COVID-19 FAQs for veterinary practitioners

UPDATE 27 February 2022

Call the CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE on 1800 675 398 if you have any questions about the information below:

Mask rules eased: face masks no longer need to be worn in many indoor settings including vet clinics, but people must still carry masks with them outside of the home and wearing a mask remains recommended.  More information: Face masks - when to wear a face mask (Victorian Government) and Pandemic Order Register > Movement and Gathering > 'Pandemic (Movement and Gathering) Order 2022 (No. 4)'. 

QR Code check-ins no longer mandatory: visitors and staff at veterinary clinics are no longer required to check-in via a QR Code but vet clinics may still keep a record of all persons who attend the work premises using the Victorian Government QR code system (Pandemic Order Register > Workplace Order > section 10(8) Pandemic (Workplace) Order 2022 (No. 6).

Booster vaccination: It is recommended that all individuals aged 16 years and over receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose from 3 months after the last primary dose to maintain an "up-to-date" status (ATAGI statement on defining "up-to-date" status). Currently, veterinary and other animal services workers are not required to have had a third booster vaccination to attend work.

Close contacts exempt from isolation in some circumstances: Provided they meet specified conditions, veterinary practitioners and other animal services workers* who are asymptomatic close contacts of COVID-positive cases may be exempt from quarantine requirements to attend work (if attendance is necessary for business operations to continue). *Animal services workers provide animal health, husbandry or welfare services at any premises where animals are kept. 

Exemption conditions are explained on the page, Checklist for COVID contacts: scroll down to the exemptions section then click on 'About the exemption'. From there, you can download the detailed document, 'Guidance for exemption from quarantine for specific workers who are close contacts'. More information: Pandemic Order Register > Quarantine Isolation and Testing Order > 'Exemption of Specific Workers who are close contacts in respect of the Pandemic (Quarantine, Isolation and Testing) Order 2022 (No. 3) and Directions given as conditions applicable in respect of the Exemption'

 


More requirements and general information:
    1. Workplace Order - all workplaces must have COVIDSafe Plans and be prepared to respond to a suspected or positive case in the workplace. All staff at a workplace should know what's in their workplace's COVIDSafe Plan and where to get a copy in case an authorised government officer asks for it.
      Additional guidance from Victorian Government:

    2. Vaccinations: Under 'Pandemic COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Specified Workers) Order 2022 (No. 5)' on the Pandemic Orders page, all specified workers in Victoria, including veterinary and pet/animal care workers, must have had 2 vaccination doses to work onsite at a work premises (with the exception of "excepted persons" as defined in the pandemic order).
      • Note re booster vaccinations: It is recommended that all individuals aged 16 years and over receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose from 3 months after the last primary dose to maintain an "up-to-date" status. Currently, veterinary and other animal services workers are not required to have had a third booster vaccination in order to attend work. If this changes in the future, there will be a new pandemic order and the following webpage will be updated: Worker vaccination requirements
      • Note re vaccination: The Open Premises Order does not require veterinary clinics, animal shelters, pet groomers or pet stores to check the vaccination status of customers and/or refuse entry to unvaccinated customers. While currently no order requires veterinary businesses to check vaccination status, a business can decide as part of its COVIDSafe actions to ask for vaccination status and refuse entry to unvaccinated patrons as long as the business also complies with obligations under anti-discrimination and privacy laws. Businesses should not refuse entry to patrons who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or because they are in an age group that has not had access to vaccination

STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE RULES:

Frequently asked questions about veterinary services and the COVID-19 pandemic

Click on an FAQ below for more information. Note these FAQs may not be up-to-date when restrictions are tightening or easing rapidly. For current pandemic orders, see the Pandemic Order Register. 

Physical health: General support:

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The FAQs above are for general information only and are not intended to be complete. It is your responsibility to inform yourself and keep updated as circumstances change. Veterinary practitioners should exercise their professional judgment and seek appropriate advice on complying with government rules in their particular circumstances.

The FAQs on this page contain links to third party websites of organisations which are responsible for or able to assist with the subject matter of an FAQ. These external sites  are controlled and produced by third parties. The Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (VPRBV) has no control over and is not responsible for the content of any third-party website. Links to these websites are provided by the VPRBV for user information only, and do not constitute an endorsement of any material, product or service that may be found at those sites. The VPRBV makes no warranty, guarantee or representation in relation to the accuracy, currency, correctness, reliability, usability, suitability or any other aspect of any information and/or materials contained in external links. The VPRBV does not accept any liability for any form of loss or damage that may result from any person’s reliance on the information and/or materials contained in any external links.