to-date at https://www.facebook.com/myiict 

Stay safe friends,

LAWRENCE TAYLOR ELLYARD 

Founder and CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer)

Lawrence-Ellyard

 

BMS Logo

We want to share with you what we are doing at BMS Australia to protect our people and our clients, including Associations and Members. Please note that measures are in place to ensure service delivery is not impacted. Additionally, we are actively engaging with Insurers to clarify and confirm coverage interpretation to provide members as much information as possible, along with news of any developments.

COVID19 is presenting many businesses with challenges, and understanding their level of insurance coverage is just one consideration. Whilst the situation is evolving at a rapid rate, it is difficult to provide a definitive answer on each business or personal circumstance.

However we can highlight that in most circumstances, Insurers have declared COVID19 as an exclusion.

BMS is working with its strategic partners to conduct further coverage reviews and monitor the development of COVID-19 closely. We will communicate information that may impact you as it comes to light.

Thank you for your ongoing support and please feel free to connect with any member of our team if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

BMS Customer Service Team
IICT’s Exclusive Insurance Broker

Ph: 1800 290 981
Em: iict@bmsgroup.com


COVID-19 – What Does This Mean for My Business?

Can I claim loss of income due to COVID 19?

If you have business insurance you should check with your insurer. The BMS business insurance policy does not provide cover for loss of income.

Does my professional indemnity cover me for COVID 19?

We would need to understand the individual circumstances of a claim. If you have a claim you should notify your insurer immediately.

Can I practice Telehealth?

Provided it’s considered within the scope of your individual practice, in most cases you can practice telehealth and, where practicable, this is recommended. If your professional indemnity policy is with BMS there is a jurisdictional limitation within Australia.

What measures should I be taking?

It is important that you follow and keep up to date with all directions and advice issued by state and federal health bodies around hygiene and cleanliness. This can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

www.premier.vic.gov.au/extended-melbourne-lockdown-keep-victorians-safe-0
Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

About the Author:

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard is the CEO and Founder of the IICT with over 25 years experience in the natural health industry. Lawrence has been instrumental in developing the IICT's operations both within the Australia and Internationally.

https://www.lawrenceellyard.com/

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