The latest updates on COVID-19 State restrictions

State governments are continuing to release their next stage plans to aid in the economic recovery and ensure safe work practices. Here is an updated summary of plans announced from around Australia.

VICTORIA

Click here for work permit information. Important for Victorian employers - from 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, employers that require staff to attend a Melbourne work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility. 

Click here for the latest PDF on 'Permitted Work Premises'. Further information for specific sectors is listed below:
 

Click here for the new COVID Safe Plan requirements.

Click here for more information on Dan Andrews 2 August announcement.

Click here for 3 August announcement regarding retail businesses. 

Click here for the 4 August update regarding isolation breaches.

With Victoria now declared a State of Disaster by Premier Dan Andrews, Melbourne has been placed under stage 4 Coronavirus lockdown, with stage 3 for the rest of Victoria. This commenced at 6.00pm on Sunday 2 August and will continue for six weeks to 11:59PM on Sunday 13 September.

Changes include requirement for face coverings, hygiene measures, record keeping, density and physical distancing requirements. Final changes subject to advice of the Chief Health Officer.

The Premier will provide more details around what these restrictions mean for business in the next 1-2 days which we will immediately share in this post.

 

NEW SOUTH WALES

Latest update: Queensland borders will close to NSW and the ACT from 1am this Saturday, August 8. 

 

The NSW Government is strongly encouraging greater use of masks in high-risk public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant specifically recommends:

  • The use of face masks in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to
    maintain, such as on public transport or in supermarkets;
  •  The use of face masks (where practical) in indoor settings with a higher risk of
    transmission, such as for the staff of hospitality and customer-facing venues
    i.e. cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs; and
  • During attendance at places of worship.

Wearing a mask in any of these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially in areas where there has been community transmission.

NSW businesses are on notice to comply with the State’s public health orders, or risk a fine or closure, with restrictions around “higher risk” activities coming into effect. From Friday July 24, the following compliance measures were introduced to pubs, restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs:

  • Limiting group bookings to a maximum of 10 people. 
  • Mandatory COVID-Safe plans and registration as a COVID-Safe business. 
  • A digital record must be created within 24 hours.
  • Corporate events are limited to 150 people subject to the four square metre rule and registration of the venue as a COVID-Safe business.
  • Strict COVID-Safe plans must be in place and high-risk activities including dancing must not occur. 

Current restrictions on businesses

All businesses can now open and operate under the one person per 4 square metre rule. For some types of businesses, you are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan. A COVID-19 Safety plan is recommended for other types of businesses. Find out more about developing a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your business.

THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Latest update: Queensland borders will close to NSW and the ACT from 1am this Saturday, August 8. 

The current Stage 2 restrictions as outlined in the ACT’s Easing of Restrictions roadmap will stay in place and will be assessed on a weekly basis. The following restrictions are currently in place:

  • All public gatherings (except for the hospitality sector) will be set at one person per 4 square metres for each indoor and outdoor space, up to a maximum of 100 people (including staff, trainers and spectators).
  • For the hospitality sector (cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs) gatherings will be set at 100 patrons for each indoor or outdoor space, or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser. This limit excludes staff.
  • All hospitality venues and licensed premises must prominently display the maximum number of patrons allowed in the venue under COVID restrictions.
  • Bars, pubs, and clubs will be able to serve patrons alcohol in groups of up to 10 patrons per booking or table without serving a meal. Patrons are to be seated.
  • The following are open, observing the one per 4 square metre rule for up to 100 people (including staff) per indoor or outdoor space:
    • Cinemas and movie theatres
    • Open air drive-in cinemas (max. 100 vehicles)
    • Indoor amusement centres, arcades, outdoor and indoor play centres
    • Betting agencies
    • Gyms, health clubs, fitness or wellness centres, yoga, barre, pilates and spin facilities, boot camps and personal training
    • Outdoor amusements and attractions
    • Personal services (beauty and nail salons, tattoo and body modification, tanning, waxing, spa and massage parlours)

Click here or more information. 


QUEENSLAND

Latest update: Queensland borders will close to NSW and the ACT from 1am this Saturday, August 8. 

Queensland will be open for visitors from all states and territories except Victoria as of 10 July, while this Friday, small businesses will be allowed to have more patrons under a 2sqm rule.

Travellers from TAS, SA, WA, NSW, NT and ACT will be allowed into Queensland from Friday, July 10. However, they have to fill out a border declaration first. This border declaration is to ensure that no-one has travelled to Victoria in the past 14 days. Anyone who has travelled from Victoria, including Queenslanders, will be prevented from entering or will have to quarantine at a hotel at their own expense for two weeks.

In alignment with Stage 3 restrictions, from midday 3 July 2020, all businesses were permitted to reopen, under the COVID Safe Framework. All businesses may now have one person per 4 square metres on their premises. Businesses with a floor space less than 200 square metres can have one person per 2 square metres, up to 50 people at a time. Stage 3 restrictions mean:

  • You can shop for essential items like food and groceries, and go to retail shops for non-essential items. You must maintain physical distancing while you shop

  • You can eat and drink at any food and drink business if the total number of people doesn’t exceed 1 person per 4 square metres.

  • Venues less than 200 square metres can accept 1 person per 2 square metres but no more than 50 people.

  • You can eat and drink at a bar if you’re seated. Takeaway and delivery services can continue

  • Food courts can now reopen, but food buffets are not allowed.

  • Dine-in food and drink businesses must keep contact details of patrons for 56 days.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Based on the latest health advice, Phase 5 of the WA COVID-19 roadmap, due to be implemented on Saturday, 1 August, has been delayed. The new tentative date will now be Saturday, 15 August. A final decision on whether Phase 5 can proceed on this date will be decided in about 2 weeks’ time. 

Western Australia moved to stage 4 on 27 June. Stage 4 restrictions include:

  • all existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule removed
  • gathering limits only determined by WA’s reduced 2 square metre rule
  • the 2 square metre rule will only include staff at venues that hold more than 500 patrons
  • removal of seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed premises
  • no requirement to maintain patron register at food businesses and licensed premises
  • alcohol can be served as part of unseated service arrangements
  • all beauty services including nail, tanning and waxing salons can resume
  • saunas, bath houses, wellness centres, float centres, spa and massage may reopen (100/300 rule).

Download the COVID-19 WA roadmap.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

South Australia has changed its decision to open its border with Victoria to travellers from July 20, due to the state's ongoing surge in coronavirus cases.

The South Australian Government announced plans to move to Stage 3 by 29 June. Patrons at cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs must stay at least 1.5 metres apart, with no more than 1 person per 2 square metres. Wineries and cellar doors can offer wine tasting, but you need to follow the same physical distancing rules.

Venues should also:

  • minimise the use of shared equipment
  • encourage good hygiene, including offering you hand sanitiser
  • clean and disinfect the premises regularly
  • put up signage to encourage compliance with the rules
  • review business operations to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission
  • ensure any closure hasn’t compromised food safety standards

At food courts, you can both buy takeaway food and drinks and eat on-site

 

TASMANIA

The Premier of Tasmania, Peter Gutwein, announced mandatory testing on arrival of all essential travellers from Victoria or determined hot-spots, such as those outlined by the NSW Government. This means that from Friday 31 July (if you travel by air), or Saturday morning, 1 August (if you travel by sea), all non-Tasmanian and Tasmanian residents who are required to stay in mandatory government–designated hotel quarantine, will do so at their own expense, except in cases of extreme hardship.

From 26 June, caps on public gatherings no longer apply. This means restaurants, cafés, food courts, pubs, clubs, bars, RSLs and community clubs can accept 250 people per undivided indoor space and 500 people outdoors at any one time. Restaurants can continue to offer delivery and takeaway services.

The density limit at these premises is 1 person per 2 square metres. Where the density limit is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies. For example, an indoor venue cannot hold more than 100 people if the floor space measures 200 square metres. These limits include staff, spectators, volunteers, children and babies. Patrons must be seated in premises where alcohol is sold. Physical distancing and good hygiene practices still apply. 

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY

The Northern Territory Government eased restrictions further, moving to stage 3 from 5 June onward. Stage 3 easing means: 

  • Cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs, casinos and food courts can open, but with no more than 1 person per 4 square metres
  • You can only drink alcohol if you’re a seated customer
  • Customers must practise good hand hygiene and keep 1.5 metres apart from people they don’t live with
  • If you're dining in (except at food courts), you'll need to provide your name and contact details for contact tracing purposes.

 

Border Restrictions

Before travelling to another state or territory you should check the rules that your destination has in place. Here are the latest border restrictions for each State and Territory across Australia:

Victoria: Victoria’s borders are open so you can leave and enter Victoria. For all Victorians except those in Melbourne's coronavirus hotspots, there are no restrictions on the distance you can travel. Some Australian states and territories have closed their borders to Victorians or may require visitors to quarantine on arrival.

From 11.59pm on 8 July, restrictions will apply to specific areas that are experiencing a high level of transmission or are at high risk of transmission. People living in these areas need to Stay at Home. Going on holiday is not one of the four reasons that people living in these areas can leave home.

Source: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/travel-restrictions-covid-19#can-i-travel-within-australia-nbsp

New South Wales: The NSW Government has closed the state’s border with Victoria, with strict
penalties in place for anyone who breaches the new rules. NSW residents returning from a Melbourne hotspot are already required to go into 14 days of self-isolation. This requirement will be extended to anyone returning from Victoria. 

Source: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/travel-and-transport-advice

Queensland: From July 10, anyone from any state or territory, except Victoria, will be able to enter the state after signing a border declaration.

Source: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/movements-gatherings

Australian Capital Territory: The ACT's borders did not close throughout the pandemic, and this has not changed. From 12:01am on Wednesday 8 July, the ACT will be enhancing travel restrictions for anyone travelling into the ACT from Victoria. All ACT residents will be approved to return home, subject to entering quarantine for a period of 14 days from the day after leaving Victoria. 

ACT residents will be required to notify ACT Health of their intent to return to the ACT, and provide details on how they intend to travel back to the Territory and where they intend to quarantine. Any ACT resident that is unable to safely quarantine in their private residence will be provided with options of suitable accommodation where they can quarantine at their own expense.

Any Canberran planning to visit Victoria has been clear – do not travel. You will have to quarantine for a full 14 days when you return to the ACT. Victorians also should not be travelling.

Source: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/community/travelling-and-transport#Travelling-interstate

Western Australia: Western Australia's borders remain closed. The state did set a tentative date for reopening borders as part of its plans for "phase 6" of eased restrictions, however this date was put on hold due to the recent situation in Victoria.

Source: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-wa-roadmap

Northern Territory: Anyone arriving in the Northern Territory must complete 14 days of quarantine unless they have an exemption. However, for most Australian visitors, there will no longer be quarantine requirements upon arrival from 17 July. However, people who have been to COVID-19 hotspots including those in Melbourne will need to self-isolate for two weeks at their own cost upon arrival.

Source: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/quarantine

Tasmania: From 7 August, non-Tasmanian residents (not including people who have been classified as Essential Travellers) who have spent time in an affected region (currently Victoria) or premises in the 14 days prior to their arrival are not permitted to enter the State until further notice. Essential Travellers who have visited an affected region or premises in the 14 days prior to their arrival will be required to do a COVID-19 test when they arrive in Tasmania.

Tasmanian residents who have spent time in an affected region or premises will be required to quarantine in Government designated accommodation for 14 days. From 31 July, you will be required to pay a fee of $2,800 per person for quarantining. A reduced rate will be available for couples and families.

Source: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors/coming-to-tasmania

South Australia: As a result of the cluster outbreak in Sydney, the state's plans to reopen its borders with NSW and ACT have been postponed. People travelling to South Australia directly from Queensland, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia no longer face restrictions (provided they had been in those states for 14 days before departing). People arriving from any other state are required to self-quarantine for 14 days (with the exception of essential travellers). 

Source: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions