RegionOpen for routine careMasks for optometrists and staffMask for patients over 12Mandatory Vaccination
SE QLDYesYesYesYes
Regional QLD
YesYesYesYes

Update 7-02-2022

Queensland Health is providing further advice on escalated use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), given the recent community COVID-19 cases and community transmission.

 PPE escalation update

From 4 pm, 4 February 2022, Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) and the below LGAs were determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the ‘high’ risk category:

• Cook (postcode 4874);
• Mapoon;
• Napranum;
• Northern Peninsula Area;
• Torres;
• Torres Strait Island;
• Weipa.

Additional LGAs currently in ‘high risk’ category 

Other LGAs currently determined ‘high risk’ are summarised on the Queensland Health PPE website.  Please read this summary to understand if your LGA is currently determined as ‘high risk’ category.

All clinical settings in the LGAs listed above and HHS are to escalate use of PPE to ‘high’ risk category including:

• Hospitals;
• Residential Aged Care Facilities;
• Residential Disability Care Facilities;
• Prison Health Services;
• Youth detention health services;
• Community health care settings (including general practice, dentistry and home care settings); and
• Queensland Health Vaccination Clinics

PPE escalation guidance

Queensland Health PPE website provides current PPE guidance documents – also linked below for quick reference:

Tables 1, 2, and 3 of the escalation of personal protective equipment in healthcare delivery, community health, and in-home care settings and correctional services guide (V1.5) show PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Table 1 of the escalation of personal protective equipment in residential aged care and disability accommodation services (V2.0) shows PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Escalation of personal protective equipment usage in COVID-19 vaccine clinics

We also recommend reviewing Queensland Health’s overarching Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19 Guide

Update 19-01-2022

Queensland Health is providing further advice on escalated use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), given the recent community COVID-19 cases and community transmission.

 PPE escalation update

From 4 pm, 19 January 2022, Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS) and the below LGAs have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the ‘high’ risk category:

• Burdekin (only postcodes 4806, 4807, 4808 and 4809);
• Cassowary Coast (only postcode 4849);
• Charters Towers (only postcodes 4817 and 4850);
• Flinders (only postcode 4821);
• Hinchinbrook (only postcode 4850);
• Mornington (only postcode 4809);
• Townsville (including postcodes 4810, 4811, 4812, 4814, 4815, 4817, 4818 and 4819).

Additional LGAs currently in ‘high risk’ category 

Other LGAs currently determined ‘high risk’ are summarised on the Queensland Health PPE website.  Please read this summary to understand if your LGA is currently determined as ‘high risk’ category.

All clinical settings in the LGAs listed above and HHSS are to escalate use of PPE to ‘high’ risk category including:

• Hospitals;
• Residential Aged Care Facilities;
• Residential Disability Care Facilities;
• Prison Health Services;
• Youth detention health services;
• Community health care settings (including general practice, dentistry and home care settings); and
• Queensland Health Vaccination Clinics

PPE escalation guidance

Queensland Health PPE website provides current PPE guidance documents – also linked below for quick reference:

Tables 1, 2, and 3 of the escalation of personal protective equipment in healthcare delivery, community health, and in-home care settings and correctional services guide (V1.5) show PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Table 1 of the escalation of personal protective equipment in residential aged care and disability accommodation services (V2.0) shows PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Escalation of personal protective equipment usage in COVID-19 vaccine clinics

We also recommend reviewing Queensland Health’s overarching Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19 Guide

Update  14-01–2022

Queensland Health is providing further advice on escalated use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), given the recent community COVID-19 cases and community transmission.

 PPE escalation update

From 4 pm, 14 January 2022, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (DDHHS) and the below LGAs have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the ‘high’ risk category:

• Toowoomba;
• Goondiwindi;
• Lockyer Valley (only postcodes 4352 and 4359);
• Southern Downs;
• Western Downs (all postcodes except 4428);
• North Burnett (only postcode 4626);
• South Burnett; • Banana (only postcodes 4419 and 4497);
• Maranoa (only postcodes 4423 and 4427);
• Cherbourg;
• Balonne (only postcode 4497); and
• Gympie (only postcodes 4605 and 4615).

Also from 4 pm, 14 January 2022, the following towns in South West Hospital and Health Service (SWHHS) and have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the ‘high’ risk category:

• Charleville (postcode 4470);
• Roma (postcode 4455); and
• Surat (postcode 4417)

Additional LGAs currently in ‘high risk’ category 

Other LGAs currently determined ‘high risk’ are summarised on the Queensland Health PPE website.  Please read this summary to understand if your LGA is currently determined as ‘high risk’ category.

All clinical settings in the LGAs listed above and GCHHS are to escalate use of PPE to ‘high’ risk category including:

• Hospitals;
• Residential Aged Care Facilities;
• Residential Disability Care Facilities;
• Prison Health Services;
• Youth detention health services;
• Community health care settings (including general practice, dentistry and home care settings); and
• Queensland Health Vaccination Clinics

PPE escalation guidance

Queensland Health PPE website provides current PPE guidance documents – also linked below for quick reference:

Tables 1, 2, and 3 of the escalation of personal protective equipment in healthcare delivery, community health, and in-home care settings and correctional services guide (V1.5) show PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Table 1 of the escalation of personal protective equipment in residential aged care and disability accommodation services (V2.0) shows PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Escalation of personal protective equipment usage in COVID-19 vaccine clinics

We also recommend reviewing Queensland Health’s overarching Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19 Guide

Update 11-01-2022

Queensland Health is providing further advice on escalated use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), given the recent community COVID-19 cases and community transmission.

 PPE escalation update

From 4 pm, 10 January 2022, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service (WBHHS) and the below LGAs have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the ‘high’ risk category:

• Bundaberg;
• Fraser Coast;
• Gladstone (only postcodes 4670, 4674, 4676, and 4678)
• Gympie (only postcode 4650);
• North Burnett.

Additional LGAs currently in ‘high risk’ category 

Other LGAs currently determined ‘high risk’ are summarised on the Queensland Health PPE website.  Please read this summary to understand if your LGA is currently determined as ‘high risk’ category.

All clinical settings in the LGAs listed above and GCHHS are to escalate use of PPE to ‘high’ risk category including:

• Hospitals;
• Residential Aged Care Facilities;
• Residential Disability Care Facilities;
• Prison Health Services;
• Youth detention health services;
• Community health care settings (including general practice, dentistry and home care settings); and
• Queensland Health Vaccination Clinics

PPE escalation guidance

Queensland Health PPE website provides current PPE guidance documents – also linked below for quick reference:

Tables 1, 2, and 3 of the escalation of personal protective equipment in healthcare delivery, community health, and in-home care settings and correctional services guide (V1.5) show PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Table 1 of the escalation of personal protective equipment in residential aged care and disability accommodation services (V2.0) shows PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Escalation of personal protective equipment usage in COVID-19 vaccine clinics

We also recommend reviewing Queensland Health’s overarching Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19 Guide

Update 10-1-2022

PPE Escalation

Queensland Health is providing further advice on escalated use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), given the recent community COVID-19 cases and community transmission. These precautions are intended to limit the further spread of this variant in the community and allow an assessment of risk of any further exposure in the community. This advice follows on from previous advice of 17 December 2021 that all LGAs in the state are at moderate PPE unless otherwise notified, and further advice for specific Hospital and Health Services and areas which is summarised on the Qld Health PPE website.

From 9am, 11 January 2022, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) and the below LGAs have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the ‘high’ risk category:

  • Douglas
  • Mareeba
  • Yarrabah
  • Cairns
  • Tablelands
  • Cassowary Coast
  • Etheridge
  • Croydon

Queensland Government has released the following information to address critical shortages of staff in industries.

Changes to requirements for confirmed cases and close contacts

Critically essential workers update – 9 January 2022

An employer in a critical industry can identify and create a Critical Worker List of critically essential roles. A close contact who performs a critically essential role can then leave quarantine to carry out that role if they:

  • have no COVID-19 symptoms
  • are fully vaccinated.

Critical essential roles

A critical essential role is one that:

  • requires a person with particular skills; and
  • must be performed in person at the workplace; and
  • must continue to be performed to:
    • prevent an immediate risk of death or serious injury to a person; or
    • prevent serious harm (social, economic or physical) in the community.

Update 17-12-2021

In the past 24 hours, Queensland Health has issued updated Public Health Directions concerning COVID-19 vaccination requirements, escalated PPE requirements for all QLD LGAs, and revoked a Direction. Read more below.

Directions

The below Direction is effective from 5am Friday 17 December 2021:

Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction

This Direction details key information about, but not limited to;

  • Staff and visitors: Obligations of visitors and staff entering or working in a business, activity, or undertaking where vaccination is a requirement of entry
  • Business owners and operators: Requirements of a person who owns, controls or operates a business, activity, or undertaking where COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or medical contraindication

Collection of contact information and obligation on visitors to provide contact information.

The below Direction is effective from 2.35pm 16 December 2021:

Workers in a healthcare setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction (No. 2)

This Direction details key information about, but not limited to;

  • COVID -19 vaccination requirements for workers in healthcare
  • Exceptions including medical contraindication, critical support needs, critical workforce shortage. This Direction also includes information about the process for rapid PRC testing for staff with an exemption
  • Requirements for workers in healthcare and their employers
  • Record keeping requirements.

We strongly recommend reading each Direction to understand how the current requirements and restrictions impact your practice and obligations as an owner or staff member.

Revoked Direction

The below Direction has been revoked.

Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (No. 29)

PPE escalation – all QLD LGAs deemed moderate risk

As of 3pm, 17 December 2021, all Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Queensland have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the ‘moderate’ risk category.

All health and care settings – which includes optometry practices – are to escalate their use of PPE to ‘moderate risk’ category.

PPE Guides

Tables 1, 2 and 3 of the pandemic response guide for healthcare facilities shows PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk.

Table 1 of the pandemic response guide for aged care and disability services show PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk.

Mandatory face masks

From 1am AEST Saturday 18 December, face masks will be required in Queensland when you are:

  • at indoor shopping shops and retail centres
  • visiting hospitals, disability accommodation services and residential aged care facilities
  • on public transport
  • on taxis and ride shares
  • at an airport or on a plane.

You must also wear a mask if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Please continue to refer to the Queensland Health PPE website for PPE guidance accessible at Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) COVID-19 | Queensland Health

Update 6-12-2021

Queensland Health has provided updated advice regarding the use of PPE.

De-escalation update

From 4pm, Thursday 3rd December 2021 the following Local Government Areas were determined by the Chief Health Officer to be “moderate risk” for PPE usage;

  • Balonne Shire;
  • Gold Coast City;
  • Texas;
  • Goondiwindi.

All other areas are designated as “low risk”, including Scenic Rim, Quilpie Shire, Murweh Shire, Maranoa Region, Toowoomba Region, South Burnett Region (including Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire), Western Downs Region, Paroo Shire, Bulloo Shire, Southern Downs Region (including Warwick and Stanthorpe), Banana Shire, Goondiwindi Region (except the town of Goondiwindi), and the town of Inglewood.

PPE Guides

Tables 1, 2, and 3 of the pandemic response guide for personal protective equipment in healthcare delivery, community health, and in-home care settings and correctional services show PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Table 1 of the pandemic response guide for residential aged care and disability accommodation services shows PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Please continue to refer to the Queensland Health PPE website for PPE guidance accessible at Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) COVID-19 | Queensland Health

Update 2-12-2021

From 4 pm Thursday, 2 December 2021, the following local government areas (LGAs) have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be ‘moderate risk’ for PPE usage:

• Balonne Shire.

The following LGAs and towns remain designated as “moderate risk”:

  • Paroo Shire
  • Bulloo Shire
  • Scenic Rim Region
  • Stanthorpe and Warwick in the Southern Downs Region
  • Gold Coast City
  • Texas
  • Goondiwindi

All other areas remain designated as ‘low risk’, including Quilpie Shire, Murweh Shire, Maranoa Region, Toowoomba Region, South Burnett Region (including Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire), Western Downs Region, Southern Downs Region (excluding Warwick and Stanthorpe), Banana Shire, Goondiwindi Region (except the town of Goondiwindi) and the town of Inglewood – which have now been designated as ‘low risk’.

This PPE de-escalation notice does not replace any PPE or mask wearing requirements outlined in Chief Health Officer directions.

Update 26-11-2021

Queensland Health has provided updated advice regarding the use of PPE.

PPE de-escalation

From 4pm, Friday 26 November 2021 the following Local Government Areas were been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be “low risk” for PPE usage;

  • Paroo Shire;
  • Bulloo Shire;
  • Quilpie Shire;
  • Maranoa Region;
  • Southern Downs Region (excluding Warwick, Texas, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, Inglewood)
  • Toowoomba Region;
  • Western Downs Region;
  • South Burnett Region (including Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire);
  • Scenic Rim Region.

The following LGAs, and towns in the Southern Downs region remain designated in the “moderate” risk:

  • Gold Coast City;
  • Warwick;
  • Texas;
  • Goondiwindi;
  • Stanthorpe;
  • Inglewood.

All other LGAs remain the ‘low’ risk category.

This PPE de-escalation notice does not replace any PPE or mask wearing requirements outlined in Chief Health Officer directions.

PPE Guides

Tables 1, 2, and 3 of the pandemic response guide for personal protective equipment in healthcare delivery, community health, and in-home care settings and correctional services show PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Table 1 of the pandemic response guide for residential aged care and disability accommodation services shows PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk in these settings.

Please continue to refer to the Queensland Health PPE website for PPE guidance accessible at Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) COVID-19 | Queensland Health

Update 16-11-2021

Further information about the Direction

This Direction means all healthcare workers who provide, service, or work in a healthcare setting (with limited exceptions) are required to have received the prescribed number of doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine by 15 December 2021.

Optometry QLD / NT has received a communique from Queensland Health outlining further information about the Direction including:

  • Advice the Direction does not override existing mandatory vaccination requirements and exceptions for Queensland Health and Hospital and Health Service (HHS) employees in other public health directions and the Health Employment Directive 12/21 (the HED)
  • Advice the Direction does not override or extend the timeframes for the existing mandatory vaccination requirements and exceptions for workers in residential aged care facilities
  • Student placements
  • Unvaccinated workers entering health care settings in a personal capacity
  • Vaccination records
  • Exceptions to the vaccination requirements.

Read full advice on each of the above points here.

Update 12-11-2021

Escalated PPE 

From 4pm, 11 November 2021, the following Local Government Areas have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be “moderate risk” for PPE usage;

  • Paroo Shire;
  • Bulloo Shire;
  • Murweh Shire;
  • Quilpie Shire;
  • Maranoa Region;
  • Southern Downs Region;
  • Toowoomba Region;
  • Western Downs Region;
  • South Burnett Region (including Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire);
  • Part of Banana Region that incorporates the community of Taroom;
  • Gold Coast City; and
  • Part of Scenic Rim Region that incorporates the statistical local areas of Beaudesert and Tamborine-Canungra.

The following LGAs remain on “moderate” risk:

  • Goondiwindi Region; and
  • Balonne Shire.

All other LGAs remain the ‘low’ risk category.

All health and care settings in the LGAs listed above are to escalate use of PPE to “moderate” risk category, including:

  • Hospitals;
  • Residential Aged Care Facilities;
  • Residential Disability Care Facilities;
  • Prison Health Services;
  • Youth detention health services;
  • Community health care settings (including general practice, dentistry and home care settings); and
  •  Queensland Health Vaccination Clinics.

In addition to these specific settings, clinicians and non-clinical personnel who live or work in the affected areas, who also work in other facilities or areas outside the escalated LGAs, should also follow the requirement for escalated PPE.

PPE Guides

Tables 1, 2 and 3 of the pandemic response guide for healthcare facilities shows PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk.

Table 1 of the pandemic response guide for aged care and disability services show PPE requirements for low, moderate, and high risk.

Please continue to refer to the Queensland Health PPE website for PPE guidance accessible at Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) COVID-19 | Queensland Health

Optometry QLD NT will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as required.

Update 11-11-2021

The Queensland Government has introduced mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all private healthcare staff across the state, including optometrists and optometry practice staff.
The Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath yesterday announced the Workers in a Healthcare Setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction.

This Direction means everyone working in healthcare must be vaccinated by 15 December 2021, including private health workers.

Read the Media Statement here

Optometry QLD/NT is yet to receive a direct communication on the mandate from Queensland Health. We will provide an update when received.

In the meantime, we have scheduled a webinar to provide information on the HR implications of the mandate for your practice, including specific requirements for staff and practice owners.

Update 30-09-2021

From QLD Health:

As of 4pm today the following LGAs move to medium risk for PPE requirements

  • Townsville City
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Shire

Please refer to QLD health website for detailed advice.

Update 29-09-2021

Please note that as of 10am today QLD Health have advised that Gold Coast City, Redland City, Logan City, Brisbane and Moreton Bay LGAs have returned to Medium risk for PPE requirements.

This guidance sets out which PPE should be used in three categories of community risk – low, moderate and high and remains advisory only for entities external to QLD Health. Please check the Queensland Health PPE website for the most current PPE guidance, accessible at https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/novel-coronavirus-qldclinicians/personal-protective-equipment-ppe

Update 16-08-2021

Any allied health professionals who are deemed essential workers will have to have proof of at least one COVID vaccine shot before they can cross the border from NSW into QLD as of Friday this week.

Update 11-08-2021

Update for Cairns and Yarrabah LGAs: lockdown down will be lifted

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced  the lockdown for Carins and Yarrabah will be lifted today 4pm today.

Some restrictions (the same as SEQ) will remain in place until Sunday August 22nd 2021.

View the restrictions here.

PPE escalation update

Queensland Health has provided updated recommendations on escalation of  PPE based on currently available information about COVID-19.

View the recommendations here (Table 1) 

This guidance applies to community health services and in-home care settings in LGAs in the “moderate risk” categories. 

The following  Local Government Areas (LGAs), have been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the “moderate” risk category:

  • Cairns
  • Yarrabah
  • Sunshine Coast Region
  • Noosa Shire
  • City of Brisbane
  • City of Ipswich
  • Logan City
  • Moreton Bay Region
  • Redland City
  • Gold Coast City
  •  Scenic Rim Region
  • Somerset Region
  •  Lockyer Valley Region

All other LGAs remain in the ‘low’ risk category.

Please continue to refer to the Queensland Health PPE website for the most current PPE guidance accessible at Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) COVID-19 | Queensland Health

Queensland entry pass

Everyone entering Queensland who has been interstate or to New Zealand is required to complete a declaration 3 days before entering Queensland. If you have been to a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days you cannot enter unless you have a right of entry.

Border Zone Travel (X Pass)

The New South Wales border zone has been reinstated.

Queensland residents can only enter the New South Wales border zone for a permitted purpose with a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass – Border Zone Travel (X Pass). Likewise, New South Wales border zone residents can only cross the border for a permitted purpose .

Permitted purposes include crossing the border to workSee full list of permitted purposes on Question 19 in this FAQ list.

Optometry QLD NT will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as required.

Update 02-08-2021

South-east Queensland’s lockdown has been extended until 4:00pm on Sunday 8 Aug.

Update 31-07-2021

From 4pm Saturday 31 July 2021 to 4pm Tuesday 3 August 2021, a lockdown will be in place for the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) as per the Queensland COVID-19 Restricted Areas (No.19) and Restrictions for Locked Down Areas (South-East Queensland) Direction:

Anyone who was in these LGAs at or after 1am Saturday 31 July 2021 is also required to follow the same lockdown rules even if they are no longer in South-East Queensland.

Anyone in the affected LGAs will be required to stay at home except for essential reasons, including:

  • obtaining essentials such as groceries or medications
  • obtaining medical treatment or other health care services
  • essential work if you cannot work from home
  • physical exercise outdoors within a 10km radius of your home, and with no more than one person from outside your household
  • getting a COVID-19 test or scheduled vaccination
  • providing help, care or support to a vulnerable person.

These arrangements are intended to limit the further spread COVID-19 and allow an assessment of risk of further exposure in the community. Decisions regarding the public health response, and the impact that this may have on essential healthcare are made by the Chief Health Officer to ensure the continued safety of Queensland communities.

Restrictions South East Queensland

All allied health professionals, working in the LGAs listed above are considered to provide essential services. Attending a health care appointment is one of the reasons that individuals may leave home and allied health private practices are still permitted to operate.

It is strongly encouraged that any non-urgent appointments, including group therapy appointments, are postponed or converted to telehealth where appropriate. Physical distancing must be observed to the extent possible and contact information must be collected.

Restrictions for the rest of Queensland

All allied health professionals who have been in South East Queensland, since 1am Saturday 31 July 2021 are required to follow the same lockdown rules as above, even if their principal residence or place of work is outside of the lockdown areas.

Face Masks

Anyone who is in in the LGAs listed above from must carry a face mask at all times, unless there is a lawful reason not to. A mask must be worn in indoor spaces, including health care settings and allied health private practices.

This includes for allied health practitioners providing care where physical distancing is not possible or unlikely to be maintained for the duration of the therapy session, or for workplaces where physical distancing is not possible. There are some other exceptions to wearing face masks, including for children under 12 and people with particular medical conditions or disabilities.

If unsure, allied health professionals should wear a mask and take a common-sense approach.

Updated 22-07-2021

Queensland Health has advised the “moderate” risk category in relation to personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance will remain in place until further notice, for the following LGAs:

  • Sunshine Coast Region
  • Noosa Shire
  • City of Brisbane
  • City of Ipswich
  • Logan City
  • Moreton Bay Region
  • Redland City
  • Gold Coast City
  • Scenic Rim Region
  • Somerset Region
  • Lockyer Valley Region

All other geographic areas are “low” risk for PPE usage.

Please continue to refer to the Queensland Health PPE website for the most current PPE guidance accessible at Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) COVID-19 | Queensland Health

Optometry QLD NT will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as required.

Update 02-07-2021

The three-day lockdown will end this evening at 6pm for the Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Palm Island and Townsville LGAs. The mask restrictions continue to apply for these areas.

The lockdown for Brisbane and Morton Bay is currently scheduled to end 6pm Saturday 3 July.

Update 30-06-21

Communications have been received from QLD Health last night confirming:

Restrictions South East Queensland, Townsville City (including Magnetic Island) and Palm Island

All allied health professionals, working in the LGAs listed above are considered to provide essential services. Attending a health care appointment is one of the reasons that individuals may leave home and allied health private practices are still permitted to operate.

It is strongly encouraged that any non-urgent appointments, including group therapy appointments, are postponed or converted to telehealth where appropriate. Physical distancing must be observed to the extent possible and contact information must be collected.

Face Masks

Anyone who is in in the LGAs listed above from 1am 29 June must carry a face mask at all times, unless there is a lawful reason not to. A mask must be worn in indoor spaces, including health care settings and allied health private practices.

This includes for allied health practitioners providing care where physical distancing is not possible or unlikely to be maintained for the duration of the therapy session, or for workplaces where physical distancing is not possible. There are some other exceptions to wearing face masks, including for children under 12 and people with particular medical conditions or disabilities.

If unsure, allied health professionals should wear a mask and take a commonsense approach. Further information about face masks, including FAQ’s is available here.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Information regarding the use and escalation of personal protective equipment (PPE) can be found on the dedicated Queensland Health PPE webpage and in the Pandemic Response Guidance – Personal Protective Equipment in Healthcare Delivery.

For entities external to Queensland Health, a decision to follow recommended PPE protocols rests with the responsible Chief Executive or equivalent for that entity, except where a Directive requires use of PPE (such as for residential aged care facilities).

All impacted areas above have now been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the “moderate” risk category for the purposes of determining appropriate PPE.

All other LGAs remain in the ‘low’ risk category.

All health and care settings are to escalate use of PPE, including community health settings (of which allied health private practices are included).

Clinicians and non-clinical personnel who live or work in the impacted areas who also work in other facilities or areas outside the escalated LGAs should follow the requirement for escalated PPE.

Please note that this PPE guidance is additional to and does not replace the CHO Directives that have been formally issued, and for which compliance is mandatory. The PPE escalation will remain in place until notification that it has been rescinded by the Chief Health Officer.

Updated 29-06-2021

OQNT MEMBER UPDATE
South East Qld & Townsville 3-day lockdown
As announced this morning, from 6pm Tuesday 29 June 2021, a 3 day lockdown will be in place for the following Local Government Areas (LGAs):

  • Noosa
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Ipswich
  • Logan
  • Redlands
  • Moreton Bay
  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Scenic Rim
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Somerset
  • Townsville City
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Shire

The lockdown restrictions will be reviewed on Friday 2 July.

Anyone in the affected LGAs will be required to stay at home except for essential reasons. Anyone who was in South East Queensland, Townsville (including Magnetic Island) or Palm Island on or since 6pm Tuesday 29 June 2021 is required to follow the same lockdown rules even if they are no longer in those areas.

You can only leave your residence for limited permitted purposes such as:

  • obtaining essential goods or services, including healthcare (including vaccinations)
  • exercise (You can exercise away from your home with your household group and/or one other person not from your household)
  • attending essential work or childcare
  • assisting vulnerable persons

You should stay in your local area wherever possible.

You must carry a face mask at all times when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason not to. You must wear a mask in indoor spaces, such as:

  • shopping centres and supermarkets
  • hospitals and aged care facilities, if permitted to visit
  • indoor workplaces (where safe to wear a mask and you can’t physically distance)
  • public transport, taxis and rideshare, and waiting places or queues for this transport
  • airports and travelling on planes.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OPTOMETRISTS?

Currently the Government has not specified a requirement for optometry practices to close. However, it is important for optometrists to remember that the intent of the lockdown is to limit movement and social interactions, and it remains at the member’s discretion if you choose to reschedule care.
We remind optometrists to implement appropriate PPE and infection control in clinical practice.

Please refer to the  QLD Government link for further details: click here

Optometry QLD NT will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as required.

Updated 29-06-2021

The following Local Government Areas will enter lockdown from 6pm Today (29th June 2021) until 6pm Friday 2nd July.

  • Noosa
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Ipswich
  • Logan
  • Redlands
  • Moreton
  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Scenic Rim
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Somerset
  • Townsville
  • Magnetic Island
  • Palm Island

There are only 4 reasons for residents in these areas to leave their homes:

  1. To buy essentials such as groceries and medications.
  2. Work or study if you cant do either from home.
  3. Exercise in your local area
  4. Healthcare or to provide help, care or support.

A mask is required when leaving the home.

Details will be updated at the Queensland Government Website.

Update 28-06-2021

New restrictions are being introduced from 1:00am tomorrow (June 29) for two weeks for: Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan , Redlands, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay and Somerset local government areas. You must carry a face mask with you at all times and wear it whenever you are outside the house (excluding vigorous exercise or when seated).

Businesses and venues must return to the one person per 4m² inside and one person per 2m² outdoors.

PPE Escalation

Please be advised that the risk of COVID-19 community transmission in the Queensland primary care setting has been reviewed and revised to ‘moderate’for some LGAs. The practical implication is that from 1300 hours on 27 June 2021, the recommended PPE escalation for health care settings in the PPE protocols is now at ‘moderate’ level in the following LGAs:

  • Sunshine Coast Region
  • City of Brisbane
  • City of Ipswich
  • Logan City
  • Moreton Bay Region
  • Redland City
  • Gold Coast City
  • Scenic Rim Region

All other LGAs remain in the ‘low’ risk category.

NEW – Advice for healthcare workers who have been in New South Wales
As announced yesterday, the Places of Concern Direction will be reinstated. From 0100hrs Saturday 26 June 2021 anyone in Queensland who has been in the Inner Sydney Local Government areas or Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and City of Sydney since 0100hrs 11 June 2021 must stay at home as per the requirements of the NSW lockdown. This includes healthcare workers who will require an exemption if they are return to work prior to revocation of this direction. Please note that the Interstate Places of Concern (Stay at Home) Direction clearly states that a person cannot leave home to work in a vulnerable setting (including a hospital) so exemption applications are unlikely to be approved.

Health worker seeking to apply for an exemption will be required to provide the following information through the portal:

  • When (dates) you were in [INSERT LGA HERE] and your movements while there
  • Date of return to Queensland
  • Whether you visited an interstate exposure venue and/or have been informed you’re a close contact
  • Evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result since returning to Queensland
  • Confirmation and evidence of whether you have been vaccinated
  • Nature of your role and degree of patient contact, especially vulnerable groups
  • Potential impact on service continuity and patient care if the exemption is not granted

When you are next scheduled to work and a copy of your roster.

Please continue to refer to the below QLD Government website for further details.

Updated 16-04-2021

Restrictions regarding gatherings and masks have been eased in Queensland from 6am on Thursday the 15th April.

Further information is available here or from the Queensland Government

Updated 01-04-2021

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced an earlier than expected end to the Greater Brisbane lockdown.  Lockdown restrictions are being lifted from Midday AEST 1st of April.

Mask requirements, restrictions on gatherings and visiting hospitals/aged care are expected to continue for 2 weeks and are expected to end on Midday Thursday 15th April.

Further information is available from the Queensland Government and Optometry Queensland and Northern Territory

Updated 30-03-2021

Additional information received from QLD’s CAHO ( Chief Allied Health Officer):

Allied health professionals working in the impacted areas are considered essential care providers. Attending a health care appointment is one of the reasons for leaving home and these businesses are still permitted to operate. However, it is strongly encouraged that any non-urgent appointments are postponed or converted to telehealth where appropriate. Physical distancing must be observed to the extent possible. As at 5 pm AEST Monday 29 March 2021 to 5pm AEST Thursday 1 April 2021, Impacted areas include:

Individuals who live outside the impacted areas are only able to travel into the impacted areas to receive healthcare from a Hospital and Health Service, a private health facility or from a prescribed health practitioner or registered NDIS provider under an agreed NDIS plan. This is consistent with the previous Border restrictions for accessing essential healthcare. It is important to note that individuals who enter the impacted area to receive healthcare will then be required to abide by the lockdown rules for the duration of the Direction when they return to their place of residence outside the impacted area. This includes only leaving their house for permitted purposes and wearing a mask when doing so.

A list of prescribed health practitioners is provided in the Restrictions for Impacted Areas Direction (No.3) and includes health professionals such as optometry.

FAQ

I have an appointment in or outside of the lockdown area, can I attend?

If you live in an impacted area you are only allowed to leave your home to attend an appointment which would be considered essential or permitted, such as attending a medical appointment. If you live outside of an impacted area you can attend an essential appointment in an impacted area. However, you must abide by the lockdown restrictions upon your return. This means only leaving your residence for a permitted purpose and wearing a mask when doing so.

Do people have to wear a mask where physical distancing can be maintained?

You must wear a mask when you are indoors, unless it is in your own home.

Updated 29-03-2021

The Queensland Government has announced a 3 day lockdown for Greater Brisbane with commencing at 5pm today 29 March 2021. This applies to the local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Redlands, and Logan.

At this stage it is anticipated restrictions will mirror the last lockdown with optometry practices able to remain open throughout this period. (NB Further updates will be posted here and on the OQLD/NT facebook page as they become available).

During this time, it is mandatory masks are worn when outside the home and this would apply to the public and all members of staff within a practice.  Masks must be worn at all times, however, can be temporarily be removed for eating, drinking and when necessary for your employment.  In line with advice for all Queensland Health facilities, Optometry Australia strongly recommends surgical masks for optometrists and staff that are within 1.5m of patients.

Updated 27-01-2021

 As of 22 Jan 2021, all geographic areas in QLD are designated ‘low risk’ for PPE usage.

Further information

 

Updated 11-01-2021

The Queensland Government has lifted the 3 day lockdown and announced eased restrictions for Greater Brisbane will be in place from 6pm 11 January to 1am 22 January 2021.

The Greater Brisbane region includes: City of Brisbane, City of Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City.

Masks will remain mandatory until 1:00am on January 22 for indoor spaces (except in your home) including shopping centres and retail outlets.

The Queensland  Government health alerts website lists density requirements for businesses :  one person per 4 square metres on any premises indoors and businesses with a floor space less than 200 square metres can have one person per 2 square metres, up to 50 people at a time.

Healthcare workers in those local government areas affected by the lockdown have been advised by the Queensland Government to continue to apply moderate risk PPE escalation until 1am 22 January.

Practices should review and ensure appropriate infection control measures are in place such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, and triage questions to limit interactions with potentially infected patients. More information can be found in our online resources and sections on face masks & PPE and ventilation.


Updated 08-01-2021

The Queensland Government has announced an increase in restrictions for Greater Brisbane commencing at 6pm on Friday the 8 January 2021 until 6pm Monday the 11 January 2021. Optometry practices can remain open throughout this period.

This applies to the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Redlands, and Logan.

During this time, it is mandatory masks are worn when outside the home and this would apply to the public and all members of staff within a practice.  Masks must be worn at all times, however, can be temporarily be removed for eating, drinking and when necessary for your employment.  In line with advice for all Queensland Health facilities, Optometry Australia strongly recommends surgical masks for optometrists and staff that are within 1.5m of patients.

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.

Optometry Practices are medical practices and are not required to have a COVID safe plan.

What PPE do I wear and when? 

  • The Interim Infection Control Guidelines were updated on 23 August 2020 to include PPE escalation for Healthcare Facilities. This document outlines the recommended PPE escalation according to risk of unexpected COVID-19 infections in patients or healthcare workers.
  • As the current risk of unexpected COVID-19 infections in hospital patients or healthcare workers in the Greater Brisbane Area has been assessed to be low-moderate, universal masking (with flat surgical mask) is recommended for all patients, visitors and staff in the Greater Brisbane Area.
  • This advice applies to all Queensland Health facilities and is also strongly recommended for all other healthcare providers in the Greater Brisbane Area (e.g. general practice, private hospitals, community care etc.).
  • The PPE advice for Queensland Ambulance Service follows this guidance and paramedics will continue to wear appropriate PPE for all patient interactions in the Greater Brisbane Area.
  • PPE escalation for Healthcare Facilities outlines additional PPE requirements when caring for suspected / probable / confirmed COVID-19 patients as defined in the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (CDNA) Series of National Guidelines (SoNG).
  • Practically these will be patients who meet the current clinical criteria of COVID-19 (i.e. fever (≥37.5°C) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) OR loss of smell or loss of taste).
  • Please note that contact precautions (gown or apron and gloves) are no longer required for care of non-COVID patients (patients who don’t meet the CDNA criteria) in emergency departments in Greater Brisbane.
  • The PPE escalation for Healthcare Facilities also provides advice to healthcare workers and patients outside the Greater Brisbane Area. Currently the risk of unexpected COVID-19 infections in hospital patients or healthcare workers in these regions is considered to be low

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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