Update 12-07-2021

The Western Australian Government has announced the lifting of most restrictions.

Masks are now not mandatory and gathering limits have been lifted.

Optometrists should continue to maintain appropriate infection control protocols.

Update 05-07-2021

The Western Australian Government has announced further relaxation of restrictions.

Optometry businesses have been able to return to seeing patients face to face from 12:01am on Saturday the 3rd July.  Optometry practices are able to return to providing routine and regular care.  There are still mask requirements, and optometrists should continue to maintain appropriate infection control protocols.

From 12:01am 6th July 2021:

Masks will continue to be mandatory indoors, including workplaces, however will not be required when outdoors and physical distancing is possible.  Gatherings limits have been increased to 30 people for private indoor gatherings and 150 for outdoor gatherings.

Hospitals, aged care and disability care facilities are able to have 4 visitors per day per person provided mask rules are followed.

For more information see the WA Government COVID updates

Update 29-06-21

WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced that Perth and Peel will enter a minimum 4-day lockdown from 12:01am, Tuesday 29 June 2021 until 12.01am, Saturday 3 July, 2021.

After WA Health website crashes last night and conflicting early information from the Government on the details of the lockdown, private practice optometry has now been confirmed as restricted to telehealth or virtual care only during this period. (The revised definitions and wording were updated by WA State Government at approximately 08:30 AWST Tuesday 29 June. OWA understands that conflicting advice has been sent to members and apologises, however was providing advice based on the latest information to hand.)

Essential health services provider: Any provider of the following services may attend work in person:

  • allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as essential workers in hospitals or in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or
  • allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options; or
  • students, medical/nursing/midwifery/allied health on placement providing essential care in hospitals or in residential care facilities, or through telehealth;

Extensive telehealth resources and tools are available for members online and your profile in our “Find an Optometrist” function can also be updated to show you are available for telehealth consultations.

As health authorities have flagged the highly infectious nature of the Delta variant of the virus infection control protocols remains critical at this time. Further details on the lockdown are listed below.

Stay home

You are required to stay home unless you need to:

  • work because it’s not possible to work from home. Refer to the list of essential workers
  • shop for essentials like groceries, medicine and necessary supplies, including click and collect, within 5km from your home or closest practicable location
  • attend to medical or health care needs including emergencies, compassionate requirements and looking after the vulnerable;
  • exercise with a maximum of two adults from the same household (children under 18 years are not counted), limited to one hour per day within a 5km radius from home, and masks must be worn, except for vigorous exercise.
  • receive a COVID-19 vaccine, or
  • leave due to an emergency

Masks

  • Masks are mandatory:
    • indoors
    • outdoor public areas (except for vigorous exercise)
    • and on public transport.
  • Mask-wearing mandatory except for primary school students and those who are exempt.
  • Anyone who has travelled outside of the Perth and Peel regions since Sunday, 27 June must continue to wear face masks in public, as per the existing directions.

Retail

  • Essential providers may open only.
  • Click-and-collect and delivery permitted for non-essential providers.

Residential aged and disability care

  • No visitors to residential aged care and/or disability facilities, except for exceptional circumstances such as essential care, compassionate reasons, end of life and advocacy;

Travel from Perth and Peel to other regions will not be permitted, unless for essential purposes.

Update 27-06-21

Effective 12pm, Sunday 27 June, restrictions will be introduced for Perth and Peel for a minimum 3 days.

This follows a community case of COVID-19 being detected overnight in WA, relating to NSW travel.

People are encouraged to check the locations in WA visited by confirmed cases.

Masks

  • Masks mandatory:
    • Indoors
    • Public transport
    • Outdoor public areas where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Mask-wearing mandatory except for primary school students and those who are exempt.

Intrastate travel

  • Travel should be minimised out of Perth and Peel
  • Anyone who travels outside Perth and Peel required to wear a mask
  • Travel to remote Aboriginal communities remains restricted.

Updated 26-04-2021

Optometry WA is pleased to report the 3 day lockdown of the Perth and Peel region will end at 12:01am Tuesday 27 April, after Western Australia recorded no new community spread of coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has advised that from 12:01am Tuesday 27 April people will be free to leave their houses again and that work and schools would be open as usual. Indoor fitness venues, nightclubs and the casino are required to stay closed, but all other venues including restaurants, pubs and cafes will be able to reopen.

Some interim restrictions will remain for the next four days, including the mandatory wearing of face masks for adults and in certain circumstances reduced capacity measures. Infection control measures will obviously remain important over this period.

Updated 23-04-2021

The WA Premier Mr McGowan announced a short time ago that Perth and Peel regions in WA will again be subject to a 3 day lockdown, starting tonight at midnight (12:01am Saturday 24 April). He has specified that leaving home for medical and healthcare needs and for work (when this is not possible from home) are acceptable reasons to leave the house.

Essential Health Services are allowed to remain open and until further advice is received stating otherwise, Optometry Western Australia understands that optometry practices can continue to see patients over this period if they want to.

There will also be no visitors to hospitals or residential aged care or disability facilities, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Masks will be mandatory for people aged 12 and over in Perth and Peel form 6:00pm today 23 April except: while at home, during vigorous outdoor exercise or while in a vehicle with members of your own household.

Optometry Western Australia will update members as soon as any further information is received. Our COVID-19 hub landing page now has separate state information pages and will also be updated as any new information comes to hand.

For further COVID-19 clarification or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact the Optometry Western Australia office via (08) 9321 2300 or admin@optometrywa.org.au, or Optometry Australia’s Optometry Advisor Helpdesk on 03 9668 8500 or at national@optometry.org.au

Members can also obtain free confidential advice on leave entitlements at the Optometry Australia HR Helpline either by email oa@industrylegalgroup.com.au or phone 1300 101 391.

Updated 05-02-2021

We are pleased that the WA Government has announced that pending no further local cases, the five-day lockdown for the Perth, Peel and South West regions will end as planned.

From 6pm, Friday 5 February the following will come into effect:

  • Perth and Peel will enter into a post-lockdown transition period until 12.01am, Sunday 14 February. This allows the full 14-day incubation period to run its course
  • South West will return straight to pre-lockdown conditions.

The post-lockdown transition period for Perth and Peel includes:

  • Wearing a mask when in public and while at work, unless exempt or for vigorous outdoor exercise
  • All businesses can reopen, except for the casino and nightclubs
  • 4 square metre capacity rule in place for businesses and venues, up to a maximum of 150
  • 20-person limit for private indoor and outdoor gatherings
  • Visits to aged care and disability care facilities restricted to compassionate grounds
  • Only essential travel permitted in and out of the Perth and Peel regions to other parts of WA.
  • Elective surgery at WA public hospitals will resume once the lockdown has ended, and people will be contacted directly to reschedule and rebook their appointments.

People who need to leave the Perth and Peel region for essential purposes must wear a mask at all times in other regions of WA, as per the rules in place for Perth and Peel.

Pre-lockdown requirements for the entire State still remain in place, including restrictions on travel to remote Aboriginal communities.

Contact registers and SafeWA will continue as part of post-lockdown life. Currently, it is mandatory for most businesses to ensure a contact register is available for patrons. From 6pm, Friday 5 February, it will also be mandatory for individuals to check-in at businesses required to keep a contact register.

Feedback from the WA Health Minister’s office has indicated that the exclusion of “urgent or emergency care” during this lockdown was due to the definitive number of days of the lockdown (five), as opposed to the open-ended timeframe during the last lockdown in Western Australia.  We have however made our position clear that as an essential health service optometry should be able to continue face to face urgent and critical care in any further lockdowns.  We thank members for rallying behind our advocacy efforts on this front.

Updated 01-02-2021

The Western Australia Premier announced yesterday that Perth, Peel and the South West region of Western Australia would go into “hard lockdown” from 6pm Sunday 31st January until 6pm Friday 5th February 2021. This follows the announcement that a hotel quarantine worker has contracted COVID-19 and suspicion that it may be the “highly transmissible new UK variant.”

 The Western Australian Government is requiring all people in the lockdown regions to wear masks when outside their place of residence.

Under the Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA) ‘Stay at Home and Closure Directions’ further information on the definition of essential services has been provided which affect the practice of optometry in lockdown areas.

‘Essential Health Services’ have been defined as:

(a) emergency surgery, procedures and medical consulting undertaken for the investigation, diagnosis and management of conditions where failure to do so expediently and safely will lead to the following outcomes: (i) loss of life; or (ii) loss of limb; or (iii) permanent disability;

or

(b) non-emergency but urgent surgery, procedures and medical consulting undertaken for the investigation, diagnosis and management of conditions where failure to do so in a clinically appropriate timeframe will lead to a predictable and evidence based outcome as follows: (i) loss of life where appropriate health intervention would otherwise have prevented this; or (ii) permanent disability where appropriate health intervention would otherwise have prevented this; or (iii) where clinical evidence supports an increased risk of a type referred to in paragraph ( a) or (b) should appropriate health intervention be significantly delayed;

or

(c) any health services provided in a hospital;

  1. j) the following allied health services:

(i) allied health services provided by allied health professionals working as essential workers in hospitals or in residential care facilities providing critical clinical care or as directed by the hospital; or (ii) allied health services provided by allied health professionals working in private practice providing care through telehealth and other virtual care options;

If you are able to provide urgent and essential care or services through telehealth please ensure your member profile is updated to reflect this information.

Optometry Western Australia will inform members immediately of any further updates.

Remember to;

  • Practise physical distancing (keep at least 1.5 metres or two arms lengths from each other)
  • Practise good personal hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitiser and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use your elbow)
  • Stay home if unwell and if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms get tested for COVID-19
  • download the COVIDSafe app (external site).

Current COVID status in WA?

View here.

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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