Published 7 September 2020, revised 19 October 2020
The Victorian Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Roadmap to Reopening provides a four-step return to COVID Normal from Stage 4 and Stage 3 social restrictions. Current guidance states that ‘healthcare and social assistance’ allied health businesses in metropolitan Melbourne are ‘restricted’.
Metropolitan Melbourne remains in Step 2 of the roadmap but as of 19 October a number of restrictions have been eased. Allied health providers that are currently listed on the Permitted Work Premises list are now able to return to delivering routine care. Industry restriction levels for healthcare (allied health and other primary health services) are available from the Victorian Government website.
Further information on reopening for the health care and social assistance sector is provided in the Industry Restart Guidelines – Allied Health and Primary Care available from the Victorian Government website. In addition to an overview of the restrictions on allied health businesses, the Restart Guidelines contain an extensive Frequently Asked Question section, as well as information about COVID Safe principles and what workplaces need to do to ensure a COVID Safe environment.
AHPA is pleased that the list of permitted work premises has been expanded through our work with DHHS and now includes orthoptics, art therapy and music therapy.
Restrictions for ‘other health workers’ (not included within the provisions for permitted work premises or elsewhere classified) remain unchanged, with care permitted only for a limited number of clinical indicators and as part of an endorsed care plan.
Some allied health professions are not directly covered by the definition in the Industry Restart Guidelines. Those professions will need to refer to the Permitted Work Premises document. Professions not listed in the Restart Guidelines can provide services where they are doing so in a permitted setting.
Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) and your individual professional associations continue to work closely with the Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer and representatives from the DHHS to ensure. From 1 November, we anticipate that there will be a further easing of restrictions to complete the move to Step 3 of the recovery roadmap for Melbourne. We will continue to provide updates as they are available.
DHHS guidance published in relation to student clinical placements (15 September) remains accurate providing additional information about where guidance applies and a revision of some environmental requirements.
On 17 September, regional Victoria moved to Step 3 of the roadmap, meaning allied health businesses can now provide face-to-face services with a COVID Safe plan in place. These arrangements remain unchanged. Some industry restrictions remain and regional allied health providers can only deliver indoor group classes in certain circumstances.