State-by-state restrictions overview
As lockdowns ease around the country, state and local governments are beginning to release their next stage plans to aid in the economic recovery and safe work practices for local businesses. The Australian Retailers Association looks at plans announced over the past week from around the country.
- Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy:
The Queensland Premier has announced the Stage 1 Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.
It focuses on building the infrastructure needed for the future and to greenlight jobs now especially in regional Queensland. The package also addresses the small business and tourism sectors which have been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic. You can find more information here: Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.
Key initiatives include:
- A $400 million Accelerated Works Program to deliver new road, bridge and pavement sealing works across the state, creating much needed jobs across the state;
- A further $200 million in 2020-21 for a Works for Queensland program to support jobs and fund productive building projects;
- $100 million to support small businesses including Small Business Adaption Grants of up to $10,000. This will bring much needed assistance to the sector and builds on the $1 billion of job supporting business loans already announced; and
- $50 million for tourism infrastructure including iconic theme parks and animal parks and more funding towards a domestic tourism campaign. With nine out of 10 tourism businesses considered small business this is another injection our business owners need to recover.
NEW SOUTH WALES
On 15 May, the NSW government announced a further easing of restrictions. The following is now allowed, among other measures:
- public gatherings of up to 10 people
- food and drink premises can open, but only to seat a maximum of 10 customers at any one time – this includes cafes and restaurants, a restaurant within a registered club or pub, or a cellar door that serves food
- up to five visitors may visit another household at any one time
- NSW residents will be able to take a holiday anywhere in NSW from next month, with intra-state travel restrictions to be lifted from Monday, 1 June 2020.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said lifting the holiday travel restriction will give everyone a much needed break and help get small businesses and the tourism industry moving again.
- City of Sydney - City Recovery Plan
The City of Sydney Council is preparing a City Recovery Plan in response to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses are invited to help inform this plan by sharing with the City of Sydney any key insights on how you are planning for recovery by completing their short survey by 3 June.
Alternatively, you can provide any insights directly to Maria Pavlides, Senior Project Manager Community Engagement on 02 9265 9333 or email [email protected] by Monday 25 May 2020. Council will consider the City Recovery Plan at its June meeting.
- City of Melbourne announces small business and retail precincts package
The City of Melbourne is supporting small businesses and retail precincts through its $50 million COVID-19 Recovery Package. Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the Recovery Package includes $18.9 million in residential and commercial rate relief and direct grants to small businesses.
The COVID-19 Business Concierge Hotline has connected 1600 businesses with information specific to their individual needs. An extra $6 million will also be invested in extra cleaning across our public areas to improve safety and bolster community confidence as more people return to streets, laneways and parks. To provide more support to traders The City of Melbourne will provide a free service to clean and sanitise door handles and other touch-point areas around their business, if requested.
More information is available here.
From 18 May, restrictions have been further relaxed as part of the COVID-19 WA roadmap, allowing some businesses to reopen while applying the following:
- up to 20 patrons
- four-square-metre rule
- good hygiene
Businesses that can reopen include:
- cafés and restaurants with meal service, including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and the casino
- outdoor or indoor fitness classes with no shared equipment, such as yoga, Pilates, bootcamp, gymnastics and dance
All businesses are required to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. To reopen, businesses need to:
- ensure a maximum of 20 people per venue (excluding staff)
- comply with conditions outlined in the COVID Safety Guidelines — please read these before completing your plan
- complete a COVID Safety Plan
- display a COVID Safety Plan Certificate in a visible location on the premises — this is included in the plan
- maintain a minimum of 4 square metres per person
- maintain hygiene and frequent cleaning
- maintain attendance records of patrons for contact tracing
- carefully manage waiting areas to ensure social distancing
Premier Steven Marshall has announced that from Friday, 22 May, indoor dining at cafes and restaurants will be allowed for up to 10 people. And from Friday, 5 June, all pubs across the state will be permitted to open giving hardworking hoteliers and their patrons a much-needed economic and morale boost ahead of the long weekend.
SA is planning to move to stage two earlier than the initial date of June 5th, allowing an increase in the number of people who can be served. Cinemas and theatres are also expected to reopen in this stage.
The government has made new regulations under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 for commercial leases to protect tenants from eviction and provide greater certainty around dispute resolution and rent relief during this unprecedented crisis.
The regulations, which cover the six-month period from 30 March to 30 September this year, implement key elements of national cabinet’s code of conduct. No affected commercial tenant can be evicted for non-payment of rent or outgoings, or for reducing their hours of business during this period.
Helping businesses get back to work with ‘COVID-clean’ toolkit
Restaurants and pubs are among some of the businesses who will benefit from a new training program to prepare the hospitality sector for reopening in the coming weeks and importantly, staying ‘COVID-clean’ into the future.
The state and federal governments have equally contributed $2.6 million towards the training which will be delivered through the state government. Participants will learn a range of skills, including: hand hygiene practices, effective surface cleaning, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), disposal of contaminated waste, among other skills.
Up to 5,500 training places for this accredited training will be available in SA in retail, tourism, hospitality, cleaning, security, transport and logistics, and will be delivered by local registered training organisations.
Restrictions eased across the state on 18 May
Tasmanian restrictions which have been eased from Monday 18th May include:
- Visitors to households increasing to up to five people at any one time;
- Gatherings increasing to 10 people (not including event or premises staff) for indoor and outdoor gatherings;
- Restaurants and cafes in all settings (including restaurants in pubs, clubs, hotels and RSLs) to open and seat patrons of up to 10 people at a time;
Workplaces are encouraged to ensure they have their COVID-Safety plans in place to ensure they are meeting the standards required to keep staff and customers safe in a COVID-19 environment.
COVID Ready window stickers and posters are available for workplaces who have their plans in place, which will help provide the Tasmanian community with confidence that workplaces are well prepared to manage and respond to COVID-19. More information is available at: coronavirus.tas.gov.au
Physical distancing restrictions will be eased further from May 30th, allowing gatherings of up to 20 people. The national cabinet has also agreed to allow up to 20 people to gather in stage two, and reopen higher-risk businesses such as beauticians,gyms and cinemas.
Commercial property owners in the city centre will benefit from a series of waivers and deferrals on their annual City Centre marketing and Improvement Levy for the upcoming financial year, allowing them to support their tenants throughout this period.
The Northern Territory government will match $400,000 in federal government funding to deliver low cost infection control training to Territory businesses. The training will enable the rollout of specific infection control short courses to a wide variety of businesses to make workplaces COVID-19 safe.
Customer facing industries such as retail, hospitality, food preparation and transport and logistics, will be prioritised, along with cleaning and security service industries.
Businesses will pay no fee or a small fee for training previously only widely available in the health sector.
First published on the Australian Retailers Association