COVID-19 Government Restrictions & Social Distancing
By Paolo Coniglio, 07.04.2020
Over the past week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison imposed additional control measures on both crowd restrictions and social distancing to further contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Australia. These measures, which have now been escalated to ‘Stage 3 Restrictions’, have managed to slow down the spread of new infections from 25% to 9%.
Outdoor Areas (Update)
All outdoor gatherings have been banned and restricted to ‘Outdoor trips’ with no more than 2 people (unless members of the same household).
The purpose of outdoor activities has also been defined as:
- purchase of food or other goods or services;
- obtaining medical treatment or other health care services;
- engaging in physical services;
- performing business or volunteer activities;
- providing assistance to immediately family members;
- attending court or other justice services;
- attending childcare facilities, school, university or other educational institutions;
- avoiding injury or risk of harm (i.e. domestic violence).
Some outdoor areas are still open (i.e. food markets and shopping centres). However, there are general measures that all areas should follow, including:
in a given occupied space, there must be no more than one person per four square metres of ground space;
availability of hand hygiene products and suitable waste receptacles, with frequent cleaning and waste disposal.
There may be other gatherings that are considered essential and it is at the discretion of the individual state and territory Chief Medical Officers, or equivalent, to assess each on their merits and determine whether they can continue if mitigated by social distancing measures.
Indoor Areas (Update)
(An indoor gathering refers to a gathering with a single enclosed area)
Indoor areas have also been restricted to 2 people (unless members of the same households)
(This restriction does not apply to essential activities such as public transportation facilities, medical and health care facilities, pharmacies, emergency service facilities, correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other places of custody, courts or tribunals, Parliaments, food markets, supermarkets, and grocery stores, shopping centres, office buildings, factories, construction sites, and mining sites, where it is necessary for their normal operation (although other social distancing and hygiene practices may be required in these settings).
International Transport – Borders Restrictions
Effective Saturday 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake their mandatory 14 day self-isolation at designated facilities (for example, a hotel).
Travellers will be transported directly to designated facilities after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks;
Designated facilities will be determined by the relevant state or territory government and will ordinarily be in the city of entry where the traveller has cleared immigration, but facilities in other areas may be used if required.
- Places of Social Gatherings (Update)
The following venues have been restricted from opening:
Monday 23 March 2020, 12pm (local time):
- Pubs, Registered and Licensed Clubs
(excluding bottle shops attached to these venues);
- Gyms and Indoor Sporting Venues;
- Religious gatherings, places of worship and funerals
(in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups – where the 1 person per four square metre rule applies);
- Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 12am (local time)
- Restaurants, Cafes and Food Courts in Shopping Centres
(restricted to takeaway service only);
- Auction Houses, Real Estate Auctions and Open Houses;
- Beauty Therapy Centres, Salons, Massage Parlors
(excluding Health Centres, i.e. Physiotherapy Centres);
- Outdoor and Indoor Markets
- (excludes food markets);
- Cinemas and Concert Venues;
- Amusement Parks and Arcades;
- Museums, Libraries, Youth Centres (PCYC);
Saturday 28 March 2020, 12am (local time)
- Public Playgrounds
The following businesses/activities have been limited to a restricted number of people:
- Weddings (limited to 5 people)
- Funerals (limited to 10 people)
- Bootcamps (limited to 2 people – Updated)
(limited to 30-minute appointments lifted as of Thursday 26 March 2020)
Where possible, keep 1.5 metres between people. If unwell, people must stay at home, unless seeking medical care.
A special recommendation to ‘stay home and only leave the house unless absolutely necessary’ has been made for ‘vulnerable people’ , including:
- People 70 years or older;
- People 65 years or older with chronic medical conditions;
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 50 years and older with chronic medical conditions;
- People with compromised immune systems.
Coronavirus Information Services
The Australian Government has also set a 24/7 National Coronavirus Information line:
1800 020 080. Information is also available: https://www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19
This blog and attached resources are of general nature designed for informational and educational purposes only. They should not be construed as professional financial advice for your individual business. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.