COVID-19 Coronavirus Update from the EPA | March 2020
On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) labelled the COVID-19 Coronavirus as a pandemic. The EPA has carefully monitored international public health authority releases and Australian Government directives and guidelines since the first announcements concerning the virus in January 2020. The EPA has issued communications to members accordingly.
Below is the most recent notice to all practitioners of the modalities approved by the EPA, following Government restrictions on services in the Australian community in response to the Coronavirus. This notice affects all practitioners who are members of the EPA.
Notice effective 12pm Wednesday 25 March 2020
Following Australian Government directives, massage and beauty have been deemed non-essential services and all non-essential services are to cease operating as at 12pm on Wednesday the 25th of March 2020.
The EPA advises all members that it has taken the Government’s directives regarding health and beauty to incorporate by reference all bodywork and healing sessions. The EPA has issued this notice out of its deep care for public health, safety and wellbeing, in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The government has further clarified its directive by stating "Massage therapists will need to follow the government decision. If they provide services claimable by [the] Medical Benefits Scheme as a physiotherapy item that is a different matter. Being able to claim would mean they have a Medicare provider number and [are] registered with AHPRA (the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency)."
Therefore, only AHPRA registered practitioners who have a Medicare provider number can continue to practice at this current time.
The EPA will report to members as any further Government directives are released, insofar as they alter the above.
We thank all our members in advance for the integrity and responsibility with which they approach this matter.