Date published: 
25 June 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Australian Government is providing personal protective equipment (PPE), including gowns, masks, gloves and goggles, to general practices in the ski fields in NSW and Victoria.

This will help to protect frontline health workers during the ski season.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said it was “critical general practitioners were able to quickly and effectively respond to potential cases of COVID-19.”

“The Government has worked with the Gippsland and Murray Primary Health Networks, and the Southern Eastern NSW PHN to determine how best to allocate this PPE,” Minister Hunt said.

Minister for Regional Health, Mark Coulton said thousands of items of PPE including masks, gowns, face shields and gloves will arrive at clinics this week.

“This delivery is in addition to the existing provision of masks to clinics and other frontline health workers through the PHNs,” Minister Coulton said.

“The opening of the 2020 ski season is a welcome milestone after many months of COVID-19 restrictions, but we must remain vigilant to the threat posed by the virus.

“Australians heading to the snow are still required to practise the 1.5 metre physical distancing rule, good hygiene and follow limits for public gatherings. Everyone is encouraged to download the COVIDSafe app.”

The delivery of PPE to clinics near the ski fields is a last line of defence. It is not a replacement for physical distancing and good hygiene practices. If visitors feel unwell, no matter how mild, they must stay home or in their accommodation.

Minister Hunt said Australian governments are committed to a COVID-19 suppression strategy. “We need to continue to have the right controls in place to test more people, trace those who test positive and respond to local outbreaks when they occur,” he said.