Industry Guidelines
As you are aware the industry guidelines were released yesterday – click here.

Some additional information from DHHS on permitted workplaces examples for Metro Melbourne are listed below:
  • Where face-to-face services are being delivered within a permitted premises this is permitted, so long as the service meets one of the clinical indications specified.

  • Where a clinician works alongside other specialists or permitted workers as part of a ‘clinical team’ (such as an orthoptist collocated with medical specialists in a clinic environment or private rooms), face-to-face clinical treatment could be provided so long as the service meets one of the clinical indications specified.

  • As per the above, services contracted directly by the permitted work premise are able to provide face-to-face services for one of the clinical indications listed (e.g., private physiotherapists directly contracted by a residential aged care facility), however, this does not extend to individual patient/clients contracting the service themselves.

  • End of life services is a permitted industry and any services required to support end of life care are therefore permitted.

  • For patients/clients who have previously been on an endorsed care plan, and are awaiting commencement of a new endorsed care plan, services can be provided so long as the new endorsed care plan has been approved in principle and only formal endorsement is pending.

  • Face-to-face services to patient/clients provided in their own home environment as part of ‘aged care services’ are permitted so long as the service meets one of the clinical indications specified.

  • Face-to-face services required to support a mental health patient would be permitted specifically for those with complex mental health issues. Supporting good mental health and well-being for individuals is otherwise considered to be routine care and not permitted under the current clinical indications unless provided by telehealth.

COVID Safe Plans

Any business that is currently open must have a COVID safe plan. This does not matter how many employees in the business as previously communicated by Business Victoria.

Indoor Group Classes for Regional Victoria
AEPs will be allowed to provide indoor treatment sessions for only these reasons:

  • 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 Stage 4 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).

Clinical Treatment for Melbourne

Indoor clinical treatment must only be provided 1:1 (i.e. one clinician to one patient/client), and in separate rooms wherever possible.

Practitioners cannot treat more than one person at a time – even if the two people are from the same household.

If it is not possible to provide 1:1 clinical treatment in separate rooms, then a large open treatment spaces may be used, however, density quotients and strict cleaning requirements apply. A gym/fitness centre/studio does not meet the criteria of the large treatment space. Large treatment spaces can only be within an allied health clinic.

Indoor independent exercise is not permitted.

Outdoor clinical treatment is permitted and may be provided in a 2:1 model with strict physical distancing, face coverings and cleaning requirements in place.

Step 3 in Metro Melbourne
There will not be restrictions on who is getting treated and who can provide the treatments. Indoor classes are still not allowed. DHHS acknowledge this is different to Step 3 in regional Victoria. This is because indoor gatherings is still a high risk and the levels of COVID were very different in the regional areas.

Student Placements
Whilst clinical placements of health students are permitted to continue under the current restrictions, preference should be given to those placements that are critical for students to progress in their training and achieve graduation.

This is to ensure there is not a detrimental flow-on effect on students being able to enter our critical health care workforce.

Details on student placements can be found here.