Now that the different states and territories across Australia have had time to digest the government’s announcement last week on easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions under a three-step plan, we have summarised their plans for you here, with specific consideration to business.
Last Friday, the National Cabinet introduced the three-step plan to give some clarity for businesses in terms of what can operate and under what timelines. Although some questions remain unanswered within some industries, for the most part the plan provides guidance for going forward and helps businesses replan their models and practices to adhere to the social distancing (COVID-safe) rules.
Each state can implement the stages of the plan within their own timeframes.
Stage one for Queensland begins today (15th May) and includes:
- Retail shopping
- 10 people permitted at any one time for the below;
- Dining in: restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels – no bars or gaming
- Open home and auctions
- Beauty therapy and nail salons
Stage two for Queenland is due to begin on the 12th June, approximately four weeks after the start of stage one.
- Retail shopping
- Tourism accomodation
- 20 people permitted at any one time for the below;
- Dining in: restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs, hotels and casinos – no bars or gaming
- Indoor cinemas
- Open homes and auctions
- Outdoor amusement parks, tourism experiences, zoos and arcade
- Concert venues, theatres, arena, auditoriums and stadiums
- Beauty therapy, nail salons, tanning, tattoo parlours and spas
Another four weeks from the start of stage two, stage three will begin on the 10th July. This is subject to further review, of course, depending what happens within the previous stages.
At this stage it includes:
– a maximum of 100 people in all activities listed under step 3 of the government’s plan, both interstate and intrastate
*For any business operating in Queensland, to begin stage one, you are required to complete and display COVID Safe checklist before trading.
New South Wales (NSW)
New South Wales has addressed the first stage only at this point in time.
From today (15th May), the following will be allowed in New South Wales:
- cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time and continue to provide takeaway services
- weddings can have up to 10 guests plus the celebrant and couple
- indoor funerals can have up to 20 mourners and outdoor funerals up to 30
- outdoor playground and exercise equipment can be used with caution
- outdoor pools will be open with restrictions
The NSW Government has said that it will consider steps two and three of the Australian Government’s three-step plan in due course.
Victoria is largely sticking with the current restrictions, with a few exceptions, and not starting the three-step plan until June.
Exceptions include changing the visiting household numbers and allowing 10 people at auctions/property viewings and support groups.
More updates on business-affected restrictions will be announced in the coming weeks.
Western Australia (WA)
Western Australia has broken up their approach into four phases, with phase one being the staff that they are currently in and have been in since 27th April.
- outdoor personal training without shared equipment
- recreation activities in compliance with travel restrictions and the 10-person rule, such as private picnics in the park, fishing, boating, hiking and camping
- home opens and display villages open, in compliance with 10-person rule, appropriate record keeping and hygiene practices
Phase 2 starts from Monday 18th May in WA and extends the lockdown easing, in alignment with the government’s three-step plan.
- Western Australians are encouraged to return to work, unless they are unwell or vulnerable
- Weddings and funerals up to 20 people inside or 30 outside
- Cafés and restaurants with meal service, including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and casinos
- up to 20 patrons.
- non-contact community sports up to 20 people
- outdoor or indoor fitness classes with minimal shared equipment, up to 20 people
- public pools (1 indoor and 1 outdoor) permitted to open under strict rules and up to 20 patrons per pool
*Businesses across Western Australia will need to prepare a COVID Safety Plan before they re-open, to protect staff and customers. This plan in currently be developed and will be made available this week.
Phase 3 is yet to be finalised, but like Queensland, each phase is expected to come into play roughly four weeks after the previous phase started.
Current plans are for phase 3 to include:
- further increases in number of people allowed at indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings, including patrons at cafés, restaurants, weddings and funerals
- restrictions further relaxed for gyms, health clubs and indoor sport centres
- contact community sport (indoor and outdoor) permitted, with gathering limits
- beauty therapy and personal care services permitted
- auction houses and real estate auctions permitted (not just online, as it is currently)
- public playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, skate parks, zoos, cinemas, galleries, museums and concert venues permitted to open, with gathering limits
Phase 4 is yet to be confirmed and will be finalised in due course. Western Australia’s travel restriction is likely to be the last restriction lifted.
South Australia (SA)
South Australia implemented its first step of its easing measures on the 11th May, earlier this week.
With social distancing and a 10 people maximum rule, this is what is now allowed in the state:
- outdoor dining for restaurants and cafes
- community, youth and RSL halls
- Actions and inspections
- Sports training (outdoors only)
- Funerals (20 indoors / 30 outdoors)
- Weddings and ceremonies
- Campgrounds and caravan parks
The second stage in SA starts from the 8th June.
The following will also reopen with the previous list, with a 20 person limit.
- Cinemas and theatres
- Seated dining
- Galleries and museums
- Beauty, nails, tattoo, massage (non-therapeutic)
- Driving instruction lessons
- Gyms and indoor fitness
- Funerals now have 50 max
The third stage doesn’t currently have an estimated start date, and is still being considered. This will cover the businesses listed in stage three of the government’s plan.
Like South Australia, the Tasmanian government has eased restrictions from the 11th May. This notably includes:
- Funerals – increase from 10 to 20 attendees.
- National parks and reserves – open to residents for exercise
Officially under “stage one” of their plan, these changes will take place starting from the 18th May:
- Working from home is encouraged where possible
- 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
- Community and local government facilities re-open
- Real estate – face-to-face open homes and auctions permitted indoor and outdoor with up to 10 people, not including staff.
- Funerals extend to 30 attendees outdoors, with the indoor limit remaining at 20 attendees. Event or premises staff are not included in this count.
- Outdoor exercise equipment at a local park or playground can be used – as long as physical distancing is maintained.
- Outdoor social sports are only permitted where physical distancing can be maintained for groups of 10 people
- Boot camps open for up to 10 people
- Pools open for up to 10 people per pool
From the 15th June, stage two will include more reopenings.
From a business perspective, this includes:
- 20 people at a time for indoor and outdoor, including restaurants/cafes, cinemas, museums, galleries, theatres, performance venues, historic sites, religious gatherings and weddings.
- Funerals up to 50 people
- Accommodation, unlimited
- Camping, overnight boating and shacks open with up to 20 people
- Open homes and auctions can resume with 20 people.
- Gyms and boot camps for up to 20 people
- Beauty services (including tattoo, nails, waxing, facials and tanning) for up to 20 people
- Park exercise equipment and playgrounds open for up to 20 people
- Outdoor community sport to resume, with up to 20 athletes/personnel
- Indoor sport and recreation, including pools with up to 20 people
Stage three is due to start in Tasmania from the 13th July and includes:
- Consider opening bars, night clubs and casinos/gaming
- Markets to open, subject to Public Health advice
- Food courts and food vans at markets may open
- Spas and bathhouses to reopen
- Outdoor community sport to resume
- Indoor sport and recreation, including pools