Clearing the confusion in SA – Clarifying this week's COVID-19 announcements
The Association appreciates that the last few days may have been particularly confusing and stressful for South Australian members. We hope the following timeline and explanation will help clarify the rapid changes and evolution of decisions that have occurred in South Australia recently:
- At 12.01am ACST 20 July, South Australia moved to Level 4 High Restrictions. Under Level 4, face masks were a requirement and it was recommended that non-essential treatments be postponed. More information here.
- Later that day, at 6pm ACST 20 July, South Australia moved to Level 5 Stay at Home. A list of essential workers was supplied by SA Health. The list made no mention of massage, remedial massage and myotherapy (even allied health was limited to telehealth and working at a hospital). With no confirmation of the working status of therapists, the Association informed South Australian members that they were not permitted to treat during Level 5 restrictions. More information here.
- On the morning of 21 July, SA Health provided an updated list of essential workers. While massage, remedial massage and myotherapy was not directly named in the updated list of essential workers, more allowances had been made for the provision of health care and now included 'allied health services for relief of pain'. Additionally, SA Health updated their website, including a list of common questions that confirmed that remedial massage could treat as long as it was 'provided by a qualified health care provider at a health facility'. More information here.
Please note that while remedial massage and myotherapy are permitted in some very limited circumstances at this time, they are not regarded as allied health, and Level 5 Stay at Home orders still apply. All services that can be postponed must be postponed. Remedial massage therapists and myotherapists can only consider treating clients in pain and whose health is at risk of severe deterioration without treatment. Importantly, even under these circumstances, treatment can only take place in a clinical setting following stringent COVID-19 safety protocols.
Massage & Myotherapy Australia will continue to monitor the situation and notify members if there are any changes to these directions.