Metro Melbourne

Open for emergency careOpen for routine careOpen for click and collectMasks for optometrists and staffMasks for patients over 12Mandatory VaccinationDistancing
YesYesYesYesYesCOVID-19 Mandatory Vaccine1 per 4m2

Regional Victoria

Open for emergency careOpen for routine careOpen for click and collectMasks for optometrists and staffMasks for patients over 12Mandatory VaccinationDistancing
YesYesYesYesYesCOVID-19 Mandatory Vaccine1 per 4m2

Update 22-11-2021

The Department of Health has issued updated contact assessment and management guidance regarding furlough requirements now that Victoria has entered Phase D of The Roadmap. This document is slightly different to previous iterations and we strongly recommend you take the time to review the document and understand the implications.

Update 18-11-2021

As you may be aware, the Victorian Premier has announced that Victoria will enter Phase D of the Roadmap from 11.59pm tonight, 18 November, as it’s anticipated that 90 per cent of Victorians (12+ years) will be fully vaccinated within the next few days. This means that businesses including optometry practices, no longer have capacity and density limits, subject to COVIDSafe measures being in place.

As always, we have been liaising closely with the Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer about what this means for you and your practice.

Mask requirements
Masks will still be required for workers and customers in indoor retail (including optometry settings), and for visitors and select workers in hospitals. The current restrictions for optometry practices have not changed, and practice staff, patients and customers should continue to wear masks unless they have a medical exemption.

Unless there is a significant jump in hospitalisations, it is expected that retail customers will no longer need to wear masks after 15 December.

Minimum PPE requirements
We are in close communication with Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer (VCAHO) who has advised that at the time of writing there has been no change to the current minimum PPE requirement for optometrists, which comprises a surgical mask and eye protection. The VCAHO has also advised that this document is reviewed regularly and we will be notified if there are any changes.

We are also currently seeking advice from the VCAHO as to how the changes to quarantine requirements align with the current furlough arrangements for health care professionals, and we will provide further advice as soon as this clarification is provided.

Vaccination requirements
We have been in contact with Business Victoria today, who have acknowledged that as optometry is unique in its settings, with a combination of retail and clinical care, there are no specific guidelines as to whether patrons are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic we have strongly advocated that the retail side of optometry was ‘essential’, and as such we believe this means that there will not be a requirement for members of the public entering an optometry practice to be vaccinated. We have further meetings scheduled with Victorian Government branches tomorrow and will update members if any change to this advice is received.

We realise that individual circumstances may vary and would advise you to manage this depending on your situation. Avant, our professional indemnity insurance provider have some provided some guidance on managing unvaccinated patients.

Quarantine
Self-quarantine obligations have been reduced across the board for COVID-19 cases and fully-vaccinated contacts. The vast majority of people who come into contact with a confirmed positive case outside their home won’t have to self-quarantine. These contacts will be required to get a standard (PCR) test and isolate until they get a negative result.

This means exposure in your practise won’t automatically result in quarantine for the patrons or staff, who previously would have been designated Primary Close Contacts at Tier 1 exposure sites.

In addition, people diagnosed with COVID-19 are now required to notify their workplace about their positive result.  Employers will also have to identify and notify employees and sub-contractors – but not patrons – who were exposed to advise them to get tested.

Update 21-10-2021

Retail and Browsing
While clinical optometry in metropolitan Melbourne returns to routine care after 11:59pm Thursday 21 October 2021, general retail is open only for contactless click and collect. This means optometry practices will not be open to general browsers not associated with the clinical service.

Update 20-10-2021

Update 19-10-2021

Further to yesterday’s announcement that optometry in metropolitan Melbourne will be returning to routine care after 11:59pm Thursday 21 October 2021, we would like to reassure all Optometry Victoria South Australia members that we continue to work behind the scenes to ensure further disruptions are minimised and members remain safe as we  return to routine care against the backdrop of ‘living with’ COVID-19 community transmission.

Unvaccinated Patients

Unlike in NSW, the Victorian Government has not indicated that they will restrict access to optometry services based on a patient’s vaccination status, and it is not mandatory to check this for each patient.

At this stage (if they wish to), optometrists do have a right to ask people if they’re vaccinated. It is then reasonable to make suitable alternative arrangements if they are unvaccinated if it presents a risk to the individual provider or employee of that provider (eg if someone in the practice is immunocompromised).

Suitable alternative arrangements may include seeing unvaccinated patients at the end of the day or when people at most risk aren’t there, or referring the patient on for care. Optometry providers must also comply with anti-discrimination and privacy obligations and we recommend documenting conversations held with the patient on this topic.  We are currently seeking further legal advice to clarify this matter.

For those that are considering seeing vaccinated only patients the other option may be asking unvaccinated patients to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test prior to appointment. These tests are currently available to optometrists from Good Optical and medical retailers.

Furlough advice

Furlough is one of several tools than can be utilised to ensure our health services remain safe places to give and receive care. We are looking to better understand the furlough guidance if an optometrist or any team member is exposed to COVID-19 while working in an optometry setting.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

As OV/SA have previously advised, optometrists in private practice settings are directed by the Victorian Department of Health to have a minimum PPE requirement of surgical masks and goggles or face shields.  However, we are also aware that using P2/N95 respirators instead of surgical masks may mean that, if a COVID-19 exposure was to occur, the Public Health Team may determine that the risk of transmission is lower and reduce time required to furlough. Comprehensive advice on this area for GP’s has recently been released and we are seeking to clarify this for optometry.

Fit testing

Fit testing is a validated method to independently determine whether a specific make, model and size of respirator achieves a proper fit to an individual’s face.  Fit testing is recommended in order to get the maximal protection from a P2/N95 respirator. External testers can be accessed either through mask manufacturers, or potentially through other health services, either through a partnership or commercial arrangement. The Department of Health and Human Services lists preferred providers of this service online.

Update 18-10-2021

Metropolitan Melbourne to return to routine care
Following the Victorian Premier’s announcement on Sunday of further easing of restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne, aligned to achievement of 70 per cent full vaccination, we have been advised by the Department of Health that effective of 11.59pm Thursday 21 October 2021, private practice optometry services will be able to resume routine care with COVIDSafe requirements in place.

This includes having a COVIDSafe Plan in place and complying with requirements on record keeping, density quotients of one person per 4 square metres, PPE and cleaning.

This means that from Friday the services that all Victorian optometry practices can provide will be aligned, with routine care available to patients across the entire state.

OV/SA has been strongly advocating to the Victorian Minister for Health, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and Chief Health Officer of the important role that optometry plays in the eye care of the community, and we warmly welcome this announcement.

We have been advised that the Department of Health’s COVID-19 website will be updated in the coming days to reflect these changes.

Update 14-10-2021

Information about the HR implications of mandatory vaccinations for Victorian optometrists and practice staff has been provided by Industry Legal Group, to support members navigating these requirements.

Update 24-09-2021

As of 24 September,  health workers (including optometrists and clinical-facing ancillary staff) in cross-border contexts who enter Victoria under  a specified worker (multiple entry) permit, must carry evidence of full or partial vaccination, vaccination booking by 7 October or carry evidence of an exemption. More information

Update 09-09-2021

Regional Victoria:

The Victoria Government has announced that from 11:59pm on Thursday 9th September, lockdown restrictions will be lifted in regional and rural Victoria, except for Greater Shepparton. However, the Chief Allied Health Officer (CAHO) has confirmed that allied health practitioners, including optometrists in regional Victoria (excluding Greater Shepparton) may return only to face to face essential care. There is no change to current restrictions for optometrists in metro Melbourne.

We remain concerned that routine care is not permitted and are in discussions with Chief Allied Health Officer (CAHO) to review these directions as a matter of priority. We will continue to advocate to the CAHO that optometrists have an excellent track record of practising in a COVID-safe way, and that delays in seeing patients is detrimental to community eye health outcomes.

Essential clinical care is defined as care/services:
•           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 previous 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).

Density:
Density quotients still apply in all of Victoria to all venues and spaces that are accessible to the public (and in closed workplaces, to shared spaces such as lunchrooms) – 1 to 4m

Mandatory vaccinations for aged care workers:
Victoria has released its public health direction on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of residential aged care workers. The direction, which officially came into effect on 11:59pm 7th September 2021, makes provision for the introduction of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of workers, from 17th September 2021, in residential aged care in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Mask advice:
Face masks must be carried at all times and be worn outdoors, indoors, except if at home, or if an exemption applies.

We’ve received many enquiries about how to handle situations where a patient refuses to wear a face mask (often without any valid reason). We recognise that these conversations can be difficult and would encourage members to read this Mask FAQ with practical tips. Please contact our Optometrist advisor help desk if you need support.

Update 21-08-2021

REGIONAL VICTORIA MEMBERS

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews this morning announced that from 1pm today, Saturday 21 August until 11:59pm, Thursday 2 September, all metropolitan Melbourne restrictions – except for the daily 9pm to 5am curfew – will be implemented across regional Victoria. Restrictions have not changed in South Australia.

The Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer (CAHO) has confirmed to OV/SA that allied health professionals in regional Victoria can now only deliver urgent care (which, as outlined below, differs from ‘essential care’).

The definition of urgent clinical care is:

Direct clinical care (and other clinical support activity necessary to support direct clinical care) that prevents a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care OR is required as an adjunct to other urgent medical/surgical interventions.

For example, urgent clinical care;

  • that avoids a potential hospital admission or emergency department presentation
  • that avoids serious acute consequences or acute deterioration
  • that presents/delays the need for further specialist medical or surgical intervention
  • that prevents an increase in care needs that would necessitate additional carer supports or change in accommodation needs
  • that limits secondary complications post-surgery
  • where deferral would lead to long term adverse consequences (i.e.. delays to child development)

We’re aware that Victoria Police are monitoring the compliance of allied health practices with the public health directions, with the potential for fines to be issued if breaches have occurred.
We’ve also received a number of queries from members as to whether particular clinical situations fit within the definition of urgent care. Some of these we’ve been able to address and for some, we’re seeking further clarification.

We have been advised by the CAHO that the new public health orders are intentionally more restrictive and are more like the hard lockdowns experienced in 2020.

In relation to replacement or repair of broken spectacles and contact lenses without a current script, please ensure that this can be clinically justified within the parameters of the above definition, and will support a patient’s functional independence including for example the ability to drive, read medicine bottles, cooking safely, and avoiding trips and falls.

We’ll communicate any additional relevant changes or advice if this occurs.

Authorised worker permits

In addition, authorised workers including allied health professionals, will be required to carry permits like their metropolitan Melbourne counterparts when working, and when travelling for work from 11:59pm Monday 23 August. The permit is required to be certified by an employer. Authorised allied health workforces include:

  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as authorised workers in hospitals, in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or
  • Allied health professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing urgent clinical care. Note: face to face appointments should only occur for urgent clinical care that cannot be deferred – routine face to face care is not permitted but may be provided via Telehealth; or
  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options;
  • Medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health students on placement providing authorised care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth.

Financial assistance

There were no announcements from the Victorian government today regarding additional financial assistance for businesses who are affected by the new restrictions. We will monitor the Business Grants and Support page on the Victorian government’s coronavirus page, and we will provide updates as soon as any announcements are available.

Update 17-08-2021

METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE MEMBERS

Amendment to the definition of urgent care

Further to the Victorian Premier’s announcement yesterday about tightened restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne, and advice that allied health professionals in in those areas can now only deliver urgent rather than essential care, the Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer (CAHO) has advised this morning of an addition to the definition of urgent care, highlighted in pink below.

The definition of urgent clinical care for this purpose is:

Direct clinical care (and other clinical support activity necessary to support direct clinical care) that prevents a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care OR is required as an adjunct to other urgent medical/surgical interventions.

For example, urgent clinical care;

  • that avoids a potential hospital admission or emergency department presentation
  • that avoids serious acute consequences or acute deterioration
  • that presents/delays the need for further specialist medical or surgical intervention
  • that prevents an increase in care needs that would necessitate additional carer supports or change in accommodation needs
  • that limits secondary complications post-surgery
  • where deferral would lead to long term adverse consequences (i.e.. delays to child development)

We’re aware that Victoria Police are monitoring the compliance of allied health practices with the public health directions, with the potential for fines to be issued if breaches have occurred.

We’ve also received a number of queries from members as to whether particular clinical situations fit within the definition of urgent care. Some of these we’ve been able to address and for some, we’re seeking further clarification.

We have been advised by the CAHO that the new public health orders are intentionally more restrictive than last week, and are more like the hard lockdowns we experienced last year.

In relation to replacement or repair of broken spectacles and contact lenses without a current script, please ensure that this can be clinically justified within the parameters of the above definition, and will support a patient’s functional independence including for example the ability to drive, read medicine bottles, cooking safely, and avoiding trips and falls.

We’ll communicate any additional relevant changes or advice if this occurs.

The Victorian government coronavirus website is still being updated to reflect the change from essential care to urgent care. The ‘authorised health services’ section on this page has been updated to include allied health services providing urgent care only. However the ‘authorised workers’ section still includes the previous definition for allied health workers. We have been assured by the Chief Allied Health Officer that this will be updated today to reflect the new urgent care requirements.

Authorised worker permits

The authorised worker permit template is now available on the Victorian government’s coronavirus website. From 11:59pm tonight all authorised workers are required to carry the permit when working, and when travelling to and from work.

Financial assistance

Unfortunately there were no announcements from the Victorian government today regarding additional financial assistance for businesses in metropolitan Melbourne who are affected by the extension of the lockdown. Keep an eye on the Business Grants and Support page on the Victorian government’s coronavirus page, and we will provide updates as soon as any announcements are available.

Updated 16-08-2021

METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE UPDATE

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews this morning announced an extension to the current lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne of two weeks to 11:59pm Thursday 2 September. A curfew from 9pm-5am has been introduced, as well as changes to the current public health directions for metropolitan Melbourne. There is no change to the current settings for regional Victoria or South Australia.

Following the Victorian Premier’s announcement OV/SA received specific advice from the Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer that highlights changes to the provision of care by allied health professionals, including optometrists, under these changed public health directions.

As of 11:59pm tonight Monday 16 August, allied health professionals including optometrists are still considered authorised workers, but can only provide urgent clinical care, instead of essential care that is currently allowed (see definition below).

This is a subtle but important difference. Routine face-to-face care is still not permitted.

In addition authorised workers including allied health professionals, will be required to carry permits when working, and when travelling for work, from 11:59pm on Tuesday August 17. The permits need to be certified by an employer. Permits will be available on the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website before these directions come into effect. As of the time of writing this email, permits are not currently on the website, but are expected to be uploaded soon.

Authorised allied health workforces include:

  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as authorised workers in hospitals, in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or
  • Allied health professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing urgent clinical careNote: face to face appointments should only occur for urgent clinical care that cannot be deferred – routine face to face care is not permitted but may be provided via Telehealth; or
  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options;
  • Medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health students on placement providing authorised care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth.

Urgent clinical care is defined as:
Direct clinical care (and other clinical support activity necessary to support direct clinical care) that prevents a significant change/deterioration in functional independence necessitating escalation of care OR is required as an adjunct to other urgent medical/surgical interventions.

For example, urgent clinical care:

  • that avoids a potential hospital admission or emergency department presentation
  • that prevents/delays the need for further specialist medical or surgical intervention
  • that prevents an increase in care needs that would necessitate additional carer supports or change in accommodation needs
  • that limits secondary complications post-surgery
  • where deferral would lead to long term adverse consequences (ie. delays to child development)

Stringent infection control procedures remain critically important, particularly in the context of the high transmissibility of the current Delta COVID-19 variant.

Updated 11-08-2021

VICTORIAN METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE MEMBERS

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews this morning announced that the current lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne will be extended to 11:59pm on Thursday 19 August.

This means that optometrists must continue to provide essential care only to patients. Routine care is not permitted under the current lockdown public health orders.

We’ve been advised that police are conducting random compliance checks on practices to ensure compliance with these public health orders.

Wherever practical, individuals should work at a single practice/clinic. Movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria is allowed for authorised work only, as required.

We’ve also had some enquiries about whether patients can travel to regional Victoria from metropolitan Melbourne for eye care.

We’ve been advised by the Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer that patients in metropolitan Melbourne can only receive essential care/services within a 5km radius, unless there is an established relationship with a provider (outside of the 5km radius) or the service is not available within a 5km radius. If it is the later, the expectation is that the patient would seek care from the next closest available provider.

We’re also aware that some patients may refuse to wear a mask, and we have some information that may help members navigate this tricky situation.

As always, a strong focus on stringent infection control procedures in the practice is critical, as is ensuring that any patients and staff attending the practice check-in using the free Victorian Government’s QR Code system.

Additional announcements regarding financial support for Victorian businesses affected by the lockdown are expected on Thursday 11 August.

The Department of Health has advised that all Victorian registered health practitioners are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of age. Health practitioners who have not yet had their first dose, are being encouraged to book in for their COVID-19 vaccination.

Updated 09-08-2021

REGIONAL VICTORIA ONLY

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today announced that regional Victoria will exit lockdown from 11:59pm tonight, Monday 9 August.

This means that the five reasons to leave home will be removed, with no limit on the distance that regional Victorians can travel from home.

Optometry practices will be able to return to routine care where this cannot be provided by telehealth. Delivery via telehealth should be preferenced wherever clinically appropriate.

However masks MUST continue to be carried at all times, and MUST worn indoors and outdoors, except when at home or if an exception applies.

We’ve received many enquiries about how to handle situations where a patient refuses to wear a face mask (often without any valid reason). Further information can be found here.

Density quotients of one person per four square metres also still apply for optometry practices.

Regional Victorians will only be able to travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason and MUST follow Melbourne restrictions while there. For residents of Melbourne, movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria is permitted only as required for authorised work. Wherever practical, individuals should work at a single practice or location.

All businesses and workplaces must ensure all workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service. Please also note that members have reported compliance checks in metro Melbourne to ensure routine care is not being undertaken.

As always, a strong focus on infection control procedures remains critically important.

Finally the Department of Health has advised that all Victorian registered health practitioners are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of age. Health practitioners who have not yet had their first dose, are being encouraged to book in for their COVID-19 vaccination.

The National Cabinet has also recently mandated vaccinations for allied health professionals employed by Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF). For allied health professionals not employed by the RACF but who provide services within these facilities, vaccination is strongly encouraged.

Victoria’s Chief Allied Health Officer has provided clarification to OVic/SA on whether patients can travel from metro Melb to regional Vic for eyecare, particularly where they’re an existing patient of the practice: “Patients in metro Melbourne can only receive essential care/services within a 5km radius, unless there is an established relationship with a provider (outside of the 5km radius) or the service is not available within a 5km radius.  If it is the later, the expectation is that the patient would seek care from the next closest available provider”.

Updated 05-08-2021

Late this afternoon the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that Victoria will enter a seven-day, statewide lockdown from 8pm tonight, Thursday 5 August.

The Premier noted in the press conference that the same settings will apply as for the previous lockdown. There are only five reasons to leave home:

  • shopping for necessary goods and services (one person per household, once per day, a support person can accompany if required) within 5km of your home or nearest location;
  • exercising for up to two hours (with one other person or members of your household) within 5km of your home;
  • caregiving or compassionate reasons;
  • authorised work or permitted education or work interstate and,
  • getting vaccinated.

The Acting Victorian Chief Allied Health Officer has confirmed that allied health professionals including optometrists, are recognised as an authorised workforce for the following services:

  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as authorised workers in hospitals or in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or
  • Allied health workers professionals working in private or public community services, whether clinic-based or home-based, providing essential clinical care where telehealth services are not clinically appropriate; or
  • Allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options; or
  • Allied health students on placement providing authorised care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth.

Essential clinical care is defined as:

• 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 previous 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).

Routine care is not permitted. Essential care can only be provided if this care cannot be delivered via telehealth.

This is the same level of care that was allowed during the most recent Victorian lockdowns in May/June and July this year.

In addition, the Acting Chief Allied Health Officer has highlighted that wherever practical, individuals should work at a single practice/clinic, and that movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria is allowed for authorised work only, as required.

Face masks MUST be carried at all times and MUST be worn indoors except if at home, or if an exemption applies, and MUST also be worn outdoors.

We’ve received many enquiries about how to handle situations where a patient refuses to wear a face mask (often without any valid reason). Further information can be found here.

A density quotient of 1 person per 4 square metres applies to all areas in the practice that are accessible to the public, and in closed workplaces and shared spaces such as lunchrooms.

All businesses and workplaces must ensure all workers and visitors check in using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service.

As always, a strong focus on infection control procedures remains critically important.

We know that for Victorians, experiencing a sixth lockdown can be incredibly challenging. We encourage you to seek support as you need it, including through the Resilience Box (now available for members as an app for your phone) and other mental health and wellbeing supports.

Financial assistance

The Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula is expected to make an announcement on Friday 6 August regarding financial support for businesses affected by the lockdown.

We will provide advice on the availability of income assistance from the Federal Government as it becomes available.

Vaccine update

Please note the Department of Health has advised that all Victorian registered health practitioners are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of age. Health practitioners who have not yet had their first dose, are being encouraged to book in for their COVID-19 vaccination.

Updated 27-07-2021

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews this morning announced that the Victorian Lockdown restrictions will be eased from 11.59pm Tuesday 27 July.

Under the eased restrictions the Victorian Acting Chief Allied Health Officer has confirmed that Victorian optometrists can return to routine care, where this cannot be provided by telehealth.

Telehealth remains the preferred service delivery model where clinically appropriate.

  • Masks must be carried at all times and worn indoors including in optometry practices by optometrists, practice staff, patients and any visitors to the practice. Masks musts also be worn outdoors.
  • Density limits of one person per four square meters are required.
  • The five reasons to leave home no longer apply. The five-kilometre limit on travel no longer applies. No visitors are allowed to people’s home.
  • Further easing of restrictions are expected to be announced in the next two weeks.

Financial assistance for SA and Victoria

Applications can still be made for income support through the Federal Government Covid-19 Disaster Payment for the lockdown periods. Applications must be made through the Services Australia website.

The following time periods for applications are outlined below.

Location Lockdown dates Claims open Claims close
Victoria 16 July to 22 July 2021 23 July 2021 12 August 2021
Victoria 23 July to 27 July 2021 25 July 2021 19 August 2021
South Australia 20 July to 27 July 2021 28 July 2021 16 August 2021

Optometry practices that are not registered for GST or sole trader locums not registered for GST can also apply for these payments. Some eligibility requirements do apply.

Victorian practices who have previously received a business support payment will automatically receive an additional payment. Practices who have not previously applied, or were not previously successful can contact Business Victoria for additional information and advice

Updated 21-07-2021

The Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula today announced additional financial support for businesses as a result of the extended lockdown. Payments will be automatically made to businesses who have previously successfully applied for assistance.

Businesses who have not previously applied for support or who were previously determined to be ineligible, and have since become eligible, can apply to Business Victoria for support for the whole of the July lockdown.

 Other important information

 In the context of these current outbreaks of the Delta variant strong infection control proceduresremain of the utmost importance.

You can also refer to the following guidance:

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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