South Australian COVID-19 restrictions and allied health services (updated 21 Dec 2020)

Published 19 November 2020, revised 21 December 2020

On 12 December 2020, South Australia’s COVID-19 Declaration of Public Emergency was extended for a further 28 days. The Emergency Management (Public Activities No 16) (COVID-19) Direction came into effect on 14 December.

Under this Direction, ‘defined public activities’ include health care, residential care, disability support and aged care services. These activities are permitted subject to the following requirements:

  • until 23 December, all care providers, patients, clients, residents, administrative and other staff, employees, visitors, students, contractors and any other person on the premises must wear a mask (covering mouth and nose) at all times in the presence of other people on the premises. Some exceptions apply. More information about use of masks is available from the SA Health website.
  • all businesses involved in a defined public activity must have a COVID-Safe plan in order to operate. The COVID Safe plan must include a contact tracing system such as the COVID Safe Check-In.
  • density requirements should be 1 person per 2 square metres.

More information about current COVID restrictions in South Australia and emergency directions for public activities, including public activity requirements (such as COVID Plan, density requirements and operational requirements), is available from the South Australian COVID-19 website.

AHPA continues to work with the South Australian Chief Allied and Scientific Health Officer to ensure our members and practitioners have the latest advice that applies to allied health.

More on the current Emergency Management Direction

Schedule 1 of the Direction outlines exclusions from defined prohibited and prescribed gatherings. These include gatherings at a health/medical, disability, aged care or residential care facility (or associated vehicle) necessary for normal business.

Schedule 2 of the Direction contains further information about defined public activities and how these apply to health care, residential care, disability support and aged care services, including allied health.

Healthcare services include the following:

  • private and public hospitals
  • general practice
  • private and public medical specialist services and practices
  • private and public mental health services and practices including drug and alcohol services
  • private and public allied health services, including those provided by a counsellor, speech pathologist, sonographer, social worker, rehabilitation counsellor, radiation therapist, radiographer, psychologist, prosthetist/orthotist, podiatrist, physiotherapist, pharmacist, music therapist, osteopath, orthoptist, optometrist, occupational therapist, genetic counsellor, exercise physiologist, dietitian, counsellor, chiropractor, audiologist, art/creative art therapist, or Bowen therapist
  • social workers working in health care services
  • private complementary and alternative therapy services and practices including Chinese medicine practitioners
  • community health services including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
  • private and public dental services
  • private and public reproductive services and sexual health services
  • private and public radiology services including screening services
  • private and public disability and rehabilitation services

Residential care services include the following:

  • residential disability services
  • supported residential facilities
  • residential care facilities established under the Family and Community Services Act 1972 or licensed under the Child and Young People (Safety) Act 2017

Support and in-home services include:

  • disability support services, including in-home disability support services
  • in-home aged care services
  • supported independent living services.