Victorian Mobile Groomers Refused Right to Return To Work

Aussie Pooch Mobile Dog Wash

On Saturday 12th September 2020, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, announced that from 28 September 2020 retail based dog grooming could recommence; as long as Covid-19 cases continue to decline.He specifically said venue based Pet Groomers will be permitted to provide contactless service to their clients. Pet owners will be able to drop off their pets to a venue. There is to be no Mobile dog grooming, as it was judged to be unsafe by the Chief Medical Officer.This statement clearly shows that the Victorian Government has little understanding of the mobile grooming industry. Our industry successfully continued to care for the welfare of dogs nationwide since the start of the pandemic, by operating as a safe, contactless, essential service under COVID-19 safe action plans. In fact, the very emphasis for Dog Grooming in Stage 3 was explicitly the opposite of the new lifting of restrictions. Mobile Dog Groomers were deemed safe, while retail outlets were not allowed to groom.

The Victorian government has failed to consider:
Most grooming salons operate with three to four staff in a small shopfront. This creates potential Covid-19 transmission issues and social distancing.Retail Grooming salons operate with strict set down and pick up timelines. This will mean that customers will queue to await service, both at drop off and again at pick up. If 20 dogs are being groomed for the day in the salon, that equates to 20 different customers making in effect 40 separate trips. This hasn’t also taken into consideration those customers who do not have a grooming salon within the 5km restricted zone.Nor has this easing of restrictions helped the very people who need dog grooming services the most i.e.: elderly people and those unable to leave the house to drive or walk to their groomer.
Conversely, let’s look at a mobile groomer who, on the same day, grooms 10 dogs per day:

This mobile operator travels independently to each home, sets up outside the home, collects the dog by texting the customer to open the front door so the dog can come out into the garden. The mobile groomer performs the required service and, returns the dog to the owner again via text to customer to open the front door. Payment is made electronically – all while being totally contactless.

To Clarify:
Mobile Dog Grooming Service:1 person, travelling in 1 vehicle, caring for the welfare of 10 pets per day, without having contact with any person.
Retail Outlet (bricks and mortar salon)More staff at venue; more customers at venue; more contact via queuing customers.
We politely ask the Premier and the Chief Medical Office to explain how this is deemed to be “unsafe” when comparing it to the alternative.
On behalf of not only our own joined team of 60 Groomers members within the state of Victoria, but also on behalf of every small business owner who operates as a mobile groomer, we call on the Victorian Government to urgently reassess their decision on this matter.
/Public Release.