Last updated 20/10/2022

Masks for optometrists and staffMasks for patients over 12Mandatory VaccinationMandatory Isolation for COVID +ve Optoms & Staff
No but strongly encouraged No but strongly encouraged Employer to decide based on risk assessment.No, but stay home if symptomatic

Update 23-02-2022

In ACT, private health workers are NOT deemed essential & are subject to normal close contact isolation rules (7 days).

Queries 9712 2199

Update 24-02-2022

* From 6pm Feb 25 2022, masks remain mandatory for allied health practitioners working in hospitals, aged care, disability and correctional facilities. In private practice while not mandatory, mask use should still be considered to reduce infection risk and minimise potential furlough time.

Update 18-02-2022

  • Density limits removed from all businesses including optometry
  • Employees encouraged to return to work (work from home obligation removed)
  • Eating & drinking while standing permitted
  • More info on mask rules next week

Update 30-12-2021

A new definition of a Covid-19 close contact comes into effect from midnight tonight (Thurs).

Under the new definition only a person who is living with a confirmed Covid-19 positive case or sharing an accommodation setting for more than four hours with an infected person is considered a close contact.

Covid-19 infected person will be required to isolate for seven days and have a negative rapid antigen test on day six before leaving quarantine.

But a symptomatic close contact will be required to undergo a PCR test.

An asymptomatic close contact will be required to have a rapid antigen test and if positive have a separate PCR test to confirm the result.

For optometry practices this means that you can no longer be a ‘close contact’ from a patient or work colleague. In these settings you can only be a casual contact, meaning you need to monitor for symptoms and use a rapid antigen test if any symptoms emerge.

Update 26-11-21

Update re COVID-19 information for ACT health professionals

The ACT Health COVID website now has a dedicated section for ACT health professionals: Information for health professionals – COVID-19 (act.gov.au)

This includes:

Please note that information for ACT clinicians about the COVID-19 vaccination program is available here.

Advice for high-risk settings, including Entry Screening Questions, is still at the Advice for high-risk settings.

Update 19-10-2021

Retail will re-open from 12:01 am Friday 21 Oct. Max 1 person/4m2, staff excluded from count.  Travel to NSW resumes 1 Nov.

Update 13-10-2021

The lockdown in the ACT will end at 12.01am on Friday 15 October.
Details of new arrangements can be found here

NOTE: The arrangements in the ACT are SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT to those which currently apply in NSW. Please DO NOT assume that what is relevant in one jurisdiction also applies in the other!

In Summary:

All Businesses

  • Must have a Covid Safety Plan and adhere to Covid Safety Guidelines (here)
  • All venues must use the Check-in CBR app
  • Face masks must be worn in all indoor settings

Optometry Practices
Important distinction:
Optometry clinical services ARE “essential health providers”
Optometry retail is NOT “essential retail” (for both see here)
Therefore the rules are:

  • Retail arrangements for optometrists remain in place as they are at present
    ie. retail only in conjunction with an eye exam, no browsing, general sales as click-and-collect
  • This is scheduled to change on 29 October

For full details refer to the ACT Government Summary of Restrictions here

Update 14-09-2021

ACT lockdown extended to 15 October 2021. Vaccinated Yr 12 students can return to school on October 5 2021, some outdoor activities permitted.

Update 02-09-2021

The ACT lockdown has been extended until midnight Friday 17 September 2021.

There will be some amendments to restrictions, including for lower risk outdoor activities.

These amendments will come into effect from 5:00pm this Thursday (2 September), and include:

  • one household (any size) or up to 5 people can gather outdoors for up to 2 hours for exercise or non-organised recreation.
  • outdoor playgrounds, fitness stations and dog parks will reopen. Canberrans are asked to ensure they maintain physical distancing wherever practicable.
  • the number of people able to attend a funeral increased to no more than 20 people (excluding the people necessary to conduct the funeral).
  • the number of people able to attend a wedding increased to no more than 10 attendees (excluding the celebrant, but including persons being married and two witnesses).
  • other religious ceremonies which are time critical are permitted to go ahead with no more than 10 people (excluding those conducting the service).
  • the recommencement of services that operate outdoors and where physical distancing can be maintained, such as outdoor maintenance and gardening and dog grooming services.
  • ACT schools will continue with remote learning for the rest of Term 3. All ACT public schools and Early Childhood Education and Care services, including out of school hours care, will remain open for children of parents and carers who cannot work from home and vulnerable children.

There will also be a staged reopening of the construction sector under stringent COVID safe requirements from Friday 3 September 2021.

ONSW/ACT continue to be available to members 7 days a week whilst the lockdown continues. Call 9712 2199 and if we don’t answer immediately we’ll get back to you ASAPUpdate 16-08-21

Lockdown has been extended to 2nd Sept 2021.For the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak, Canberrans have been ordered to wear masks from midnight Sunday 27 June at indoor venues, including shops, cafes, gyms and on public transport.

Update 12-08-2021

ACT will enter 7 day lockdown from 5pm 12-08-21. Only essential businesses will be able to trade.  Optometry practices can open, but only for time critical care. (No general browsing). Must use check in CBR app. People can only leave the home for essential employment, health care, groceries and 1 hr exercise. Masks must be worn at all times outside the home.

Update 27-06-2021

For the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak, Canberrans have been ordered to wear masks from midnight Sunday 27 June at indoor venues, including shops, cafes, gyms and on public transport.

Update on 08-09-2020

Information regarding face masks for general consulting in non-COVID suspicious patients has been conflicting, confusing and changes frequently. Following is some of the most recent information to be used as a guide for you to make decisions in your practice. Depending on your practice location, your operating state and your personal circumstances this should be considered on a case-by-case basis. For the most up to date Australian information look at the Department of Health website.

What is the infection control advice for care and testing of patients who meet COVID-19 testing criteria and patients with confirmed COVID-19?

Standard precautions, including hand hygiene, should be observed for all patients. Patients and staff should observe cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene.

Contact and droplet precautions should be used for clinical assessment of any patient who has symptoms of COVID-19, and when collecting specimens for COVID-19 testing. Contact and droplet precautions include a surgical mask, eye protection (goggles or face shield), a long-sleeved disposable impermeable gown, and gloves.

Contact and airborne precautions should be observed when performing aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). Contact and airborne precautions include a P2/N95 mask, eye protection (goggles or face shield), a long-sleeved disposable impermeable gown, and gloves. Aerosol generating procedures include (but are not limited to) intubation, manual or non-invasive ventilation, high-flow nasal oxygen, and bronchoscopy.

The above PPE advice is based on guidance from the national Infection Prevention & Control Expert Advisory Group and is consistent with advice from the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information, refer to Department of Health advice on the use of PPE in non-inpatient settings during the COVID-19 outbreak, and the WHO’s scientific brief on the transmission of SARSCoV-2 and implications for infection prevention precautions.

You can also refer to the ACT Health factsheet on donning and doffing PPE.

What you can do

  • There is no limit on household visitation
  • Public gatherings can be a maximum of 100 people (excluding staff, trainers and spectators), with one person per 4 square metres of usable space in both indoor and outdoor spaces (whichever is lesser).
  • Many businesses can now operate with some restrictions, the latest advice is available at the Business and Work page.
  • Retail shops, restaurants and cafés, food courts, pubs and clubs, casinos, cultural institutions, entertainment venues, and personal services (hairdressers, beauty salons, therapeutic massage) can open.
  • Sports and fitnesFor the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak, Canberrans have been ordered to wear masks from midnight Sunday 27 June at indoor venues, including shops, cafes, gyms and on public transport. Update on 08-09-2020Information regarding face masks for general consulting in non-COVID suspicious patients has been conflicting, confusing and changes frequently. Following is some of the most recent information to be used as a guide for you to make decisions in your practice. Depending on your practice location, your operating state and your personal circumstances this should be considered on a case-by-case basis. For the most up to date Australian information look at the Department of Health website. What is the infection control advice for care and testing of patients who meet COVID-19 testing criteria and patients with confirmed COVID-19?Standard precautions, including hand hygiene, should be observed for all patients. Patients and staff should observe cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene.Contact and droplet precautions should be used for clinical assessment of any patient who has symptoms of COVID-19, and when collecting specimens for COVID-19 testing. Contact and droplet precautions include a surgical mask, eye protection (goggles or face shield), a long-sleeved disposable impermeable gown, and gloves.Contact and airborne precautions should be observed when performing aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). Contact and airborne precautions include a P2/N95 mask, eye protection (goggles or face shield), a long-sleeved disposable impermeable gown, and gloves. Aerosol generating procedures include (but are not limited to) intubation, manual or non-invasive ventilation, high-flow nasal oxygen, and bronchoscopy.The above PPE advice is based on guidance from the national Infection Prevention & Control Expert Advisory Group and is consistent with advice from the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information, refer to Department of Health advice on the use of PPE in non-inpatient settings during the COVID-19 outbreak, and the WHO’s scientific brief on the transmission of SARSCoV-2 and implications for infection prevention precautions.You can also refer to the ACT Health factsheet on donning and doffing PPE.What you can do
    • There is no limit on household visitation
    • Public gatherings can be a maximum of 100 people (excluding staff, trainers and spectators), with one person per 4 square metres of usable space in both indoor and outdoor spaces (whichever is lesser).
    • Many businesses can now operate with some restrictions, the latest advice is available at the Business and Work page.
    • Retail shops, restaurants and cafés, food courts, pubs and clubs, casinos, cultural institutions, entertainment venues, and personal services (hairdressers, beauty salons, therapeutic massage) can open.
    • Domestic travel to and from the ACT has been impacted – if leaving the ACT be sure to follow the rules in the jurisdiction you are in.
    • Further detailed information can be found on our Changes to Restrictions page.

    s activities are also permitted, with gyms now open and community sports allowed within group limits.

  • Domestic travel to and from the ACT has been impacted – if leaving the ACT be sure to follow the rules in the jurisdiction you are in.

Need more information?
If you require further COVID-19 clarification or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact the Optometry Australia Optometry Advisor Helpdesk on 03 9668 8500 or at national@optometry.org.au

 

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