Easing COVID19 Restrictions for Tourism Businesses
As of Monday 18 May, Phase Two came into effect for tourism businesses, easing prior COVID19-related restrictions. You can read the State Government’s formal notification, identifying permitted and restricted activities, here.
As expected, the easing of restrictions comes with a range of conditions and some exemptions. Read on to find out more about both the new Phase Two restrictions, exemptions and conditions.
Phase Two Restrictions Now in Place
GSCORE encourages you to review the directions in the Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA), and contact us for specific assistance in interpreting your situation if required. Please see below the Tourism Council WA‘s interpretation of how the Directions apply to tourism businesses.
Irrespective of the formal requirements on your business, Tourism Council WA recommends you implement social distancing (1.5m between people) to the maximum extent possible and follow best cleaning practices.
Based on advice from the Small Business Development Corporation:
- businesses who are re-opening under Phase 2 restrictions after they were previously prohibited will require a COVID Safety Plan.
- businesses that were not forced to close and have not changed their business format may voluntarily complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan and display the certificate.
This would apply to takeaway food outlets who are not intending to re-open for dine-in patrons. However, once they begin to offer dine-in services they must complete the relevant plan (see below).
Exemptions and conditions
- Permitted Tourism Services exempt from gathering limits and safety plans
Under Section 12 of the Directions, many tourism services are exempt from the limits on gatherings. Neither the 20 person nor 4 square metres limit applies on these exempt services. A COVID Safety Plan is not required for these exempt services. Tourism services which are exempt include:
- Accommodation services (including a hotel, motel or other accommodation facility) are exempt under section 12(0).
- Airports are exempt under section 12(c).
- Food Markets, Supermarkets & Grocery stores are exempt under section 12(l).
- Motor Vehicles are exempt under section 12(u).
- Public Transport including Charter Vehicles and similar services are exempt under section 12(d). This means neither the 20 person nor 4 square metres limit applies.
- Special Cases
- Takeaway food and delivery remains a permitted service. A COVID Safety Plan is not required for takeaway food services unless it is from a pub, bar or club with a liquor licence.
- Swimming Pools are now permitted but with the 20 patron and 4sqm limits per pool. Communal shower and change room facilities remain closed, except for the toilets. A COVID Safety Plan is not required.
- Non-contact sporting activity is permitted, indoors or outdoors, provided equipment is cleaned between uses and there are no more than 20 participants. A COVID Safety Plan is not required.
- Indoor gym, health club or fitness centre where there is: no bodily contact, no use of shared equipment and no use of fixed equipment. Communal shower and change room facilities remain closed, except for the toilets. A COVID Safety Plan is required.
- Meal Services Re-Opening with Limits and Safety Plans
Sit-down meal service is now permitted in certain places with limits. The limits are 20 patrons (not including staff) and at least 4 square meters per patron. Alcohol is limited to consumption with a meal on licenced premises and COVID Safety Plans are required. Food Courts are still prohibited. The places now permitted to provide a meal with limits and a safety plan include:
- a licenced pub, bar or club.
- a licenced or unlicensed hotel.
- a restaurant or cafe.
- Tourism Services Still Prohibited
Several tourism attractions, facilities and ancillary services remain prohibited. These are:
- Amusement park or arcade.
- Casino or entertainment venue.
- Gallery, museum or historical sites.
- Beauty parlour, spa or massage parlour and beauty therapy services.
- Sauna or bathhouse.
- COVID Safety Plans
A COVID Safety Plan is not required under the Directions just because you are reopening a business per se. A COVID Safety Plan is only required if you re-open part of your business under Phase 2 which was prohibited under previous the previous Phase 1 Directions.
COVID Safety Plan Templates
Please see links to COVID Safety Plan templates listed by business type below.
- Food Businesses – Government advice for cafes, restaurants, bars, etc
- Sport and recreation – Government advice for gyms, yoga, dance, Pilates, health clubs, swimming pools, etc.
- General – Government advice for all other businesses
To re-open, food businesses must:
- Complete a COVID Safety Plan and display the certificate (sport and recreation, general businesses will also have to do this if reopening)
- Maintain attendance records of dine-in patrons. Albany Business Centre created a simple spreadsheet for use in a restaurant (no need to record takeaway customers).
If your staff must complete the COVID-19 Hygiene Course, here is the link to the course.