12 February 2021

Statewide stage 4 lockdown restrictions

As a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases in hotel quarantine, the Victorian government has imposed state-wide Stage 4 lockdown restrictions which come into effect from 11.59pm tonight (12 February) until 11.59pm Wednesday 17 February.

There will only be four reasons to leave home:

  • Shopping for essential items
  • Care and care giving
  • Exercise (limited to two hours per day)
  • Work (where it is not possible to work from home).

Facemasks must be worn at all times when outside of the home. There will be no private or public gatherings, and schools will revert to remote teaching (except for children of essential workers).

The government has indicated that although dental practitioners are essential health providers, they should only provide procedures and surgical treatment undertaken by dentists in authorised public health care centres in the management of:

i. patients with obvious facial swelling due to infection i.e. vestibular swelling (no trismus), facial swelling (with trismus); or
ii. facial trauma; or
iii. severe unrelenting pain.

We are waiting for an update from the Department of Health about what this means for private dental services. We have advocated in the strongest possible terms that private dental providers must be allowed to remain open to treat emergency patients. Until we receive this confirmation from the Department of Health, we have to advise members that they are not considered essential health care providers under the current restrictions.

We understand that members are particularly anxious at this time, and we always aim to provide information in a timely manner. It is also extremely important for us to verify information with the Department of Health to ensure that members receive accurate updates.

Public exposure sites have been identified and have been published at Case locations and outbreaks.

We will keep members updated as the situation unfolds and more information can be found at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.