The Federal Government has released a three-step plan to begin moving the Australian economy into a new normal to prepare for a post-Coronavirus world. With the pandemic effects costing the economy $4 billion per week, according to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, these changes are a much anticipated change for all businesses and the public as a whole. In a recent press release from PM Scott Morrison, a three step process was outlined at a national level to have Australia slowly returning to an active economy, work routine and more social country.
This blog looks at the three steps that are currently being proposed, what it will mean for businesses and the specifics for those living in Queensland, as these steps are ultimately decided at a State and Territory level.
At a national level, this first step looks at reopening the Australian economy and starting to get things back to normal with businesses returning to work, social activities increasing to include gatherings of up to 10 people and up to five visitors in the family home. Plus, this first step there is also an increase to local and some regional travel as well.
What Step 1 Means for Businesses…
Working from Home: If you or your team are currently working from home, then they can now return to work providing you have a COVID Safe Plan in place. This plan includes how you will implement social distancing measures, increased cleaning and other hygiene requirements. However, if the current working from home arrangement works better for both you and your employee/s you can continue with this arrangement.
Retail: In this first step, all retail stores are now able to re-open, providing they create a COVID Safe plan as mentioned above. Open homes and auctions are also to re-open with a maximum of 10 people to attend.
Cafes and Restaurants: Providing that the average density of 4m2 is maintained, cafes and restaurants can open and seat up to 10 people during the first step. However, food courts are to remain closed with the exception of takeaway.
Entertainment & Amusement Venues: Unfortunately, during this first step of the economy reopening, entertainment and amusement venues, such as movie theatres, theme parks, galleries and zoos are to remain closed.
Sports & Recreation: Although indoor physical activity is to remain closed, up to 10 people are able to participate in outdoor gyms, bootcamps and outdoor sports providing it is consistent with the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport.
The first step of the restrictions being lifted will begin from 15 May 2020, for a minimum of 4 weeks between this first and the next step. Many of the above recommendations are being implemented with the addition of beauty therapy and nail salons businesses also being able to open providing they meet the 10-person limit, record details of clients and have a COVID Safe plan in place.
The main difference in the Step 2 is with increasing the number of gatherings to 20 people and a larger variety of business being able to reopen. Although the exact plan will be determined closer to when the Step 2 is ready to be rolled out in mid-June, the below recommendations highlights some changes specific for businesses that are being considered at a national level.
What Step 2 Means for Businesses…
Working from Home: In Step 2, the working from home arrangements will remain the same as from Step 1.
Retail: As above in Step 1, with the exceptions of open homes and auctions now catering to 20 people.
Cafes and Restaurants: The same as Step 1 outlined above, however, now able to cater for up to 20 people. Food courts still remain closed with the exception of takeaway.
Entertainment & Amusement Venues: Indoor movie theatres, concert venues, stadiums, galleries, museums and zoos are able to reopen in this second step for up to 20 people. Pubs, clubs, casinos and nightclubs are to remain closed.
Sports & Recreation: Outdoor restrictions the same as above in step 1 but increasing to 20 people. Indoor sports, including gyms, are able to reopen in this step, providing they can meet the 4m2 average density per person and only cater to 20 people.
The second step of the restrictions are predicted to commence from 12 June 2020, for a minimum of 4 weeks. At this step, the above recommendations are being included, with the exception of the 20-person restriction for certain business types, including gyms, health clubs, yoga studios, outdoor amusement parks, and dining in restaurants, cafes and pubs. In these instances, providing that these types of businesses have a COVID Safe Plan approved by health authorities, they will be able to exceed this number.
This final step will see Australia returning to a more normal way of living and working, with gatherings expected to increase to 100 people. However, international travel and gatherings over 100 people will remain restricted.
What Step 3 Means for Businesses…
Working from Home: In the final step all employees will be able to return to their workplaces, with each workplace having developed a COVID Safe plan.
Retail: All retain stores and shopping centers will continue to be open, with auctions and open homes being accessible for 100 people, providing contact details are recorded.
Cafes and Restaurants: Providing that the average density of 4m2 per person can be maintained, cafes, restaurants and food courts will be able to seat up to 100 people during this final step.
Entertainment & Amusement Venues: Venues opened in Step 2 will now be able to accommodate up to 100 patrons, with consideration being given to bar areas and gaming rooms.
Sports & Recreation: Providing that the 4m2 average density per person is maintained, all sporting venues are allowed to operate with gatherings of up to 100 people. Community sport will continue in line with the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sports.
The third step of the restrictions are predicted to commence from 10 July 2020. At this step, this step has the least information released and is consistent with allowing 100 people to gather. However, this will be clarified, and more light shed into specifics closer to the rollout date, with the success of the previous two steps.
What Can You Do to Prepare?
As restrictions loosen there are a few things that you can do to prepare. One of the most obvious things that you can do as a business owner is to prepare your business to reopen. This may include ensuring that you meet the 4m2 average density requirements and to create a COVID Safe Plan. Also being prepared for each change of the Steps by preparing your facility for an increase in people where necessary.
Furthermore, downloading the COVID-19 Safe app on your mobile will help to trace and prevent break outs of the virus as Australians progress through these steps.
If you are looking for more information on the Steps for reopening the Australian economy, please see the 3 Step Framework for a COVID Safe Australia and Roadmap to Easing Queensland’s Restrictions document. If you would like any assistance with budgeting, forecasting or assistance with the COVID-19 schemes that have been released during this period, please contact our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling our office on 07 3367 3155.