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Reopening of tourism businesses FAQs

Questions and answers about the Victorian Government's plan to reopen our state's restaurants and cafes.

Environmental measures including cleaning

What are the most important things I can do to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) in my business?

Frequent cleaning, hand hygiene, ensuring people do not attend a premises when unwell and physical distancing are the main measures that can protect against coronavirus (COVID-19).

How often should surfaces be cleaned?

Cleaning and disinfecting common contact surfaces will help to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This should be done every regularly for high-touch surfaces. Surfaces and fittings should also be cleaned immediately when visibly soiled and after any spillage.

Common contact surfaces include:

  • benches and workstations
  • door and cupboard handles
  • handrails
  • switches
  • taps
  • ATMs
  • EFTPOS keypads
  • eating and drinking utensils
  • tables and chairs (including underneath)
  • kitchen and food contact surfaces.

Personal items used in the workplace, such as glasses and phones, should be cleansed and disinfected frequently (e.g. by using isopropyl alcohol wipes).

Workplace amenities, including kitchens, lunchrooms, communal areas, change rooms, toilets, drink fountains and vending machines, should also be regularly cleaned, or immediately if they are visibly dirty and after any spillage has occurred.

How should surfaces be cleaned and disinfected?

You need to clean and disinfect surfaces; both steps are essential. The first step is cleaning, which means wiping dirt and germs off a surface. You can use common household detergent products for cleaning, they are stocked at supermarkets.

Cleaning alone does not kill germs. The next step is to disinfect the surface. Disinfection means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Again, supermarkets stock common household disinfection products – it is important to use products that are labelled “disinfectant” and to follow the instructions on the label. You can find more information at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/cleaning-and-disinfecting-reduce-covid-19-transmission.

How often should staff be washing their hands or sanitising?

The most important measure is proper handwashing. To reduce the risk of cross-contamination, practice good hand hygiene before all contact with clients, and after any activity or contact that could result in hands becoming contaminated.

Hand washing should take at least 20 to 30 seconds. Wash the whole of each hand, covering all areas with soap before washing with water. If hand washing is not practical, alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% ethanol or 70% iso-propanol is recommended.

The most important measure is proper handwashing. Staff must have access to appropriate handwashing facilities and must wash and dry their hands:

  • on arrival at work
  • before handling food
  • after smoking, coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose, eating or drinking, and using the toilet
  • after touching hair, scalp, mouth, nose or ear canal
  • after handling rubbish and other waste
  • after handling money or bank cards
  • before and after cleaning
  • before and after removing gloves (if used).

How can I limit interaction between customers and cashiers/front of house staff?

There are a number of ways interactions can be limited to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

Encourage customers to use contactless payment methods, such as credit or debit cards, phone or other payment-enabled devices instead of cash.

Consider using physical barriers, such as plexiglass screens, at counters where interactions with customers frequently occur.

If practicable, set up separate venue entry and exit points so patrons and staff can maintain physical distancing when moving around facilities.

How can I best maintain physical distancing with contractors such as delivery drivers?

Request delivery drivers and other contractors visiting the premises to limit interaction with staff. Use electronic paperwork where possible and, instead of a signature, send a confirmation email or take a photo of the goods onsite as proof of delivery.

I am a business or staff member with questions about reopening, who can I contact?

Business Victoria is ready to support Victorian businesses and answer their questions about preparing for a coronavirus (COVID-19) safe reopening. For further information, please contact the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15, or using the Contact Us form.

Physical distancing and patron limits

What does the four square metre rule mean?

To maintain physical distancing requirements, there must be enough space within the business premises that equates to one person per four square metre.

This is used to calculate the total number of people operators can have in the facility at any one time. The size of the facility may limit the number of visitors you can allow to enter at once. For example, if your facility has an internal usable floor space of 20 square metres, then no more than five visitors can be in that facility at any one time.

The four square metre rule must be complied with in addition to the limit on having no more than 20 clients per premises.

Remember also the importance of ensuring people can stay 1.5 metres apart whenever possible, so clients and staff must not be grouped or clustered together.

The DHHS website provides information about monitoring compliance of the directions at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19.

Will the Victorian Government provide downloadable signage that I can put up at my business on physical distancing and expected staff and visitor behaviours?

Yes. Signage can be downloaded at business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Additional signage provided by the Victorian Government can be downloaded at:

What best practice measures can I put in place to encourage physical distancing?

Encourage online and phone bookings and limit the number of walk-in visitors.

Mark queueing spots to ensure a 1.5 metre spacing between each person in a queue.

Encourage customers to remain at least 1.5 metres apart when moving through the business. If possible, stagger visiting or seating times and manage the duration of visits to control the flow of patrons.

What if customers are unable to use contactless payment and want to use cash?

Venues are at liberty to set the commercial terms upon which payments take place. Consider communicating the payment preferences to patrons with physical signage.

My business comprises multiple spaces – are these considered separate spaces or one single space? Does this include back of house spaces?

A single separate space means an undivided space, for example a dining room of a restaurant, or an upstairs or downstairs area. If connecting rooms cannot be closed off from each other, this is one indoor space.

For areas to be considered different from each other, each area must be separated by permanent structures or be a discrete area of the premises that is sufficiently separated from any other area of the premises. Walls separating areas should either reach from floor to ceiling or be at least 2.1 metres high for the space to be considered sufficiently separate. It is not intended for temporary structures to be installed to create separate areas.

Accessible to the public means that spaces specifically available for staff (e.g. behind bars or counters) are not included when calculating the density quotient for customers.

How do I ensure I am providing a safe entry and exit to my business?

Physical distancing measures including barriers and markings on floors and walls should be used to encourage customers to keep 1.5 metres apart should be maintained.

Staff FAQs – for employers and venues

If a staff member is unwell should they stay home?

Staff attending work while unwell creates a significant risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. Staff should be directed to stay home if they are sick or go home immediately if they become unwell. Employers’ leave policies should be reviewed to ensure that staff do not attend work while unwell.

Any staff member with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, should be asked not to come to work and / or sent home immediately. Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

Employers should also encourage staff to complete the Staff Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Questionnaire at the start of each shift.

If a staff member develops symptoms while at work, they should:

  • immediately notify their supervisor or employer
  • leave the workplace, travelling by the least public means possible; and
  • ring the DHHS coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice on testing.

They must then stay home until symptoms have resolved, until it has been 72 hours since the last fever or chills, and until they have received a negative test result (if one was needed).

Staff should be provided with appropriate wellbeing support. Staff who are required to self-isolate may be eligible to receive a one-off $1,500 payment from the Victorian Government.

Should my staff be temperature tested at work?

No. Staffshouldcomplete theStaff Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Questionnaire before every shift, which can include a temperature check at home before attending work.

Please advise your staff that if they take their temperature using a thermometer and it is 37.5 degrees or above, they are considered to have a fever and should not come to work.

Even if your staff have only mild symptoms like tiredness or a sore throat, they should attend a coronavirus (COVID-19) testing location. For a map of testing locations visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/gp-respiratory-clinics-and-hospital-respiratory-clinics-covid-19.

What do I do if a staff member or patron tests positive for coronavirus?

All businesses should have a response plan ready for the possibility of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) at their premises.

If a patron or staff member who is a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) has attended your business while they are infectious, you will be contacted by DHHS.

Each business should then consider the following steps:

  • consult with DHHS on whether the business is required to close for a short period to facilitate cleaning and enable contact tracing
  • determine what areas of the business were visited, used, or impacted by the infected person
  • clean and disinfect all areas that were used by the confirmed case (for example, dining areas, offices, bathrooms and common areas)
    • Close off the affected area before cleaning and disinfecting
    • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation and then commence cleaning and disinfection
    • Fully disinfect all areas of the site, paying particular attention to high touch areas. The venue should remain closed until this is complete
  • DHHS will liaise with operators where someone has been at the business while infectious with coronavirus (COVID-19). DHHS may request information from the operator to assist with contact tracing. DHHS will contact anyone who is identified as a close contact of the case
  • work with DHHS to ensure that all appropriate preventative measures have been taken prior to reopening the business
  • any staff member who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) should remain in home isolation until they have been notified by DHHS that they are no longer required to isolate and have met its criteria for release. The staff member should follow DHHS guidance and their employer’s policy. Staff who are required to self-isolate may be eligible to receive a one-off $1,500 payment from the Victorian Government
  • staff who are determined as close contacts of a person with coronavirus must not come to work for 14 days after their last close contact and must quarantine themselves. During quarantine, they should watch for symptoms and seek medical assessment and testing if they become symptomatic; and
  • if multiple staff are directed to be quarantined and this affects operational capacity, the business will need to consider its own contingency plans for disposing of raw materials (especially fresh ingredients), any work in progress, or short shelf-life stock to ensure food safety is maintained.

Please respect the privacy of people with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) and treat their condition with understanding and compassion. Check in on the wellbeing of staff members regularly during self-isolation and monitor their mental health.

How can I manage potential coronavirus outbreaks among staff?

Have a plan in place if a staff member should test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). For example, maintain accurate records of your work roster to identify who has been in close proximity with one another during a shift.

If a staff member does test positive, treat them with understanding and compassion. Check in on their wellbeing regularly during self-isolation and monitor their mental health. Staff who are required to self-isolate may be eligible to receive a one-off $1500 payment from the Victorian Government.

DHHS will work with you to provide clear direction and indicate requirements where someone with coronavirus (COVID-19) has been at your facility while infectious.

Should I encourage staff to wear PPE?

No. Wearing masks is not recommended for individuals that are not showing symptoms and anyone with symptoms should be asked to stay home.

Good hygiene practices, such as handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and utensils, and physical distancing and barriers are the most effective methods for maintaining staff health and reducing the risk of transmission.

Gloves are recommended when cleaning and disinfecting. Use of eye protection, masks and gowns is generally not required when undertaking routine cleaning unless the manufacturer’s advice for a disinfectant product requires it.

If staff were previously required to wear PPE to control for risks other than coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, then they should continue to do so.

Can staff move freely around the premises?

Wherever possible, processes should be modified to reduce staff need to move through the premises to carry out their work. For example, divide work areas into clear sections and assign them to specific staff, and adopt processes that allow staff to maintain 1.5 metres from other staff and customers.

How can I minimise interactions between staff members during breaks or when transitioning into or out of work periods?

The times at which staff are not actively working or transitioning, such as meal breaks, toilet breaks, arrival and leaving work, are when interaction between them is most likely, which may lead to an increased risk of transmission.

Businesses should help staff maintain physical distancing protocols during these times by:

  • reviewing shift arrangements to create smaller teams and have each team work independently (known as cohorting)
  • staggering or increasing the time between shifts to eliminate bottlenecks and avoid intermingling between different teams
  • using the gaps between shifts for cleaning between work teams or cohorts
  • spreading out staff break times to reduce the number of people using communal facilities at the same time
  • removing excess chairs and tables from communal break areas to encourage staff to stay a minimum 1.5 metres from one another during breaks; and
  • discouraging traveling together, such as carpooling, to work.

Staff whose work is not essential to the physical operation of the business should work from home.

How should I educate the staff I supervise about the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Ensure that all staff under your supervision, including contractors and volunteers, are informed about the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) and their responsibility for protecting themselves and others from those risks.

Provide information in a format that staff can easily understand, such as in their own language, and in multiple formats, such as through email, verbal discussions and posters. You can find translated resources in 49 languages on the DHHS website.

Display signs around the workplace advising risk control requirements, such as covering coughs, maximum number of people in a room and not coming to work if unwell.

Brief staff on the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Tell them to stay home if they are unwell and showing symptoms, even if they are minor.

Staff should also be trained on the control measures - such as physical distancing - in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) at your place of work.

All staff, contractors and volunteers must comply with any reasonable instruction given by their employer to ensure the health and safety of other staff and patrons.

If a staff member turns up to work with a temperature and is sent home, am I responsible for paying them for that shift?

Staff attending work while unwell creates a significant risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. Staff should be directed to stay home if they are unwell, or go home immediately if they become unwell.

Leave policies should be reviewed to ensure that staff do not attend work while unwell. Staff who are required to self-isolate may be eligible to receive a one-off $1,500 payment from the Victorian Government.

Responsibility for payment will depend on how the staff is engaged (i.e. permanent or casual), the employer’s leave policies and any applicable workplace instrument such as an enterprise agreement or modern award.

Further information on coronavirus (COVID-19)-related pay and leave entitlements can be found through the Fair Work Ombudsman at:

What should I do if a staff member refuses to work due to concerns about contractingcoronavirus (COVID 19)?

In some circumstances, employees have the right to refuse to carry out or stop unsafe work. They have this right if there is a reasonable concern that they will be exposed to a serious risk to their health and safety from an immediate or imminent hazard. This could include exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If an employee stops work because it is unsafe, they need to tell you as soon as possible. The employee must then be available to carry out suitable alternative work, including doing other tasks that they are trained or able to do, or performing their work from another location, such as working from home.

What if an employee requests to wear a face mask?

Workplaces should not encourage staff who are well and engaging with the public to wear masks, unless your staff were previously required to wear masks to control for risks other than coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. However, an employee should not be prohibited from wearing a face mask if they wish.

How can I best engage and consult with staff regarding coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Employers have an obligation to consult staff and Health and Safety Representatives on matters related to health and safety that directly affect or are likely to directly affect them.

Keep staff informed through regular briefings on coronavirus (COVID-19) with information from the DHHS website, including updates and reminders on risk control strategies, and communicating and enforcing coronavirus-related policies and procedures.

Distribute information from authoritative sources, such as WorkSafe and DHHS, to increase staff’s awareness of the need for preventative measures to reduce the risk of transmission.

Consult staff on what control measures should be put in place to eliminate or minimise the risk of transmission and the adequacy of facilities, such as for handwashing, for staff and clients.

Ensure that your staff feel supported and heard. Take their views into account when making decisions, advise them of those decisions, and provide means for them to their raise concerns.

Also ensure that any consultation requirements under workplace instruments (such as an enterprise agreement or modern award) that apply to your business are observed.

For further help on how best to consult staff, refer to WorkSafe Victoria’s website.

Staff FAQs - for staff

What personal protective equipment (PPE) am I entitled to as a member of staff?

PPE is not currently recommended as a preventive measure against coronavirus (COVID-19) for tourism workers or for healthy individuals. The most important measure is not attending work while unwell, proper handwashing, cleaning and physical distancing.

PPE should continue to be used if you were previously required to use it to control for risks other than coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.

Does my employer need to consult with me about safe work practices?

Employers must consult staff and health and safety representatives (if any) on health and safety matters that directly, or are likely to directly, affect them.

Employers should also:

  • provide updated information to all staff, including staff who are on leave, contractors and casual workers, in a format that they can easily understand (e.g. in their own language) and in multiple formats (e.g. email, posters and verbal)
  • ensure there are contingency plans for replacing staff when necessary.

For further information on how your employer should consult with staff, visit WorkSafe Victoria’s website.

Am I entitled to additional paid leave if I have to self-isolate?

Responsibility for payment will depend on how you are engaged with the employer (i.e. as a permanent or casual staff), the employer’s leave policies and any applicable workplace instrument such as an enterprise agreement or modern award.

Further information on coronavirus-related pay and leave entitlements can be found at the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

What if I’m directed to self-isolate, but are not entitled to paid leave?

People who are directed to self-isolate by the Chief Health Officer – either because they have coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact of someone with coronavirus – and who will not have any income as a result, may be eligible to receive a one-off $1,500 payment from the Victorian Government.

Workers who can't work from home - including casual workers, some self-employed workers and permanent employees who have no sick leave - and who aren’t covered by JobKeeper and whose employer has no special leave in place, may be eligible for the one-off payment.

Further information on coronavirus (COVID-19)-related pay and leave entitlements can be found at the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

How do I find out whether I’m eligible for the one-off $1,500 payment?

You may be eligible if you have been directed to self-isolate. Please discuss your eligibility with your public  health officer.

What are my rights if I am concerned about safety at my workplace?

You have a legal right to a safe work environment, to be provided with adequate training, be familiar with relevant work policies, to be consulted on issues that affect you and know-how and who to contact with any concerns you may have.

If a business is not meeting its obligations as an employer under the OHS Act, its staff or customers can contact WorkSafe Victoria’s advisory service on 1800 136 089.

You may also choose to contact your union if you require further assistance and/or guidance regarding  your rights.

Patrons

How can I encourage safe customer behaviour?

Place signs at entry points to instruct customers not to enter the premises if they are unwell.

If a space in the facility is subject to the four square metre rule or a patron limit, the facility must display a sign at each public entry to each space that includes a statement indicating the maximum number of people that may be present in the space at a single time.

You should also provide information and guidance on physical distancing and hygiene measures.

What do I do if a customer does not comply with my business’ control measures, including the symptom self-assessment?

If a customer at the venue is in breach of the directions issued by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer or is not cooperating, a business has the right to refuse entry to customers or ask them to leave.

Should I require my customers to wear a face mask?

No. Wearing masks is not recommended for individuals that are not showing symptoms and anyone with symptoms should be asked to stay home.

Good hygiene practices, such as handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and utensils, and physical distancing and barriers are the most effective methods for maintaining staff health and reducing the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

What information am I required to collect from patrons?

Some tourism facilities, such as restaurants and cafes, accommodation facilities, hairdressers, beauty and personal care facilities, swimming pools, entertainment venues and animal facilities are required to request the first name and phone number of people that attend for more than 15 minutes, and if provided, must keep a secure record of those details, the date and time at which the person attended the facility (and if there are multiple indoor spaces, include the indoor space(s) which the person visited).

Retailers attached to tourism facilities, such as gift shops, do not need to keep records of people who have visited their shops.

Facilities are not required to verify information provided by patrons.

Do I need to keep electronic records or would written down (pen and paper) suffice?

Businesses can determine how to best securely record and store visitor details. A simple hand written log or register will suffice but considerations should be made on how to minimise the risk of transmission if staff and patrons share the record-keeping materials. For example, only have one staff member per shift collect customers’ details and/or regularly clean the pens used to write down details.

A template for recording visitor details can be found on our Tourism Industry Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Records should be securely stored, and information not used for any other purpose other than the reason for which it was collected, namely, to trace in the event that a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) is detected at the venue.

How long do records need to be kept?

Keep the record for 28 days from the date the individual attended the venue. This enables contact tracers to quickly make contact in the event that a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) is detected at the venue.

Securely destroy the record after 28 days from the date the individual attended the venue. Note that this only applies to customer records put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Other business records, such as those required by the Australian Taxation Office, should be retained under their normal
statutory periods.

Businesses must take reasonable steps to protect patrons’ personal information from being misused, interfered with and lost, as well as from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.

Do I need to disclose to customers about the retention of that data?

Yes, there should be a collection notice displayed informing patrons and other visitors of the requirement to record their contact details, the purpose for doing so and that records will be destroyed after 28 days.

Do I have to get every single person’s details, or just one from each group?

The details of each person should be requested.

Does my data from reservations count? What form do I use?

Data from your reservations can be used if it meets the requirements:

  • first name and phone number
  • time and date of visit; and
  • if there are multiple indoor spaces, the indoor space(s) which the person visited.

The details of all patrons must be recorded.

What if a patron or visitor does not want to give their details?

Explain the purpose for collection, which is to assist any contact tracing in the event of an outbreak or potential exposure to someone with coronavirus at the venue and in order to protect the patron and the health and safety of their family and friends.

If the patron or visitor still declines to provide details after being given an explanation, they cannot be compelled to do so.

Patrons concerned about the handling of their personal information by the venue can make a privacy complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

What do I need to do to comply with privacy regulations when collecting and keeping visitor details?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner provides a guide on the reasonable steps you could take to protect the personal information you are collecting from patrons and visitors. This includes steps to protect the information from misuse, interference and loss, as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

As a business owner, do I collect data of customers under the age of 18?

Yes.

If it’s a regular customer, do I have to get their details every single time?

Yes. It is important to record their first name, phone number and the date and time they attended.

Compliance and enforcement

Where can I find further information on safely reopening my venue?

Business Victoria is ready to support hospitality businesses and answer questions about preparing for a safe reopening. You can contact us on 13 22 15 or online by our Contact Us form.

For information on health and safety requirements under the OHS Act, businesses should refer to WorkSafe Victoria’s website or contact its advisory service on 1800 136 089.

How will you enforce compliance? Who will enforce it?

Victoria Police and other authorities, such as VCGLR, may conduct spot checks to ensure compliance with the directions of the Chief Health Officer. A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Joint Intelligence Unit has been established to support outbreak preparedness and identify and respond to outbreak risks.

The DHHS and WorkSafe will co-ordinate intelligence and information on businesses that are non-compliant.

WorkSafe will continue compliance and enforcement action under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act). For information on health and safety requirements under the OHS Act. For information on health and safety requirements under the OHS Act, businesses should refer to WorkSafe Victoria’s website or contact its advisory service on 1800 136 089.

What are the penalties for not complying?

Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:

  • refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions
  • refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction
  • refusing or failing to comply with a direction by the Chief Health Officer.

Larger fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the courts.

WorkSafe may take a range of compliance and enforcement action against an employer which fails to comply with its duties under the OHS Act.

I think that a local business is not complying with government guidelines on protecting the community from coronavirus (COVID-19), who should I report this to?

You can raise concerns about venues through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444.

Victoria Police and other authorities involved in the regulation of hospitality and liquor licencing, such as VCGLR, may conduct spot checks to ensure compliance with the directions of the Chief Health Officer.

WorkSafe will continue compliance and enforcement action under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act). For information on health and safety requirements under the OHS Act. For information on health and safety requirements under the OHS Act, businesses should refer to WorkSafe Victoria’s website or contact its advisory service on 1800 136 089.

Accommodation providers

How do I prevent people from attending when unwell?

If someone is unwell, they should be at home. To avoid guests arriving unwell we are asking accommodation providers to communicate with guests before they travel.

Accommodation providers are encouraged to contact booked guests in the 24 hours prior to their booking and request they conduct a symptom self-assessment before leaving home.

This should include assessing if they have a fever, ideally by using a thermometer to check their own temperature. Not everyone who has an infection or is infectious will have a fever so the self-assessment should cover all symptoms and whether the person has been identified as a close contact of someone with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Accommodation providers can ask people whether the self-assessment has been done as part of the check-in process.

Can I check guest’s temperature?

For accommodation with communal facilities with a staffed reception desk, a guest’s temperature could be taken on arrival to supplement the self-assessment. Any temperature checking must be done using a non-contact infrared thermometer (i.e. a body temperature measuring device that include an infrared radiation measurement technique) that is a registered medical device in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

There are several different brands of thermometers. All staff using the thermometer should familiarise themselves with the manufacturer instructions and storage information contained in the thermometers packaging. The thermometer may require calibration. Follow the instructions specific to the brand as advised in the manufacturer packaging.

Temperature is generally checked on the forehead, at a distance of 5 – 15cm (make sure there is no hair, perspiration or cap is covering the person’s forehead). Use a fully extended arm to maintain physical distancing from the guest as far as practicable, minimise the time involved.

Scanners do not require cleaning between guests as they are non-contact. If multiple staff are to be handling the thermometer it must be cleaned between users in accordance with DHHS cleaning and disinfection guidelines.

If a visitor is arriving at the accommodation after reception is closed, a visitor’s temperature can be taken at the next available opportunity.

What to do if someone has symptoms of COVID-19?

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should stay home. The symptoms can include a fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell.

Accommodation providers should not undertake health assessments. Accommodation providers may invite a guest that has not done their self-assessment prior to arrival to complete it on arrival, including offering to take the guests temperature using the infrared thermometer if available.

If the guest agrees to have their temperature taken, and it is above 37.5oC they are considered to have a fever. However, a person’s temperature taken using non-contact infrared thermometers is heavily influenced by environmental conditions. Doing exercise, or being exposed to the sun, can raise the temperature on our foreheads above body core temperature. They may detect elevated temperatures that have nothing to do with infections. In the event on an elevated temperate the individual should rest indoors for at least 15 minutes before doing a follow up temperature check to confirm whether they still have a temperature above 37.5oC.

If the guest has any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) they should be asked to return home if possible. If this is not possible, and if the guest is booked to stay in a room with others not from their usual household, alternative self-contained accommodation arrangements should be provided for the guest where possible. Support the guest to find alternative self-contained accommodation nearby if you are unable to provide it. In addition, any guest with symptoms of coronavirus should be instructed not use any communal facilities and strongly encouraged to get tested. Information is available at the DHHS Getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage or call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. Unwell guests should return home at the earliest opportunity if safe to do so.

Should I wash all bedding (such as blankets, pillows, mattress protectors, bed covers, cushions and throws), as well as sheets?

Bedding that comes into direct contact with a patron (such as sheets, quilt covers and pillow cases) should be washed before the next booking, and other items should follow routine practice. The laundering of linen should be conducted using the warmest setting possible that is in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Dry items completely. Do not shake dirty laundry as this may disperse the virus through the air.

I rent out a house or room/s through an online booking platform – can I start to have guests stay?

Yes, you can have guests stay at your property. However, house or room/s rented out must be cleaned
between groups. See Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission - tips for business and construction sites on the DHHS website.

I operate a facility or caravan park with communal areas (bathroom, kitchen, living and dining areas, etc.) – can guests access these areas?

Yes. From 11.59pm on 21 June 2020, guests at accommodation facilities may have access to communal areas. If you have multiple group bookings staying at the premises at one time, then the patron limit for these rooms is determined by the density quotient, which is calculated by measuring the total area of a space (in square metres) then dividing by 4.

Efforts should be made to reduce the number of people using communal areas at any given time; increase the amount of time between users; and facilitate users maintaining a 1.5m distance from other users.

Communal facilities are subject to the cleaning requirements: all reasonable steps to ensure that frequently touched surfaces are routinely cleaned and disinfected (at least twice a day), or when they are dirty, between users, and immediately after spills. Shared equipment (including, sinks, bench tops and surfaces such as refrigerator door handles) are to be cleaned & disinfected with a disinfectant with anti-viral properties – see Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission - tips for business and construction sites on the DHHS website.

Facilities used for outdoor sport and recreation may remain open, subject to physical distancing and requirements.Communal saunas and spas must remain closed.

How can I encourage physical distancing in communal areas?

Efforts should be made to reduce the number of people using communal areas at any given time, increase the amount of time between users, and facilitate users maintaining a 1.5m distance from other users.

You may wish to consider whether the following controls are feasible and appropriate in your setting:

  1. Rostering use of highly-used areas such as the kitchen or games rooms
  2. Moving or removing furniture to facilitate physical distancing
  3. Use floor markings to identify 1.5 metres distance between persons for queues and waiting areas.

You should also consider making hand sanitiser available to guests in communal areas.

I run a hostel with shared dorm rooms and no private facilities (recreational, dining, kitchen, bathroom) – can I accept guests?

Yes, hostels can accept guests for shared dorm rooms.

My operation has a communal sauna and spa – can people use it?

No. Communal saunas and spas must remain closed.

My operation has a pool – can people use it?

Swimming pools (including those in accommodation facilities) may open to the public according to the following rules:

  • no more than the following people (excluding the owners and staff) are permitted at any one time:
    • 20 patrons in the pool;
    • no more than one person per four square metres can access the non-water parts of the pool facility;
  • no access to saunas and spas; and
  • record-keeping, cleaning and signage requirements are met.

I have function and meeting facilities – can I start taking bookings for business meetings or private functions?  If so, will my business events clients be in breach of the Stay Safe directions regarding working from home?

From 11.59pm 21 June, conference centres can remain open, if the facility strictly adheres to restrictions on public gatherings of no more than 10 people and can meet physical distancing restrictions. Density restrictions of one person per four metres apply.

Venues are required to request first name and phone number of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing. Other safety precautions will also be required, including extra cleaning. Gatherings for essential work purposes can be arranged, however the directions require that Victorians who can work from home must do so.

Meetings held in facilities restricted under the directions are subject to the requirements of those restrictions. That includes plans to serve food and beverages, which are subject to the restrictions outlined in the Hospitality industry guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19).

My operation has a playground – can people use it?

Outdoor playgrounds, skateparks and outdoor communal gyms can remain open. This also applies for such outdoor facilities provided for use at private venues, such as caravan parks. Physical distancing and public gathering rules apply at all times.

From 11.59pm on 21 June, indoor play centres, including trampoline centres can reopen with to up to 20 people per indoor zone. See Activity Providers (indoor and outdoor).

My operation has indoor sport and recreation facilities – can people use them?

Outdoor sport and recreation facilities, such as tennis courts or bowling greens, can reopen subject to the requirements outlined in Section 0. This also applies for facilities at private venues, such as caravan parks or hotels. Physical distancing and mass gathering rules apply at all times.

From 11.59pm on 21 June, indoor sport and recreation facilities may reopen to 20 people per zone, with a cap of up to 10 per group class for those over the age of 18, subject to the density requirements. See Activity Providers (Indoor and Outsdoor).

My operation has a barbecue – can people use it?

Yes. Barbecues can remain open. Visitors are to be instructed to clean the barbecue and surrounding spaces before and after they use it.

Attractions and experiences (indoor and outdoor)

I run an indoor amusement park – can I re-open?

Indoor amusement parks are not permitted to open at this time.

I operate a hot springs facility – can I re-open?

Chlorine residuals are critical in managing the risk of coronavirus.

Hot and mineral springs are not prevented from opening pool-based bathing water as long as chlorine residuals are maintained that are acceptable to local government and DHHS. Saunas and spas, including those in the community, remain closed.

I am a private zoo operator – can I re-open?

Yes, outdoor amusement parks, zoos and arcades, can open. The overall cap on visitors to these venues must be determined by dividing total area (indoors and outdoors) accessible to the public in metres squared by four.

Indoor enclosed areas are considered separate spaces and from 11.59pm on 21 June, can have a maximum of 20 patrons per space, subject to separate density requirements for each indoor space (the four square metre rule).

There should be a maximum single group booking of 10, consistent with the public gathering limits.

I run an attraction which includes a retail outlet – can I re-open?

Yes. However, there are three requirements for retail businesses in Victoria that have customers on its premises:

  • You must measure your publicly available floorspace in each separate space and identify the maximum number of customers allowed in that space. For example, if your shop is 2 metres wide and 8 metres deep, its floorspace would allow a maximum of 4 customers inside at one time (2 x 8 = 16m2, divided by 4 m2 per person = 4 customers)
  • You must place a sign at the entrance/s to your premises indicating the maximum capacity of your shop and ensure no more than this number of customers are in your premises at any one time
  • You must initiate a cleaning regime that ensures:
    • frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, touch screens, handrails and benchtops are cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day
    • all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected when visibly soiled
    • all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected immediately if there is spillage.

I run an attraction which includes a restaurant or cafe – can I open them?

Yes. Restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs and other hospitality businesses can resume dine-in or alcohol-only service with the following restrictions:

  • up to 20 seated patrons per enclosed space, or in an outdoor space, subject to the density requirement of one person per four square metres
  • record-keeping, signage and cleaning requirements are met
  • group bookings of no more than 10 people
  • tables to be spaced so that patrons are 1.5 metres from a neighbouring table when seated; and
  • only table service is offered.

For more information on restaurants and cafes, please refer to the Hospitality Industry Guidelines for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

I run a gallery/museum – can I run tours?  Can I host events with guest speakers?

Yes. From 11.59pm on 21 June, galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites are allowed up to 20 customers per separate indoor space, while ensuring that the one person per four square metres is always observed. Group bookings must be limited to 10 people.

Any tours or events should be organised so that patrons can remain 1.5 metres apart, and that the four square metre rule is applied in each separate space.

My business includes hands-on activities with shared equipment – am I allowed to operate?

Yes, but there should be appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures in place for shared equipment. Where possible, patrons should be encouraged to bring their own equipment and clothing (e.g. use their own helmet or goggles). You should avoid sharing equipment that touches the head or face. In some instances, protective barriers or linings could be considered e.g. wearing a washable liner underneath a helmet. If clothing is required to be shared, it should be thoroughly cleaned before the next user. For clothing that can be machine-washed, a hot setting should be used. As a secondary protective measure (in addition to cleaning and disinfection), equipment could be quarantined for a period of time before next use (e.g. 72 hours).

Other shared equipment should be cleaned between uses with a cleaning regime that must include use of a disinfectant with anti-viral properties that complies with the published requirements of DHHS. You can find more information at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/cleaning-and-disinfecting-reduce-covid-19-transmission.

Transport services

Does the 4 square meter indoor density quotient apply to my vehicle (including buses, hot air balloons, boats and aircraft)?

No. However, you need to support participants to take reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other persons and must not organise a tour for more than 10 people. You should therefore consider what will be an appropriately sized group for your vehicle to support safe physical distancing by tour participants from different households during the tour.

I run a fishing charter, do physical distancing requirements apply to my operation?

Yes. When undertaking recreation activities, participants must take reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other persons.

I operate a car rental outlet and have become aware that a person/s who recently hired a vehicle has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). What steps should I take to disinfect the vehicle?

Remove the vehicle from circulation. Cleaning and disinfection will be required of the vehicle.

DHHS will provide guidance and advice specific to the circumstances. For further advice, contact the 24-hour coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398.

Activity providers (indoor and outdoor)

Is there an approved method of cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment?

Where possible, patrons should be encouraged to bring their own equipment and clothing (e.g. use their own helmet or goggles). In some instances, protective barriers or linings could be considered e.g. wearing a washable liner underneath a helmet. If clothing is required to be shared, it should be thoroughly cleaned before the next user. For clothing that can be machine-washed, a hot setting should be used. As a secondary protective measure (in addition to cleaning and disinfection), equipment could be quarantined for a period of time before next use (e.g. 72 hours).

You should avoid sharing any equipment that touches the head or face. Guidance on how to clean and disinfect shared equipment is outlined in the table below.

Non porous surfaces

For items that have non-porous surfaces, and where disinfection will not damage the materials of the equipment, both cleaning and disinfection should take place, as cleaning alone does not kill germs.

The first step is cleaning, which means wiping dirt and germs off a surface. You can use common household detergent products for cleaning, they are stocked at supermarkets.

The next step is to disinfect the surface.Disinfection means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Again, supermarkets stock common household disinfection products – it is important to use products that are labelled “disinfectant” and to follow the instructions on the label. You can find more information at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/cleaning-and-disinfecting-reduce-covid-19-transmission

Where items cannot be effectively cleaned, practice good hand hygiene, before and after use. It is recommended that items that are placed on the head, that cannot be effectively cleaned, are not shared.

Fabric or porous surfaces

Clean the touch surfaces of the item that can be wiped with a damp cloth. Not all surfaces are amenable to frequent cleaning. Items should be cleaned after each patron use.

For soft or porous surfaces like fabric or leather, seek advice from the manufacturer of the item to be cleaned about which cleaning products can be safely used. Detergent can generally be used to clean fabric surfaces. If more thorough cleaning is needed, fabric surfaces may be steam cleaned. Leather will have special cleaning requirements.

If soft or porous surfaces require regular cleaning, it may be more effective to use a removable washable cover or a disposable cover and replace these as regularly as you would clean the surfaces. Disinfectant is not suitable on fabric surfaces as it only works with extended contact time with the surface.

The close contact nature of my tourism activity business means that clients and staff cannot adhere to 1.5 metre physical distance requirement. What measures can I implement to minimise the risk of coronavirus (COVID 19) transmission?

Physical recreation activities can only occur where the activity is reasonably capable of being done with participants maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres from other participants.

Other recreation activities are not specifically restricted, however everyone should take reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other persons (except those people with whom they ordinarily reside). Where this is not possible, participants should minimise the duration of the close contact, and practise good hygiene – wash your hands and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.

My business involves offering activities for people (e.g. guided tours, surfing lessons) – can I re-open?

Experience businesses can operate as long as capacity limits are adhered to and physical distancing can be maintained. This means that from 11:59pm on 21 June no more than 10 per group. Operators should support participants to take reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other persons.

Wineries, distilleries and breweries

I operate a winery that hosts private and business functions – can I start hosting functions?

Wineries can host private and business functions subject to the restrictions outlined in the Hospitality Industry Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19). Gatherings for essential work purposes can be arranged.

I operate a cellar door at a winery, brewery or distillery – can I re-open? What restrictions apply?

From 11.59pm on 21 June, wineries, breweries or distilleries with a restaurant or cafe, will be able to sell alcohol by the bottle, and sell alcohol by the glass or sell a tasting experience to seated patrons.

Please refer to the Hospitality Industry Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) for more information.

Events

Can I operate a market? Can I have live entertainment (e.g. live music, cooking demonstrations)?

Market stalls may open – the four-square metre rule applies to indoor markets and a physical distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between people.

Entertainment is permitted at markets. Live entertainment should occur in designated spaces that allow performers to remain 1.5m from members of the public.

Can larger venues open for events and conferences?

If you are working from home, you must continue to work from home.

From 11.59pm 21 June, conference centres can remain open, if the facility strictly adheres to restrictions on public gatherings of no more than 10 people and can meet physical distancing restrictions. Density restrictions of one person per four metres apply.

Can I run a festival or event?

Large events are not currently permitted, and public gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people for outdoor public gatherings.

Camping and caravanning on public ground

Are caravan parks or camping grounds able to open?

Yes. From 11:59pm on 21 June, camping ground or caravan parks can be opened.

Communal toilet, bathroom and kitchen facilities can open and physical distancing and regular cleaning must be implemented.

How many people are allowed in a camping ground?

The restrictions on public gatherings of up to 10 people apply to groups within the park, not the caravan park or camping ground itself. As such, no group bookings of more than 10 should be taken. Campers should maintain a distance 1.5 metres from others and stay home if they feel unwell.

How can safe camping behaviour be encouraged?

Additional safeguards will be established for accommodation, including increased screening to increase the safety of staff and visitors. Patrons are encouraged to undertake a symptom self-assessment prior to leaving home, which includes an assessment of whether they have a fever and include a temperature check at home.

Signs should be placed advising patrons not to enter caravan parks or camping grounds if they are unwell and information provided on physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Is remote camping permitted?

Yes.

Is there a time limit on how long people can stay?

Normal time limits apply to camping. As always, we’re urging Victorians to use common sense in their activities. It’s up to all of us to make this work. Caravan and camping grounds on public land are provided for short stay holiday accommodation and should not be used for long-stays.

There are exemptions for certain people in particular circumstances, for instance, where the accommodation is for work purposes, you have nowhere else to stay or you live there permanently.

What are communal facilities?

Communal facilities, other than toilets are those facilities that are shared and available for all people to use.

Are all campgrounds and caravan parks open?

Some public land campgrounds and caravan parks close over winter, and seasonal road closures will restrict access to more remote campgrounds. Please note that as some parks and forests are still closed due to the impact of the bushfires, visitors are encouraged to check if the park or forest they intend to visit is open before travelling.

For more information visit: More to Explore App or Parks Victoria website.

How far can people travel to go camping?

There is no restriction on the distance people can travel and there are no restrictions on leaving or entering Victoria at this time. If you are going interstate you should familiarise yourself with other restrictions that apply at your destination.

Are the public able to take their caravan/camper trailer/tent/tent trailer/slide or camper/fifth wheeler/campervan?

Yes, they can take their caravan on a holiday in Victoria. When required, sewage must be dumped at approved dump points. The public is advised to check ahead if the campground can accommodate the recreational vehicle.

Is there a direction requiring scheduled cleaning of toilet facilities?

The Chief Health Officer advises that all reasonable steps be taken to routinely clean touched surfaces accessible to members of the public at least daily, including toilets.

  • In low visitation areas or sites that require considerable travel, this will not be possible. In these situations, existing service schedules may still apply.
  • Surfaces accessible to a discreet group are required to be cleaned between groups, such as cleaning and disinfecting a cabin between bookings.
  • As they travel, Victorians are reminded to maintain good hygiene, including regularly washing your hands or using sanitiser.