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Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 Update 21 May 2020


Advice on Face to Face Social Support Groups

Only where state and territory restrictions permit, providers may re-commence delivery of face to face social support activities with appropriate safeguards in place. Any decision to recommence services must consider the following -

  • Vulnerable people continue to be at risk of serious illness from coronavirus. This includes people who:

    • are aged 70 years or over
    • are aged 65 years or over and have a chronic medical condition
    • are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, aged 50 years with a chronic medical condition
    • have a weakened immune system.
  • Each State and Territory will decide when and how to ease restrictions, considering their local circumstances. Individuals and businesses should look to local authorities for the most up to date information, or visit to be linked to state and territory resources.

  • To meet their Work Health and Safety obligations, all workplaces need to do everything they reasonably can to protect workers and others from COVID-19. Providers of face to face support services, therapies and/or group activities to vulnerable people should consider:

    • the restrictions currently in place in the state or territory, particularly restrictions in regard to gatherings
    • what advice the state or territory has given regarding vulnerable people
    • any particular characteristics or concerns relating to the client group.
  • If your state or territory allows you to re-commence providing face to face support services, therapies and/or group activities to vulnerable people you must be able to strongly commit to:

    • developing a COVID safe plan for your workplace before re-commencing services
    • ensuring that activities enable all participants (staff and service recipients) adhere to social distancing and infection control requirements
    • staying 1.5 metres away from other people during these activities whenever and wherever we can
    • maintaining good hand washing and cough/sneeze hygiene
    • ensuring those participating (staff and clients) are well before they participate. Staff and clients should stay home when unwell, and get tested if they have respiratory symptoms or a fever
    • encouraging staff and clients to download the COVIDSafe app so we can find the virus quickly.
  • Aged care service providers must also ensure that they revise, in consultation with consumers, the consumer care and services plan to include social support group activities in accordance with Standard 2 of the Aged Care Quality Standards and per the requirements of the Home Care Packages Program Operation Manual and Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) manual. Social Support Group activities must meet the consumer’s needs, goals and preferences.

Relevant jurisdiction advice is available here:

COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has been working with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to enhance the COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register. 
The COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register is now an interactive, self-managed platform to support Australian manufacturers, suppliers and purchasers of critical medical and protective products to identify collaboration and market opportunities.
The new functionality will assist in connecting Australian manufacturers along the supply chain, and with Australian customers seeking medical equipment and PPE.
For more information please visit here. For any support inquiries, please contact the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre via email at


Unknown Author, 2020, Department of Health

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