Victorian COVID-19 roadmap to reopening

Published 7 September 2020, revised 17 September 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 restrictions. Those plans include updated information about Industry Restriction levels. The guidance states that ‘healthcare and social assistance’ allied health businesses industries for metropolitan Melbourne will be ‘Highly Restricted’ during Steps 1 and 2, and ‘Restricted’ levels during Steps 3 and 4. Further information about these levels is outlined in the Common Requirements – Industry Restriction Level document.

Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) has been working closely with the Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer and representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to seek further clarification in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) reopening roadmap for metropolitan Melbourne.

AHPA welcomes Victorian Premier Dan Andrews’ announcement on 16 September of changes allowing increased access to allied health services in Step 2.

These changes will see an easing of restrictions for dental and allied health services in metropolitan Melbourne in Step 2, which will come into effect from 28 September.

During Step 2 “Allied health professionals will be able to see patients for face-to-face services for a broader range of treatments than just preventing hospital admission, such as for pain management or to prevent a deterioration in functional independence.

During Step 3, most dental and allied health services will be able to recommence with a COVIDSafe plan, with some limitations still in place on group therapy for allied health.”

DHHS has published updated guidance on student clinical placements (15 September) providing additional information about where guidance applies and a revision of some environmental requirements.

As of 17 September, regional Victoria has moved to Step 3 of the roadmap, meaning allied health businesses can now provide face-to-face services with a COVIDSafe plan in place.

We thank and acknowledge allied health professionals for their ongoing support for the community and their diligence in managing the tough balance between maintaining client health of their clients and reducing potential exposure to COVID-19.