FRIDAY, 19 JUNE 2020


This week’s changes to COVID restrictions in ESSA’s three-stage recovery plan for COVID-19

For the first week since we started producing this recovery plan, we have not updated any broad requirements or recommendations impacting on members, only some requirements that are state specific. From next week, we will only publish the section of this document on state and territory requirements for non-essential services if there have been any changes in the preceding week.

We will keep the overview of non-state specific requirements and recommendations as a reference document on our COVD-19 home page in the Members’ Lounge.   

Please review the requirements on the lifting of border restrictions and other restrictions for non-essential services on a state-by-state basis (e.g. large gyms, fitness centres, swimming pools and outdoor classes) here.

Please note, some states and territories require you to complete and display a COVID-19 Safe Plan specific for your jurisdiction. Take a look at the Fact Sheet below on what you need to do.


ICYMI: ESSA COVID Safe Planning Fact Sheet

ESSA released this new resource last week to help you develop a COVID Safe Plan if you

- Were required to close under COVID restrictions and
- Operate in fitness/indoor recreation centres, sport, yoga/non-clinical Pilates studios and swimming pools).


ESSA Submission to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19: Inquiry into the Australian Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic

We received notice on 18 June, 2020 that the Senate Select Committee has now published our submission on the Parliament of Australia website. To read our submission (Number 186) and submissions from other peak health and allied health organisations, click here.

To read our recommendations and summary, click here.

As a committee document, and proceeding of Parliament, the version of our submission as it appears on the website is protected by parliamentary privilege. Parliamentary privilege refers to the special rights and immunities attached to the Parliament or its members (and witnesses) which are necessary for the discharge of parliamentary functions. Parliamentary privilege protects both Parliamentarians and witnesses before committees from civil or criminal action in a court or tribunal in respect of what they have said or done in the course of parliamentary proceedings and protects those proceedings themselves from challenge or question in a court or tribunal.


ESSA COVID-19 Impact Survey 2

Please help us collect data to use to advocate on your behalf. We used your responses to the first survey in our Submission to the Senate Select Committee’s Inquiry into COVID-19. The more data we have on how COVID-19 has impacted on our members, the better we can represent your interests.

Survey takes about five minutes and closes Friday 26 June. Complete the survey here.



Guidelines for outbreaks in residential care facilities

Updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines for outbreaks in residential care facilities as of 12 June, 2020 available here.

Guidelines for restrictions on entry into and visitors to aged care facilities

Updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Restrictions on entry into and visitors to aged care facilities as of 5 June, 2020 here. Please note state relaxations this week.

Guidelines for Working with Indigenous/CALD Populations during the COVID-19 Pandemic

These guidelines aim to provide practical guidelines for health professionals working with Indigenous and CALD people during the COVID-19 pandemic. They were developed by Mindspot (based at Macquarie University, Sydney and funded by the Australian Government and contracted by the Department of Health as a regulated clinical service to provide free services for Australian adults who are experiencing difficulties with anxiety, stress, depression and low mood).

Updated Justice Connect Briefing Note 

Justice Connect (a social justice organisation and community legal service) has created a range of initiatives to respond to COVID-19 issues. It provides legal help to people and community organisations affected by the pandemic. It has updated its briefing note as of (with assistance from Clayton Utz) on some of the most pressing issues COVID-19 poses for not-for-profits, including employment, contracts and insurance.


Updated Information on Returning to Work – Fair Work Ombudsman

Updated information from 12 June, 2020 about Returning to work and the workplace during COVID-19 is now available here on:


Working from home during COVID-19 – Australian Taxation Office

Information on ensuring you can claim expenses you might have incurred whilst working from home is available here.


Mutual obligation requirements for job seekers will recommence, in a limited capacity, from Tuesday 9 June 2020

More details here.


Next Department of Health (DoH) COVID-19 Primary Care and Allied Health Webinar – 25 June, 2020

The next DoH webinar is on Thursday 25th of June from 2.30-3.00pm (AEST). Professor Michael Kidd (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) will host the panel which will discuss the transition back to the 'new normal' of living with COVID-19 and how we adapt. A brief update on COVID-19 developments will also be provided, to allow as much time as possible for your questions. No registration necessary. Webinar link here.


Telehealth guide for allied health professionals

Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) has produced a guide addressing technical, privacy and security, and clinical assessment aspects of telehealth for allied health professionals. This resource was produced in response to the expansion of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic but the document provides an overall introduction to telehealth.

This guide is a useful resource to compliment ESSA’s Telepractice Policy Statement and Telepractice Service Toolkit available here (Please note, to access these documents, you will need to log into the ESSA Members’ lounge).



CSIRO’s “A wellbeing survey of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet database during the COVID-19 pandemic

This research sheds light on the wellbeing of 3,745 people who completed the survey. The analysis found that the COVID-19 outbreak has negatively impacted respondents' health and wellbeing:

  • Exercise was commonly one of the top areas impacted, and two thirds of people felt it had been impacted in a negative way.
  • Almost 40% of respondents felt like they had gained weight during the COVID-19 restrictions.

How can you use these consumer insights in your marketing?

An analysis of three Covid-19 outbreaks: how they happened and how they can be avoided”, El País, 18 June, 2020. 

This is a news article underpinned by research which highlights the findings of studies by health authorities on how multiple COVID-19 infections spread through three different sites: a call centre office, a restaurant and a bus. The conclusions offer valuable lessons for minimising the risk of COVID-19 infections and might help you explain to clients why the 1 person 4m2 distancing rule is still so critical.

State News


Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant: Round 2 opens 1 July 2020. Prepare your application now for up to $10,000 funding for micro and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Priority is regional areas and half of the funding will support small businesses in regional Queensland. More information here. (Note, this grant program was very popular in Round 1 – do not delay in applying.)

$106M first home owner grants and regional home building boost – The Queensland Government has re-affirmed its commitment to the $15,000 first home-owner grants program for any Queensland first home buyers purchasing a new home valued at less than $750,000; and is providing an additional $5,000 grant for buyers of a new home (with the home being owner occupied and valued up to $750,000) in a regional location. More information here.



Free Telehealth Webinars – NSW Telehealth Capability Interest Group (TCIG)

The TCIG has been developed by the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation to help support clinicians to develop a successful and sustainable Telehealth service across NSW. Webinars are open to everyone across Australia.

  • Virtual Care: Running Group Sessions, Thursday 25 June, 2020 1-2pm
  • Virtual Care: TBC, Thursday 2 July, 2020 1-2pm
  • Virtual Care: Evaluation of Telehealth Services, Thursday 9 July, 2020 1-2pm
  • Virtual Care: Recap and Reflections on Telehealth Implementation in COVID-19, Thursday 16 July, 2020 1-2

Details on registering for these webinars and the recording of the webinar held 18 June on Telehealth in the Musculoskeletal World are available here.

Department of Health COVID-19 - Impact of COVID-19 on people with disability webinar – 4 June, 2020

The Department of Health has presented a webinar focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on people with disability and how to keep them safe as restrictions are eased. The webinar is aimed at general practitioners but the advice is also relevant to allied health practitioners.

The webinar is hosted by Professor Michael Kidd (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) with participants Dr Nick Coatsworth (also Deputy Chief Medical Officer) and Prof Nick Lennox (Department of Health Senior Medical Advisor, former Director of the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability). The webinar recording can be viewed here.


Continuity of Care Collaboration webinar recording – 12 June 2020

The speakers and content were:

  • John Emmerson (London Agency)- Chair/Moderator
  • John Crothers (Chair of Pathology Awareness Australia) – What is the collaboration?  How did it come about?
  • Elizabeth de Somer (CEO of Medicines Australia) – What are the seven critical areas of focus and how do we need to pivot on the ‘road-out’?  What do we know today and what will be important to manage in the future.
  • Leanne Wells (CEO of Consumers Health Forum) – Consumer Survey results – what have we learnt so far?
  • Jessica Bean (Chairperson of Patient Voice Initiative) – The patient perspective – what have been some of the challenges during COVID-19 and how have you overcome them?

Please click the link to the recording. Some good insights were presented by Jessica Bean on how you might improve your processes in treating patients with multiple chronic conditions. 

The CCC has produced an infographic of the high level findings of the consumer survey. One insight from this survey is that 47% of women preferred telehealth options compared to 34% of men.

The slide deck for the webinar is available from

The CCC is an inclusive and diverse group of over 32 Peak Bodies (including Allied Health Professions Australia), Industry and Healthcare Organisations coming together to stress the importance for people to continue with monitoring their health status and conditions to ensure optimal long term health outcomes are achieved.  


Mental Health

Free Mental Health Assessment Tool - Black Dog Institute Online Clinic

Created by leading clinicians and based on research, the Clinic has developed this free mental health assessment tool. It is suitable for anyone over 18 years of age who is:

• Worried they may be developing a mental health problem, or

• Would like to get a better understanding of their mental health.

How does it work?

The Online Clinic takes you through a range of clinical assessments for common mental health conditions. At the end you will receive a personalised report with suggested support services and free or low-cost resources for you to access. This report can be downloaded, printed or emailed to share with your family or doctor. Please note, the Online Clinic is not a substitute for professional clinical advice.


News Articles

28 May, 2020 – “Job losses caused by COVID-19, electorate by electorate”, Grattan Institute Blog

Electorates with large tourism industries and a high share of hospitality workers have been hit especially hard. This interactive map shows the levels of unemployment across Australia.   

11 June, 2020, “Navigating feelings of guilt if you're one of the Australians not impacted by COVID-19”, ABC Triple J Hack.

15 June, 2020 “What is the future of ‘Sport 2030’ in the post COVID19 world?”, Australian Sport Reflections

15 June, 2020 - “Interactive: international students make up more than 30% of population in some Australian suburbs”, The Conversation

The interactive will help you review which suburbs are more likely to have lower rents due to vacancies caused by restrictions impacting on international students entering Australia.    

15 June, 2020 – “Stop asking for COVID-19 clearance ‘certificates’’, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners