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Business guide to Coronavirus

Restrictions impacting businesses

As vaccination rates climb and we learn to live with COVID-19, here's a wrap-up of the latest rules and easing of restrictions by state and territory.

Last updated: 4.33pm 8 November 2021

Read our summary of the main restrictions and rules for businesses across the country.  If required to reduce your movement and stay within a five-kilometre radius, use this tool

Rules – from Monday 8 November

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Tuesday 2 November that due to the faster-than-expected rate of vaccination, easing of rules will apply from Monday 8 November for the fully vaccinated, medically exempt and children under the age of 16. 

  • Dancefloors open at night clubs. 
  • Business premises offering sex services may resume. 
  • Drinking while standing permitted (indoors and outdoors at licensed venues).
  • Caps will only apply to gyms and dance classes (20 people).
  • Indoor pools open.
  • All other settings will have no caps but will have density limits or 100% fixed seating capacity for major recreation outdoor facilities e.g. stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos and entertainment facilities e.g. cinemas, theatres. This also means no booking limits for restaurants, hospitality, hair and beauty etc. and no caps for wedding, funerals or places of worship. 
  • Density limits: all business premises to move to a one person per two square metre rule. (indoors and outdoors)

Masks

Wearing a mask will no longer be required for office workers (unless unvaccinated). A mask is still required to be worn by all people over the age of 12 in indoor settings, such as:  

  • while on public transport 
  • front of house hospitality workers
  • on an aircraft 
  • at the airport. 

Wearing a mask will continue until December 15 or when the state achieves the 95% double vaccination milestone (whichever comes first). 

Note: these rules were scheduled to come into effect on December 1 but have been brought forward to 8 November. Read more on opening up NSW from 8 November and refer to the revised roadmap for details. 

Pre-roadmap rules and restrictions still apply to anyone choosing not to be vaccinated and will continue to apply until December 15 (the date has been pushed back from December 1) or when the state achieves the 95% double vaccination milestone (whichever comes first). 

Changes that were introduced at the 80% milestone (18 October)

  • All retail may open (no change from 70% milestone). 
  • Personal services – hairdressers, nail spas, beauty salons, tattoo parlours and massage parlours – no customer limits. 
  • Gyms indoor recreation and sporting facilities up to 20 people can attend a group class at the gym or dance classes.  
  • Hospitality – restaurants, cafes, function centres, food courts, take away food and drink premises, casinos, kiosks, micro-breweries or small distilleries, cellar doors, pubs, registered clubs, and small bars can allow up to 20 people per booking. Dancing is permitted indoors and outdoors except for nightclubs. Drinking is permitted indoors and outdoors for seated or standing patrons. 
  • Recreation facilities such as zoos, aquariums, sports stadiums, showgrounds, racecourses, motor racing tracks and theme parks, can open. 
  • Weddings and funerals have no caps for the fully vaccinated.
  • Businesses that operate sex services may resume.

Travel between metro and regional areas is permitted as of 1 November. 

Refer to the instructions on how you can integrate your digital vaccination certificate with the Service NSW app.

If you require help to prepare your business for reopening, access the toolkit of posters and signs. Remember the Service NSW QR code is mandatory at all workplaces / retail premises and businesses need to clearly display it. Also ensure your safety plan is up-to-date – check the relevant COVID-19 Safety Plan for your industry. 

For more information see vaccination rules for business, staff and customers or visit the official NSW Government COVID-19 rules page. 

Victorians will enjoy further easing of restrictions from 6pm Friday 29 October, as the state hits the 80% vaccination milestone, aligning the rules for regional and metropolitan areas with travel permitted between the regions.

Reopening of non-essential retail

Unvaccinated shoppers will temporarily be able to shop at non-essential retailers. A grace period is being given to unvaccinated customers until the state hits the 90% double vaccinated milestone of all people aged 12 and over (estimated to be November 24).

Other businesses

In many other business settings, vaccination status of customers and patrons will need to be checked. To make the process of checking vaccination status easier, it’s recommended the COVID-19 Digital Certificate is linked to the Service Victoria app.

  • Most indoor settings including gyms, restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and beauty – to open with no capacity limits but density limits apply – one person per four square metres, if all staff and patrons are fully vaccinated (excludes general retail).
  • Most outdoor settings – up to 500 people with one person per two square metres.
  • Weddings, funerals and religious gatherings – to have the above mentioned capacity limits for indoors / outdoors if all attendees are fully vaccinated. Capacity limits of 30 people if vaccination status is unknown.
  • Entertainment venues – indoor seated venues, including cinemas and theatres will have 75% capacity limit or one person per four square metres (up to 1000 people). Non-seated indoor entertainment venues will have the same density limit but no patron cap.
  • Outdoor seated and non-seated entertainment venues e.g. stadiums, zoos and tourism attractions – to open with one person per two square metres, up to 5,000 where staff and patrons are fully vaccinated.

Face masks

Masks will remain mandatory indoors (except in your home) but are no longer required outdoors. 

See Victoria’s roadmap and also click for more details on COVID-19 and Victoria

A face mask is required to be worn when outdoors and unable to socially distance, on public transport or ride share (or transport waiting areas) at the airport or on a flight, for the following LGAs:

  • City of Brisbane
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • City of Gold Coast
  • City of Ipswich
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  • Logan City
  • Noosa Shire Council
  • Redland City
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Learn more about restrictions here and refer to the Queensland roadmap

The ACT further eased some restrictions at 11.59pm Thursday 28 October – see below for details.  Please also refer to the vaccination status guidance for business

Non-essential retail 

  • Must follow the one person per four square metre density requirements.

Licensed venues, cafes, restaurants, food courts, casinos, clubs, gambling venues and betting agencies

  • 25 people across the venue before density rules apply – one person per four square metres for indoors, one person per four square metres outdoors, up to 300 people (excludes staff).
  • Guests must remain seated while eating and drinking.
  • Dancing is not permitted.
  • Food courts can operate seated service with one person per four square metres for indoors.

Nightclubs

  • Must remain closed but permitted to operate as a bar (no dancing). See density requirements for licensed venues. 

Hairdressing and barbers, beauty therapy, day spas, nail salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours and body modification studios

  • Can permit 25 people across the venue before density limits apply – one person per four square metres for indoors (excludes staff).

Gyms, health clubs, fitness centres or wellness centres, personal training and bootcamps

  • 25 patrons across the venue before density rules apply – one person per four square metres for each indoor space, one person per two square metres for each outdoor space, up to 300 (excludes staff).
  • Change rooms can open.

Indoor or outdoor play centres, arcades or amusement centres

  • 25 people across the venue before density rules apply – one person per four square metres for each indoor/outdoor space (excludes staff).
  • Indoor venues remain closed.

Galleries, museums, national cultural institution, historic sites, outdoor attractions (zoos and other tourism attractions), cinemas

  • 25 people across the venue before density rules apply – one person per four square metres for indoors, one person per two square metres for outdoors (excludes staff).

Funerals, weddings and places of worship

  • 25 people across the venue before density limits apply – one person per four square metres for indoors, one person per two square metres for outdoors, up to 300 (excludes staff).
  • Guests to remain seated when eating / drinking.
  • Dancing is permitted at weddings.

Face masks

  • A face mask must be carried at all times.
  • Everyone aged 12 years and over must wear a face mask at all times outside of the home, including in workplaces. There are a few exceptions to the rule such as having a valid medical reason, doing vigorous exercise, eating or drinking etc.

Read the ACT's COVID-19 pathway forward and the current summary of restrictions. Note the ACT vaccination milestones are based on residents aged 12 and over. 

Check In CBR remains mandatory. This rule came into effect Thursday 15 July.

Read more on restrictions and refer to business advice and support for the ACT.  

There are currently no restrictions or capacity requirements for venues and events.  

Businesses require a COVID Safety Plan and must keep a contact register.

Read the latest on WA.

There are currently no lockdowns in place. 

A reminder The Territory Check In QR Code system is mandatory for all businesses. 

Refer to business guidelines and safety plans

There are no lockdowns in place but some Level 1 restrictions are in place. 

Masks are required in high-risk settings including for personal services except for the person receiving the service.  

More information is available on the SA government page. 

There are currently no stay-at-home orders for Tasmania. 

All businesses and services need to have COVID-19 Safety Plans, including check-in requirements where applicable.  Keep up to date with news on Coronavirus

Tips to stay safe

  • practice good hand hygiene – wash your hands well or sanitise regularly
  • keep to the social distancing rules in your state / territory
  • never go out if you are unwell unless you’re getting tested and then go straight home
  • get tested if you have the mildest of symptoms
  • make an appointment to be vaccinated (if eligible)
  • implement a COVID Safety Plan and provide a QR code for customers / patrons to do a Covid check-in. 

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