COVID-19: Commonwealth and state shutdowns of non-essential services


Monday, 23 March 2020

Further to our communication yesterday, the National Cabinet announced that, as Stage 1 of the COVID-19 response, the following facilities are restricted from opening from midday today:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues)
  • Hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

NSW and Victoria have also declared their intentions to shut down non-essential services. As far as we are aware, both states are implementing the same restrictions as above.  

Veterinary businesses are not affected by the current restrictions according to the information to hand.

More information can be found:

In case stronger restrictions may come into place (Stage 2), we continue to advocate for veterinary business to be officially declared an essential service.  

We see this as critical for reasons of animal health, welfare and biosecurity, but also human health and mental wellbeing, food safety, and food supply chain integrity and continuity.

Advocating for veterinarians as an essential service of course means that allied services such as veterinary pathology laboratories, medical, pharmaceutical and equipment supplies etc, must also be classified essential, in order that veterinarians can do their important work.

Our submission on this has gone to all relevant Commonwealth and state parliamentarians, including the National Task Force.

We will continue to push for long-term certainty on this and will be back in touch as soon as we have information.

Julia Crawford
AVA President 

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