New South Wales

COVID-19 Communications

Please expand the below headings to read the communications to members at that time.

1. 7 June 2022 - New South Wales Vaccination Update

Since our last communication in April, there have been no changes to the current vaccination directions for healthcare workers in New South Wales. There were changes that happened in other industries after the last communication, but nothing for the healthcare industry.

We are aware there are statements circulating stating that the current vaccination direction for healthcare workers is going to end on 19th June 2022. Whilst this falls in line with the Public Health Act NSW 90-day clause, there is no official notification that this is the case.

We have spent yesterday and this morning following this up with Service NSW, NSW Health, and the NSW government, and we have not been able to get any official communications to confirm this.

We are aware many of you are awaiting this notification and we are waiting on further information as it becomes available. We do not want to jump the gun and get everyone excited only to retract our statement.

We will communicate any changes that affect this industry with you as soon as we are aware of them.

2. 21 April 2022 - NSW COVID Vaccination Directions Changing

Yesterday, the Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, provided a media release that indicates there may be some upcoming changes to the current vaccination directions which apply to industries such as healthcare. These changes are looking to take effect sometime in May.

As per the media release, the information on this has not yet been determined. We will be keeping an eye on any changes and we will notify members via email when further information becomes available.

3. 21 February 2022 - NSW COVID Restrictions Easing

21 February 2021

This is a quick email to advise members that your State Government is easing some COVID-19 restrictions that you should be aware of.

From 18 February 2022:

  • QR Check-In Codes will no longer be required

From 25 February 2022:

  • Masks will only be mandated on public transport, planes and indoors at airports, hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, corrections facilities, and indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people;
  • Masks are encouraged for indoor settings where you cannot maintain a safe distance from others. This will be at your own discretion whether you continue to use face masks in your clinic and whether you continue to require your clients to wear them.

If there are any further updates, we will email these directly to the members of the applicable state.

4. 12 January 2022 - NSW Vaccination Direction, Telehealth Update

12 January 2022

This is a quick email update around telehealth/virtual consultations and the new Health mandates issued by NSW Health.

ANTA has contacted Service NSW, and has been advised that telehealth services provided with no direct physical contact with the client will not be subject to the mandate.

You can confirm this by calling Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Stage 2 Health Care Worker

  • A Stage 2 Health Care Worker is not able to continue work under the Direction on or after 31st January 2022 unless they have received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; and
  • must have received their second dose by 28th February 2022

Exemptions apply and if you feel you may need to refer to the exemptions, please read through Part 4 Miscellaneous, of the Direction.

All ANTA members fall into the new definition of Health Care Worker, which includes:

  • a health practitioner within the meaning of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) – Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • A person providing a health service subject to the code of conduct under the Act, section 100 – includes all ANTA members who work in NSW
  • A person who does work in connection with the provision of a health service by a person referred to above, on the premises at which the person referred to above provides the health service.
    • Example: receptionist or any other staff that work for you

Please note that ANTA is a pro-choice organisation and your membership and health fund status will not be affected by your medical choices. These Directions are issued by the New South Wales Health Department and the New South Wales Government and we have an obligation to members to disseminate information which may affect you as a practitioner.

5. 10 January 2022 - NSW Health Care Worker Vaccination Direction Updated

10 January 2022

We hope everyone has had an enjoyable holiday period and spent some much-needed time resting and relaxing before starting the new year.

On 22nd December 2021, we sent out an email to New South Wales practitioners indicating the New South Wales government had intended on making a change to their Vaccination Direction but at the time of sending the email, no changes had taken place.

Many people may have checked the links we provided to see that on the afternoon of 23rd December 2021, the Directions were updated and the definition of Health Care Worker has been modified and extended to include every possible form of health care worker.

You can download a copy of the new Directions below.

Stage 2 Health Care Worker

  • A Stage 2 Health Care Worker is not able to continue work under the Direction on or after 31st January 2022 unless they have received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; and
  • must have received their second dose by 28th February 2022

Exemptions apply and if you feel you may need to refer to the exemptions, please read through Part 4 Miscellaneous, of the Direction.

All ANTA members fall into the new definition of Health Care Worker, which includes:

  • a health practitioner within the meaning of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) – Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • A person providing a health service subject to the code of conduct under the Act, section 100 – includes all ANTA members who work in NSW
  • A person who does work in connection with the provision of a health service by a person referred to above, on the premises at which the person referred to above provides the health service.
    • Example: receptionist or any other staff that work for you

Please note that ANTA is a pro-choice organisation and your membership and health fund status will not be affected by your medical choices. These Directions are issued by the New South Wales Health Department and the New South Wales Government and we have an obligation to members to disseminate information which may affect you as a practitioner.

6. 22 December 2021 - NSW Media Release

22 December 2021

As a resident of New South Wales, you may have heard about the Media Release from New South Wales Health issued on 16th December 2021 in relation to the extension of the vaccination directions.

Please note that under the State of Emergency which enacts the Biosecurity Act, there must be specific Orders/Directions issued by the Chief Health Officer outlining what is required of the public specifically.

You can find the current vaccination Directions here.

As you can see in the second link, the Vaccination of Health Care Workers in New South Wales has not been updated since 22 October 2021. Therefore, at this time there have been no changes to the current Direction of who is required to be vaccinated.

The Directions are important as it clearly outlines what the specifics of the Directions are, how they apply and who it applies to. Currently, a media release has no enforcement powers, nor does it provide the specific details we would need to update members.

It is expected that this will be updated at some point, and members need to take the time to read through the Direction to know how it may, or may not, apply to them. As you are aware, this is the last working day for the ANTA office until 10 January 2022. We will not be working to provide updates but we will get information to you on any changes upon our return.

We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a joyous and safe New Year!

7. 10 October 2021 - UPDATE NSW - State-Based Vaccine Mandate Information

10 October 2021

Following on from the email we sent to you all on Friday afternoon, we have received further clarification on the New South Wales mandatory vaccine rules as they apply to you.

As the mandate currently stands, there is no law to compel you to be vaccinated unless you work in a government health facility or public or private hospital.

We understand that this advice is different to the information we published on Friday, We also acknowledge the fact that while we do our best to provide you the most up-to-date and accurate information we can, at times corrections need to be made as new information comes to hand. We trust that this further clarification will be welcome news to many of you.

Please note that the information we provided for the other states is true and correct to the best of our knowledge at this time.

If you as an individual health practitioner, or as a business, do not agree with our interpretation of the health orders, or if you do not agree with the orders themselves, we strongly recommend that you seek further legal advice.

Thank you all for your patience and perseverance during these challenging times.

8. 8 October 2021 - State-Based Vaccine Mandate Information

8 October 2021

Recently, we have seen the introduction of a number of mandates for vaccinations in Australia for various industries as part of the fight against COVID-19.

Understanding these mandates, how or if they relate to your and your practices is challenging to say the least.

ANTA has been working hard to elucidate the facts and provide them to you in as clear a way as possible.

Please note that the information we provide here is simply a summary of the vaccine mandates for states in which they are currently in place.
Please also note that the information we provide here is current to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing, and that new and updated information may be provided by government at any time.

Lastly, please note that mandatory vaccination orders are, and can only be, put in place by Chief Health Officers in each state, and they are not mandates placed on you by ANTA or any other body.

At the time of the release of this statement, there are mandatory vaccine mandates for the health services in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia.

Currently, there are no vaccine mandates for Queensland, Australian Capital Territory or Northern Territory.

Not all state-based mandates apply to ANTA members, and those mandates that may apply to some ANTA members, do not apply to all.

Victoria
In the state of Victoria, vaccinations are mandatory for practitioners who are AHPRA registered (Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioners) and other health practitioners who fall under the definition of Allied Health as per the Victorian Health Department definition (link).

All non-AHPRA registered practitioners are not mandated to be vaccinated unless they work in a practice that is owned/operated by an Allied Health or AHPRA registered practitioner, or if they work in a public or private hospital. See the full Victorian Health Orders (No. 6) HERE.

If you fall under the mandatory vaccination rules, you must have your first dose of the vaccine on or by the 29th of October. Your second dose must be received by December 15th 2021.

Currently, the reopen date for businesses appears to be around 26th October. This will be dependent on the State getting to 70% or more vaccination status. Therefore, regardless of your vaccination status, if you are not considered an essential worker you are unable to reopen at this time.

New South Wales
In the state of New South Wales, vaccinations are mandatory for all registered and non-registered health practitioners. The definition of a health practitioner references the Healthcare Complaints Act 1993 (link).

This means that all practising New South Wales, ANTA members must be vaccinated as per the NSW Health Orders, dated Sept 29th 2021, regardless of the setting in which you work.

Health care workers are required to have had both doses of the vaccine by the 30th of November 2021.

Tasmania

The Tasmanian Health Department has published directions for health care practitioners as listed in (THIS) letter are required to have received their first vaccination by the 31st of October 2021.

ANTA members who are listed in the letter (AHPRA registered and Allied Health practitioners according to the Tasmanian Health definition) are included in these directions for mandatory vaccinations.

The complete Health Orders have not yet been issued, but are expected soon. For further information please refer to the Tasmanian Health Department (link)

South Australia

On the 7th of October, South Australia Health released public health orders that required health practitioners working in health care settings, as defined in the (orders) as public and private hospitals and ambulance services.

The definition of health care workers as per the Orders does not include any of the categories of ANTA membership.

For further information please refer to the (Orders).

Western Australia

The Western Australian Department of Health has issued mandatory vaccination orders for health practitioners and employees working in WA health system entities (hospitals, government health settings).

The definition of health care workers as per the Orders does not include any of the categories of ANTA membership.

For further information please refer to the government of WA health department website (HERE) or (HERE).

To fully understand the obligations for your business with regard to vaccinations, please refer to the relevant state-based agencies.

9. 16 August 2021 - Clarifying ANTA Members Working

16 August 2021

We are receiving a high number of calls from New South Wales members wondering if they are able to work with the changes to the lockdown areas and the restrictions.

Regardless of the modality, you have as an ANTA member, you are considered a Health Service Provider.

The current lockdown and restrictions state that only Authorised Workers can work. Health Service Providers are considered Authorised Workers if they fall under the definition in the Health Providers Act 1997 (NSW).

Definition of Health Service under the Act:

(a) any hospital service;

(b) any medical service;

(c) any paramedical service;

(d) any community health service;

(e) any environmental health service;

(e1) the supply or fitting of any prosthesis or therapeutic device;

(f) any other service (including any service of a class or description prescribed by the regulations) relating to the maintenance or improvement of the health, of persons or the prevention of disease in or injury to persons.

Therefore, under section (f) of the definition of Health Service, all ANTA members meet that requirement.

It is important to note that the directions state first and foremost, if you have the ability to work from home you should do so. Utilise telehealth and virtual consultations where you can. However, if you cannot do this, then you are still an Authorised Worker.

Each practitioner should go to the NSW Health website to confirm the specific details pertaining to their Local Government Area (LGA). This includes the requirement for COVID testing if you leave your LGA, permits for travelling outside of your LGA and any other specifics.

10. 9 August 2021 - NSW Update

9 August 2021

As the situation in New South Wales continues to change, we recommend members keep themselves informed directly through the New South Wales government website.

The Authorised Workers definition has not changed in New South Wales and ANTA members can continue to conduct their work, despite the changing situation. Please note that some suburbs require you to provide proof of address when leaving your home for essential reasons, and other suburbs require COVID testing when leaving the LGA.

Please click the above link and navigate the government website for your location to see what the requirements are, if any.

11. 6 August 2021 - Newcastle & The Hunter in Lockdown

6 August 2021

The New South Wales government has announced stay at home rules apply to Newcastle, Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, and Singleton local government areas until 11:59pm on Thursday 12 August 2021.

Ingestive Therapists:

You must work via telehealth during the lockdown. If you need to attend the clinic to make your herbal mixtures, you must carry proof of your address and wear a mask.

Herbal mixtures can be distributed via ‘click and collect’ or postal services.

Manual Therapists:

As stated previously, ANTA members working in their respective modalities are still able to continue working as an Authorised Worker as they are defined as a Health Service within the definition of the Health Services Act 1997 (NSW):

“health service” means any of the following–

(a) any hospital service,

(b) any medical service,

(c) any paramedical service,

(d) any community health service,

(e) any environmental health service,

(e1) the supply or fitting of any prosthesis or therapeutic device,

f) any other service (including any service of a class or description prescribed by the regulations) relating to the maintenance or improvement of the health, or the restoration to health, of persons or the prevention of disease in or injury to persons.

Please note that all non-essential treatments should be postponed for the duration of the stay-at-home orders.

It is of the understanding that mobile massage is not permitted in any LGAs during stay-at-home orders.

Masks must be worn at all times by both clients and practitioners. Please carry proof of your address when leaving your home.

If you have any questions relating to the extension of the lockdown, you need to contact the Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Financial Assistance

Please visit the NSW Government website for support for individuals and households in need of financial assistance.

If there is anything we can assist you with please email us at info@anta.com.au.

12. 28 July 2021 - NSW Lockdown Extended

28 July 2021

The New South Wales government has announced they are extending the current lockdown by an additional 4 weeks. This new lockdown period is now due to end at 12:01am 28th August 2021.

What does this mean for ANTA Members?

As stated previously, ANTA members working in their respective modalities are still able to continue working as an Authorised Worker as they are defined as a Health Service within the definition of the Health Services Act 1997 (NSW):

“health service” means any of the following–

(a) any hospital service,

(b) any medical service,

(c) any paramedical service,

(d) any community health service,

(e) any environmental health service,

(e1) the supply or fitting of any prosthesis or therapeutic device,

f) any other service (including any service of a class or description prescribed by the regulations) relating to the maintenance or improvement of the health, or the restoration to health, of persons or the prevention of disease in or injury to persons.

Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Cumberland Local Government Area (LGA)

If you live in any of these LGA’s and need to leave your LGA for work, you are required to be tested once every three (3) days in order to be able to work outside of your LGA.

If you do not wish to be tested every 3 days, it is advised to work within your LGA.

There are no other limitations on this industry for working as an Authorised Worker (home clinics and mobile services). However, the government are encouraging anyone who is able, to work from home – online or via telehealth, where possible.

If you have any questions relating to the extension of the lockdown, you need to contact the Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Financial Assistance

Please visit the NSW Government website for support for individuals and households in need of financial assistance.

If there is anything we can assist you with please email us at info@anta.com.au.

13. 23 July 2021 - AHPRA-Regulated Allied Health

23 July 2021

It is with pleasure we advise that late yesterday afternoon we received a notification from the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia that The Chief Allied Health Office has updated their website to include Chinese Herbal Medicine, which also includes Acupuncture.

Please see below what this means for members in each state:

SA: Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture can work if they operate from a Hospital

NSW: Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture can work in any location under any circumstance

VIC: Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture can work for essential clinical care.

This is a small win and something we can continue to reference into the future.

If there is anything further we can assist you with please feel free to contact us at info@anta.com.au.

14. 21 July 2021 - Central West NSW Restrictions

21 July 2021

This email is for any members who live or work in Central West New South Wales.

From the beginning (midnight) today, Wednesday 21 July 2021 until midnight Wednesday 28 July 2021, stay at home rules apply. This applies to people who live in, or are temporarily staying, in the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of:

  • Blayney;
  • Cabonne; or
  • Orange

The stay at home rules also apply to anyone who has been to these LGAs since Saturday 17 July 2021.

Work

All ANTA members are considered Health Service Providers, under the Health Service Act 1997, and therefore are able to continue to work as a Health Service Provider.

You can choose whether you feel comfortable working during these restrictions. This notification is just advising that you can work within the directive.

Financial Assistance

Please find below links to different government grants and funding due to the effects of COVID19 restrictions and lockdowns.

These restrictions have been implemented by the NSW Government on advice from the Chief Health Officer. If you wish to stay updated on new information, we recommend checking the NSW Government website regularly.

If there is anything we can assist you with please email us at info@anta.com.au.

15. 19 July 2021 - NSW Restrictions Tightened

19 July 2021

As you are probably already aware, the restrictions for Greater Sydney have tightened.

People in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour are able to work from home, or if you are unable to work from home you can go to work. Unless…

  • You live in the Local Government Areas (LGA) of, Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool, you cannot leave your LGA – unless for work as a ‘Health Service Provider’. If you can operate via telehealth, this is recommended;
  • If you work in the above LGA’s, but do not live in this area, you can enter to work as a ‘Health Service Provider’; however
  • If you live in or are staying in Fairfield LGA, you are required to have a COVID-19 test once every 72 hours (3 days) in order to go to work as an authorised worker.

Definition of a Health Service Provider under the Health Services Act 1997 (NSW).

Rural NSW

You must not travel into the Greater Sydney region unless you:

  • Are returning home because you live in Greater Sydney;
  • Meet the requirements to receive the COVID vaccination; or
  • Attending a funeral or memorial service that complies with the rules for these gatherings.

Financial Assistance

Please find below links to different government grants and funding due to the effects of COVID19 restrictions and lockdowns.

These restrictions have been implemented by the NSW government on advice from their Chief Health Officer. You are welcome to contact NSW Health to confirm any of the above information on 13 77 88.

These restrictions are subject to change and we recommend members keep updated on the NSW government websites. We will provide updates if and when they become available.

If there is anything we can assist you with please email us at info@anta.com.au.

16. 15 July 2021 - Restrictions for Greater Sydney Extended until 30 July

15 July 2021

For those members who work in the Greater Sydney area including Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, NSW Health have today announced that the lockdown will be extended to at least 30th July 2021.

For more information around the restrictions, please click here.

The NSW Government will be offering financial support to businesses impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

If your business has been impacted by the restrictions, you may be eligible to apply from 19th July 2021. Please click here to find out more information or to get notified once information becomes available.

If you have any further questions or concerns about the current rulings, please phone NSW Health on 13 77 88, as they will provide up-to-date information as it arrives.

As always, ANTA will continue to provide support and information where possible, and we wish you all well.

17. 9 July 2021 - Update - Restrictions for Greater Sydney Tightened

9 July 2021

With the recent announcement of tightened restrictions in Greater Sydney including Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour, NSW Health has advised that practitioners are still able to operate.

The 10km limit from home is only applied to exercise and outdoor recreation activities. Therefore, if practitioners have clinics more than 10km away from home, you are allowed to travel to work provided that your service cannot be offered via telehealth.

For those practitioners that distribute herbal supplements, clients are able to travel to the clinic to pick up the order, as leaving home for essential goods and services is one of the four reasons to leave home.

For more information about the new restrictions, please click here.

Greater Sydney Restrictions

With the recent lockdowns in Sydney and surrounding areas, ANTA has been eagerly seeking further advice from the NSW government on how this may impact your practices.

As at 11am 28th of June, the following information is current. Please note however that as the situation evolves, new information is being released, so please stay up to date here – https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/

Members operating in a clinical practice, taking pre-booked appointments only (no walk-ins) may continue to operate if they can do so with a 1 person per 4 per square metre space allocation, with both the therapist and client wearing a mask at all times.

It is also critical that everyone is consistently implementing the appropriate cleaning and hygiene procedures.

Please note that “massage parlours” are listed as businesses that must close at this time, likewise home visits to your client’s homes are not considered appropriate at this time.

If you operate a home-based clinical practice and your business operates in a separate part of your home with separate access and amenities, your business is considered suitable to operate at this time.

Regional New South Wales

You must wear a fitted face mask when you are in an indoor area of non-residential premises of NSW. Therefore, masks must be worn by practitioners and clients at all times. Masks can be removed when clients are laying face down on tables/beds.

For information on Face Masks, please click here.

If you have any further questions or concerns about the current rulings, please phone NSW Health on 13 77 88, as they will provide the up-to-date information as it arrives.

As always, ANTA will continue to provide support and information where possible and we wish you all well.

18. 1 July 2021 - Service NSW COVID-Safe Check-In Mandatory

1 July 2021

From Monday 12th July 2021, the Service NSW COVID-Safe check-in system will be mandatory at all workplaces. Customers, staff and other visitors will need to register on entry.

Register to access your COVID Safe resources

You will receive:
  • a unique QR code for COVID Safe Check in with the Service NSW app
  • the Service NSW Check in Webform (an online form for checking in customers who can’t use the QR code)
  • posters for your premises and social media badges
  • a link to your personalised resources online.

You should have a single Service NSW COVID safe Check in QR code for each separate business.

Register your business here. For questions about using the Service NSW COVID-Safe Check in app, please call Service NSW on 13 77 88.

19. 28 June 2021 - Greater Sydney Restrictions Extended, Update

28 June 2021

Greater Sydney Restrictions

With the recent lockdowns in Sydney and surrounding areas, ANTA has been eagerly seeking further advice from the NSW government on how this may impact your practices.

As at 11am 28th of June, the following information is current. Please note however that as the situation evolves, new information is being released, so please stay up to date here – https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/

Members operating in a clinical practice, taking pre-booked appointments only (no walk-ins) may continue to operate if they can do so with a 1 person per 4 per square metre space allocation, with both the therapist and client wearing a mask at all times.

It is also critical that everyone is consistently implementing the appropriate cleaning and hygiene procedures.

Please note that “massage parlours” are listed as businesses that must close at this time, likewise home visits to your client’s homes are not considered appropriate at this time.

If you operate a home-based clinical practice and your business operates in a separate part of your home with separate access and amenities, your business is considered suitable to operate at this time.

Regional New South Wales

You must wear a fitted face mask when you are in an indoor area of non-residential premises of NSW. Therefore, masks must be worn by practitioners and clients at all times. Masks can be removed when clients are laying face down on tables/beds.

For information around Face Masks, please click here.

If you have any further questions or concerns about the current rulings, please phone NSW Health on 13 77 88, as they will provide the up-to-date information as it arrives.

As always, ANTA will continue to provide support and information where possible and we wish you all well.

20. 25 June 2021 - Greater Sydney Restrictions Extended

25 June 2021

In addition to the announcement of new restrictions on June 23rd, stay-at-home orders are being introduced for at least one week for those who live in, or whose usual place of work is in, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, Woollahra, Waverly, Randwick and City of Sydney Councils.

Due to the risk associated with an increasing number of exposure venues where transmission has occurred, from 11:59pm tonight until at least 11:59pm Friday 2 July, residents of, or people whose usual place of work is in, the above listed Local government areas must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason.

The reasons you may leave your home include:
  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
  • Medical care or compassionate needs;
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer;
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.

Residents across Greater Sydney should also limit unnecessary activity and avoid large gatherings in coming days and comply with current restrictions.

Workplaces in Greater Sydney

Employers must allow an employee to work from home if it is reasonably practicable to do so.

If you go to your workplace, you must wear a face mask (unless an exemption applies).

For more information, please see the link.

21. 23 June 2021 - Greater Sydney Restrictions

23 June 2021

Following today’s announcements from the New South Wales Government, the following restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney (including Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour LGAs) from 4pm today for one week:

  • Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces (this include home-based clinics)
  • If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel.

To read more about the restrictions, please click here.

Face Mask Rules:

Until 12.01am on Thursday 1 July 2021 you must wear a fitted face mask when you are in the specified indoor areas in the Greater Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.

The indoor area where a face mask must be worn are

  • in the waiting room
  • when talking to the client before and after treatment

Practitioners do not need to wear a face mask if you and the client can be physically distant. Therefore, it is advisable that massage therapists and their clients wear a face mask during treatment (if the client is face down, then no face mask needs to be worn).

To read more about the wearing of face masks, please click here.

22. 6 May 2021 - NSW Mask Requirement

6 May 2021

The latest Public Health Order for Greater Sydney, updated 6th May 2021. The part of this order that is relevant to ANTA Members is the requirement to wear face masks.

Under Section 12(1)(c), there is a note: “Premises that are used for the purpose of providing health services are not retail premises or business premises”. The ANTA National Council has interpreted this as anyone working in health services is not ‘required’ to wear face coverings in their clinic.

It is at the discretion of the practitioner whether they choose to wear a face-covering in their own clinic, and whether their clients will be required to wear one.

23. 1 May 2020 - Manual Therapists as Essential Services

1 May 2020

Joint Association Statement

To all of our members, we write to you today feeling positive and grateful for the results achieved thus far in clarifying the position that our professions hold in the broader health care landscape.
To date, we now have formal confirmation from all states and territories that Myotherapy and Remedial Massage are deemed essential services!These outcomes have occurred as the result of countless hours of communication and advocacy, and we are very pleased that our combined efforts have achieved an improved standing for Remedial Massage and Myotherapy across the country.
This demonstrates clearly that YOU provide an essential service that helps to keep our country moving and healthy.Thank you very much to all of you who continue to provide support and encouragement for one another and for your association, it is only through this positive and proactive attitude that anything great is achieved.
We look forward to continuing to provide a voice and a united front for you all as we work through this period and into the future.

Please click here to view the email correspondence received from the Tasmanian COVID-19 Emergency Coordination Centre, Department of Health.

To access current state and territory statements regarding your profession, please refer to:State by State Rulings.

Friday, 1st May 2020

Joint Associations,
ANTA, Massage and Myotherapy Austraia, ATMS and Myothearpy Association Australia

24. 25 April 2020 - Manual Therapy Practitioner Update

25 April 2020

In what can only be described as a roller-coaster of emotions over the past month, we, the Australian Natural Therapists Association are absolutely elated to announce Myotherapy is permitted in every state and Remedial Massage is permitted in every state except Tasmania. We are hopeful that we will also have a green light from Tasmania shortly.

These results have not come about by chance. This is the result of an immense amount of advocacy, conversations with all state and territory departments and ministers, emails, carrier pigeons, you name it, we used it. This is also the result of 4 of our major industry associations, MA, ATMS, Massage and Myotherapy and us, ANTA coming together to provide one VERY LOUD voice. And it cannot go without being said that this is also the result of you, our members, strongly standing behind what you do, ensuring that your work is understood as an essential health service, contacting your own state and territory departments, and being proud to say, this is who we are, this is what we do, this is why we are essential.

Updated State Ruling Document

Saturday, 25th April 2020

25. 22 April 2020 - Continuing to Advocate for our Industry

22 April 2020

Joint Association Statement

We continue to advocate on your behalf – our members, our community.

Together as industry associations ANTA, ATMS, Massage & Myotherapy and MA have been working on behalf of our members, asking all State and Territory governments to clarify whether remedial massage and myotherapists can continue to practice during Coronavirus restrictions.

One by one, governments have come back to us with sensible responses that allow essential healthcare services, such as remedial massage, myotherapy and soft tissue therapy to continue caring for patients.

In a victory for common-sense, yesterday, the Queensland government responded to our member advocacy permitting these services to operate. Their updates to the Directive can be read here.

We will continue to strive for more clarity for Tasmania and South Australia, and will provide updates as they become available.

You can find a full summary of the state by state rulings for all modalities below.

State by State Rulings

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020

Joint Associations,
ANTA, Myotherapy Association Australia, ATMS and Massage and Myotherapy Australia

26. 17 April 2020 - Joint Association Statement | Manual Therapists

17 April 2020

Joint Association Statement

Since our first joint statement on 26th March 2020, the landscape continues to be ever changing. The joint Associations have been working tirelessly in order to provide all members the facts and will continue to seek clarity from both Federal and State Governments as to the direction orders for Therapeutic, Remedial Massage and Myotherapy services in each individual state.

As of today, 17th April 2020, the following is a summary of what has been received in writing from the different states and territories:

The following states and territories have confirmed that remedial massage and myotherapy members are permitted to provide professional services at this time:

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

The following states have confirmed that remedial massage and myotherapy are not permitted to provide professional services, at this time:

  • Queensland
  • Tasmania

We continue to seek clarification from South Australia.

Obtaining the facts as they stand on a day-to-day basis has been achieved as a result of the efforts of the combined Association initiative between the Australian Natural Therapies Association (ANTA), Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), Myotherapy Association Australia (MAA) & Massage & Myotherapy Australia (M&MA). We thank you for continuing to support the work that your association is doing at this time, and stay united as a community of health care providers.

Please view THIS DOCUMENT to verify the rulings state by state. This document will be updated as any new information comes to hand.

Friday, 17th April 2020

Joint Association,
ANTA, Massage and Myotherapy Australia, ATMS, Myotherapy Association Australia

27. 16 April 2020 - NSW Update | Remedial & Myotherapy

16 April 2020

Joint Association Statement

At this time, clarification has recently been provided by the New South Wales government to allow the practice of Remedial Massage and Therapeutic Massage services (we take this to also include Myotherapy and Soft Tissue Therapy based on their higher level qualifications)

Anyone practising these modalities in New South Wales, please refer to this document as your authority to practice at this time.

Thank you.

16th April 2020

Joint Association,
ANTA, Massage and Myotherapy Australia, Myotherapy Association Australia and ATMS

28. 9 April 2020 - COVID-19 Update - Remedial & Myotherapy

9 April 2020

Joint Association Statement

It certainly has been a challenging time for our profession over the past few weeks.

We hope that you can find confidence in the fact that four major associations are continuing to work closely in an effort to obtain more clarity on government directions, greater unity within our industry, and a stronger positioning of our members as important contributors to the health care setting.

Every day presents us with a new challenge to tackle. We know that some of you are grappling with your decisions to close or not close your practices at this time, while others have been directed by their state government to close due to local restrictions.

Please note that we are working constantly to ensure you have the most current information available, and that the relevant stakeholders in the various government departments are well informed of the services being provided by our members and the benefits that they provide the community.

It is at times like this that being a member of an industry association that exists to support and advocate for its members is most important, and we take that role very seriously. Thank you for your faith in us and for allowing us to work for you at this time.

As we approach the Easter weekend, an Easter like no other we have experienced before, please remember to keep supporting your colleagues, industry, friends and family, be respectful, patient and kind. We are all in this together and will come through the other side stronger, united and proud for the remarkable services we provide.

Thank you.

9th April 2020

Joint Associations,
ANTA, Massage and Myotherapy Australia, Myotherapy Association Australia and ATMS

29. 31 March 2020 - Latest Update - Remedial Massage & Myotherapy

31 March 2020

Joint Association Statement

As the COVID -19 situation persists through March and into April 2020 affecting members and industry nationwide, we trust that these joint statements are of assistance. The joint statements aim to help all our members better understand the COVID -19 situation as it applies to massage and myotherapy in the face of unclear interpretations of the term “massage parlour” across a range of jurisdictions.

The Australian Government has described a healthcare setting as an essential indoor gathering. At this stage it is apparent that directives to specific health service providers are being informed state by state, further adding to the confusion.

While services provided by remedial massage and myotherapists currently fall within this category (an essential indoor gathering) in some states (see below for state directive) we encourage you to consider the risk environment and public safety when making decisions about whether you are providing to your patients’ essential services within those states and territories yet to provide a clear directive.

You would have received the email or social media message advising that we continue to seek clarity or a single definition from both the Federal and State Government as to the exclusion of these health services. This is important now and in the future to establish a definitive and clear message. In the interim ARHG support the position of their participating health funds in removing access to the Hicaps facility until the government advises that the virus is contained. They have further advised that claims submitted by other means will be reviewed carefully and audited if necessary.

Police is some States are instructing some therapists that are open to close down but not in others.

It is important to note that Associations have no legal authority to tell you to open or close. We can only provide members with the guidance and advice from confirmed sources which we will continue to do.

As of today, Tuesday 31st March, we are advised Massage and Myotherapy are considered non-essential services in  Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria, and therefore remedial massage therapists and myotherapists in those states should cease face-to-face practice immediately.

Until absolute clarity can be demonstrated such as in Queensland and Victoria please co-operate with any instructions from Police and do not put your business or self at further risk.

31st March 2020

Sincerely,

Joint Associations
ANTA, Massage and Myotherapy Australia, Myotherapy Association Australia and ATMS

30. 27 March 2020 - COVID-19, Joint Association Statement

27 March 2020

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for all of you.

We have joined together to issue this joint statement to help all of our members better understand the current situation as it applies to massage and myotherapy.

Our Boards and staff are working very hard to bring you factual, up-to-date information relevant to your practices. Given the ever-changing nature of the current situation, we are fact-checking before we communicate with you. This means we are in regular communication with State, Territory and Federal government departments and Ministers to clarify the situation for our members. They all have a lot of responsibilities right now and we respect the time it takes for them to respond.

Please be patient and respectful with our staff. We are working through our enquiries as quickly as we can.

Latest Update

QLD Health Department released a statement late on Thursday 26th March, outlining that exemptions to continue work applies to Health services provided by health practitioners registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, with social distancing observed to the extent possible.

On 26 March, we attended a briefing with the Principal Medical Advisor at the Department of Health. Key messages from that briefing are:

  • government encourages healthcare workers to continue working, to help ease the pressure on our hospital system; and
  • where you don’t need a face-to-face consultation, government encourages audiovisual consultations.

Please find a letter from the Department of Health here.(File no longer available)

  1. This week, the private health funds contacted us to ask us to help them with policies on audiovisual consultations for health practitioners during Covid-19. We are collating evidence to help the health funds formulate appropriate audiovisual consultation policies during this time.
  2. So far, government has listed activities that are not allowed. Our understanding is that if you are not on that list, you do not have to shut. However, we are actively pursuing this with government and will let you know as soon as we have an answer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Close My Practice?

This is the number one question from our members and there are no black and white answers.

The short answer is that we cannot advise that you are required to close your business. Government encourages healthcare workers to continue working, to help ease the pressure on our hospital system.

You need to consider your own personal situation when deciding whether to close your practice. You, or someone you live with, may have healthcare concerns that make it prudent for you to limit your physical interaction with others.

Government is asking practitioners to refrain from using masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) and help conserve stocks for hospitals and other higher need areas.

Whatever decision you make, always remember to respect government advice on Covid-19 hygiene.

Am I Covered by my Professional Indemnity Insurer to Continue Practicing?

Our insurers have confirmed that you are covered as long as you:

  • practice within your scope;
  • follow all the latest government Covid-19 advice; and
  • keep comprehensive notes.

Here are some resources to help you and your patients with Covid-19 hygiene:

Can I Provide Audiovisual Consultations?

Remedial Massage – it is difficult to see how massage could be provided remotely. However, you may choose to provide your clients with some stretches, exercises if in scope, or self-manage tips to help them.

Myotherapy – Yes, you can provide audiovisual consultations to your clients. In fact, where you don’t need a face-to-face consultation, government encourages audiovisual consultations.

You are insured, as long as you practice within your scope of practice and keep comprehensive notes. Insurance providers are suggesting that, where possible, initial consultations should still occur face-to-face, as it may be more challenging to perform an initial client assessment online.

On 26 March, private health funds do NOT provide rebates for audiovisual consultations. It is important that you tell your clients this so there are no misunderstandings later.

Please note – we are working with private health funds in the hope of implementing rebates for audiovisual consultation services.

Where Do I Access Information About Financial Help?

There are a lot of resources out there that you can access.
This information focuses on help available for small businesses. Here is another link.

We want to reassure you again that we are here for you and doing everything we can to bring you fact-checked information as it becomes available.

Thursday, 26th March 2020

ANTA – Elizabeth Greenwood, President  |  Jim Olds, Executive Officer

Myotherapy Association Australia – Nick Steward, President  |  Anna Yerondais, CEO

ATMS – Peter Berryman, President  |  Charles Wurf, CEO

Massage and Myotherapy Australia – Andrew Gallagher, President  |  Tricia Hughes, CEO