Current News - Coronavirus
With the tourism industry worldwide entering uncharted territory with the impacts of Coronavirus, Tourism Noosa has provided the following information for members. This information is aimed at helping you and your business be best prepared for these changes and will be regularly updated.
Please see below for links to official information, contact details for suppliers, tips and frequently asked questions.
If you have any concerns or helpful information to share with members, please email [email protected]
Tourism Noosa Responds to COVID-19 | March 16, 2020.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 including government support, visit covid19.qld.gov.au.
To keep up to date with changing border restrictions, please see current border restrictions news here.
- All of Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are now COVID-19 hotspots. COVID-19 hotspots are updated regularly here.
- Any person who has visited any local government area within the States of Victoria, ACT and New South Wales in the past 14 days will be turned away at the Queensland border. Find out more here.
- Any person from Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory may enter Queensland, subject to completing and signing a border declaration.
- Queenslanders can travel anywhere in Queensland for any reason, and for any number of nights.
What you can do: Help your guests understand the border pass requirements by linking them to the correct information. You could provide the link on your website, in your booking confirmation, or in an email shortly before they are due to travel.
OPERATING A BUSINESS
Make sure you:
- Allow for social distancing
- Have a current Work Health and Safety (WHS) Plan
- Collect information for contact tracing
- Increase cleaning and hygiene practices
All businesses may now have one person per 4 square metres on their premises. Businesses with a floor space less than 200 square metres can have one person per 2 square metres, up to 50 people at a time. This includes:
- Sport stadiums can fill 50% of their stadiums or seat 25,000 spectators (whichever is less)
- Concert venues, theatres and auditoriums can have up to 50% capacity or one person per 4 square metres (whichever is greater)
- Museums, art galleries, libraries and historic sites can have one person per 4 square metres
- Non-therapeutic massage services and water-based spa services such as saunas and bathhouses can now operate
- Food courts can open
- Nightclubs can operate in accordance with an Approved Plan
- Wedding ceremonies can have up to 100 people.
Videos to help you ensure your guests are COVID-safe
The Hastings Street Association has put together a series of helpful videos for operators, particularly in the accommodation sector, with great practical advice on preparing your property for reopening and welcoming guests after COVID-19 shutdowns. There are tips and advice for:
- Reception and guest check-in
- Cleaning kitchen areas
- Outdoor areas at hotels, resorts and apartments
- Cleaning soft furnishings
- Hotel room clean - using personal protection equipment (PPE)
- Hotel room clean.
Tourism Noosa supported the filming of the videos - please watch them in conjunction with preparing your COVID-Safe Industry plan.
TOURISM AND EVENTS
Find the latest COVID-19 information relating to the tourism and events industries.
Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation
Information for the tourism industry on restrictions; health; support available; how to be COVID-Safe; fees, levies and rent relief for tourism businesses; and more - read more here.
The Queensland Government has a dedicated hotline for questions specific to your business:
- Phone: 134 COVID (134 268 43)
- Email: [email protected]
Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ)
TEQ has a range of information on marketing help and COVID-19 support, including new Queensland Health-approved information and advice on how to manage interstate travellers and those who may be unwell.
Their Conversations with Industry for the Sunshine Coast webinar presented insights into their latest Good to Go marketing campaign, consumer research, news from the Sunshine Coast Airport and Visit Sunshine Coast. See the presentation here and watch a recording of the session here.
Queensland Industry Tourism Council (QTIC)
COVID-clean – sign up now: Enforce COVID-clean practices in your business with QTIC's COVID Clean Checklist to step you through the processes to get back to business safely. COVID Clean is free through the Quality Tourism Accredited Business (QTAB) Framework portal. If your business is not QTAB or Star Ratings accredited, QTIC is offering 50% off registration fees for these programs. Find out more here.
COVID-related travel cancellations
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Consumer Law Regulators have released a best-practice guidance for COVID-related travel cancellations, specifically around refunds, travel vouchers and clarifying consumer rights, as businesses struggle to manage cancellations and financial implications, and balance this with the reputation of our destination and customers’ hardship.
Social distancing floor decals
Getting your customers to stay 1.5m apart and maintain social distancing is as easy as having Tourism Noosa’s village floor decals in your business (pictured above). We’ve designed 30cm diameter social distancing floor decals for villages around the Noosa region including Noosaville, Noosa River Foreshore, Peregian Beach, Sunshine Beach, Noosa Junction, Tewantin and Noosa hinterland.
If you’d like to display these decals on your floor to help customers social distance, just email [email protected] and let us know which village you belong to – the decal artwork is free of charge for members.
The Noosa Visitor Information Centre in Hastings Street also has some fun feet decals with a variety of shoes on different ground textures, representing the water, beach, town and hinterland so visitors can keep their distance.
CHANGES TO SEATED DINING AT DRINKING AT VENUES AND EVENTS
Changes came into effect on Friday, 24 July, reinstating the requirement for patrons to be seated while drinking and dining in any venue:
- Patrons can still order at the counter, but must be seated when eating or drinking.
- Takeaway service is still permitted.
- Food and beverages may only be consumed at the outlet where purchased if seating is provided.
- There is no requirement to be seated when consuming food and beverages if the patron moves on from the vending outlet.
- No buffet self-service.
- This includes pubs, licensed clubs, RSL clubs, function centres, bars, wineries, distilleries and microbreweries, licensed premises in hotels and community facilities.
- It also applies to both indoor and outdoor events.
Ensure you are familiar with the requirements of the Public Health Direction.
- National park and state forest day use areas and walking tracks that were previously closed due to COVID-19 have reopened.
- The Cooloola Recreation Area has restricted access and requires a Restricted Access Area Authority to enter - see here
HAVE A QUESTION OR NEED HELP?
Businesses can contact the Queensland Government's dedicated hotline for questions specific to their business. Phone 134 COVID (134 268 43).
TOURISM ANSWERS: Email [email protected], the Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation's new dedicated team for COVID-safe planning for tourism businesses.
ALL COVID-SAFE BUSINESS PLANNING: covid19.qld.gov.au
teq.queensland.com: Website for tourism and events industry updates, including webinars with the experts.
TOURISM AND ACCOMMODATION INDUSTRY COVID-SAFE PLAN
The Queensland Health-approved Tourism and Accommodation Industry Covid-Safe Plan gives operators guidance to return to business with increased confidence in providing a COVID-safe work environment for staff and customers. The many criteria and conditions for businesses to comply with may seem onerous, but it’s vital that our industry offers visitors a safe environment where they can enjoy the best of Noosa.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS COVID-SAFE
A number of approved Industry COVID-Safe Plans are available for tourism businesses that would like to cater to more than the numbers stated on the Roadmap to Recovery (currently 20 patrons with no more than 1 patron per 4 sqm), including:
Businesses that comply with their approved industry plan can operate beyond the baseline restrictions.
The Queensland Tourism and Accommodation Plan contains recommendations and information on:
• Pre-screening for customers and staff
• Social distancing, including in shared spaces
• Recommendations and tips for cleaning and hygiene
• Staff safety
• What happens if there’s a confirmed COVID-19 case on business premises
• Additional training
• Approved options for tourism tours - and much more.
Please take the time to find out what’s required to make your business COVID-Safe. If you’re not sure about when you can operate, with how many patrons, and what documentation you need to have in place, use this simple online tool, the Tourism Industry Decision Tree.
CHECK YOUR BUSINESS IS COVID-SAFE - RESOURCES FOR TOURISM AND EVENTS BUSINESSES
Please ensure your business is Covid-safe before reopening - check this voluntary checklist for businesses here.
The Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation (DSDTI) has developed COVID-Safe resources for tourism businesses and operators:
- Tourism Industry Decision Tree - helps you understand when you can operate, with how many patrons, and what documentation you need to have in place
- Frequently Asked Questions for the tourism industry - including how to calculate how many patrons you can have on a boat or bus, rules for ferry operations, and sector-specific questions
- Fact sheet - COVID Safe Planning for tourism and events businesses - understand which industry association is writing which industry plans, what you need to do if you'd like to have more than 20 patrons, and how events need to develop COVID Safe Plans.
For more information on COVID-Safe Businesses, COVID Safe Training and Business Support, see DSDTI's COVID Safe Special Edition Newsletter for Tourism Businesses and Industry.
The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) COVID Clean Practicing Business program is now live, and is designed to support businesses in their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to provide an assurance to visitors that these steps are being taken. Learn more here.
COVID-Safe Checklists before reopening:
Dine-in restaurants and cafes, and beauty therapy services
The Queensland Government advises that eateries providing dining-in for customers, as well as beauty therapy services must complete the new COVID-Safe Checklist before reopening, and display a signed checklist.
This includes restaurants, cafes, pubs, RSLs, clubs and hotels (food courts remain closed). All staff in these businesses must also complete mandatory COVID-safe training through TAFE Queensland within two weeks of your business commencing.
If you do not offer these services, you do not need to complete a checklist. All businesses should, however, be following the work health and safety guidelines.
Please see below important information and links from Noosa Council regarding the requirements.
To assist those who are opening in Stage 1, please find below State Government information to ensure a COVID-safe opening.
Key points for businesses reopening
• You are required to complete and display the COVID-Safe Checklist (see links above) before trading.
• These checklists tell you what you need to do if you are a business in the two categories (i.e. Restaurants, Cafes, etc and Beauty Therapy services) to be COVID Safe. The checklists from State Government include input resulting from consultation with key industry stakeholders.
• You must check that all Workplace Health Safety requirements for COVID 19 are also met. Information is available on the work health and safety guidelines.
• You must complete the Checklist to ensure you comply with essential health requirements to enable you to open and provide a safe environment for your customers and your staff.
• You must complete, sign and display the checklist in a prominent, visible location at your business premises.
• You are not required to submit this checklist to Queensland Health, however a relevant enforcement officer can check compliance at any time and/or may ask for a copy of the signed checklist.
• Your staff must complete mandatory COVID Safe mandatory training within two weeks of your business commencing. Staff that commence with your business after this two-week period must complete this training before commencing. The training program will be made available soon. Register for the training here. You will be notified once the training is online.
Source: Covid 19 website
COVID-Safe Checklists are required for businesses that provide dining-in for customers, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, RSLs, clubs, and hotels (food courts remain closed) and beauty therapy services.
The checklists address the following areas:
• Check that your business can reopen
• Wellbeing of workers
• Social distancing
• Record keeping
• Hygiene and cleaning
• Deliveries, contractors and visitors attending the premises
• Review and monitor
All businesses should be following the work health and safety guidelines.
Council’s Environmental Health team, together with Economic Development, have been supporting businesses to understand and prepare for the implementation of the State Government’s COVID-19 directives. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email Council or call Council’s Customer Service Centre on 5329 6500.
Please adhere to the rules to ensure a quicker road to normality and keep people safe.
COVID-Safe mandatory training
An online training program has been developed to provide all staff in industries requiring a COVID-safe checklist with training which will allow them to help ensure a COVID-safe work environment. This training is mandatory and must be completed within two weeks of a business opening/reopening. Staff who commence with your business after this two-week period must complete this training before starting work.
The COVID-safe training programs is now available online for dining services and beauty therapy services through TAFE Queensland: tafeqld.edu.au/covid-safe.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS
Round 2 of the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant is still open for regional small businesses. Eligible small businesses can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help pay for a range of activities. To apply visit business.qld.gov.au/adaption-grant
Find current Queensland and Australian Government support information at Business Queensland or phone the Small Business Hotline on 1300 654 687.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION
Latest updates from WHO
Please check in with Queensland Health's updates daily: QUEENSLAND HEALTH
The lead agency for updates: QLD GOVT
LATEST INDUSTRY SUPPORT RESOURCES - including:
- Who to contact in the Queensland and Australian Governments
- Information for COVID-safe workplaces
- Movement restrictions
- Travel and accommodation
- Help for businesses and sole traders - see the COVID-19 Business Assistance Finder
- Supporting staff
- Tourism business support
Support for business: BUSINESS QUEENSLAND
Tourism and Events Queensland: UPDATES FOR QUEENSLAND'S TOURISM INDUSTRY
Latest health alerts: AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT HEALTH ALERTS
Noosa Council is working closely with Queensland Health who is the lead agency and is taking extra precautionary measures to reduce the COVID-19 risk to residents and visitors at Council-owned facilities:
Highlights from Noosa Council:
- Noosa Council's Economic Development Grant Program supports business groups and the business community with funding for the delivery of projects that will have a positive impact on the local business environment and the local economy. This includes quick response grants up to $2000 - see the guidelines and information here.
- Most of Noosa’s community facilities reopen on Monday 15 June, with public health plans in place. The Noosa Aquatic Centre, Leisure Centre and Noosaville and Cooroy Libraries have limits on the number of people attending the facilities.
- Noosa Regional Gallery has reopened from Tuesday to Saturday, Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre's artisan store is now open. The J remains closed.
- Laguna Lookout and the Noosa National Park car park are open.
- Most parks and playgrounds have reopened including Pirate Playground, Gympie Terrace; Peregian Beach Park Playground; Apex Park Playground, Cooroy; Splash Park (waterplay), Tewantin; skate parks in Sunshine Beach, Peregian Beach, Cooran, Pomona and Cooroy; park shelters; outdoor fitness equipment and electric BBQs.
- Noosa River Holiday Park, Boreen Point Campground and Noosa North Shore Campground are open. COVID-Safe Plans are in place, and new guidelines have been introduced to keep everyone safe. The parks are operating at a reduced capacity to ensure they adhere to health directives.
- Help for not-for-profit community groups and organisations - find out more here.
- Public toilets remain open and Council has increased its cleaning of the facilities and continues to provide hand soap.
- Local businesses that have shut down or scaled back can request an immediate stop on waste services to save on costs - email [email protected]
- The customer service counter in Tewantin has reopened. Or phone 07 5329 6500 or email [email protected]
- Business support package including waived fees and refunds across wedding and event permit cancellations; a moratorium on fees and charges for footpath dining and commercial permit fees; and rent relief for tenants of council-owned properties. READ MORE HERE
- If you require further support, have any feedback or concerns, we encourage all business owners to connect with their relevant Business Association
- Noosa Council has established a Noosa Business Facebook page outlining the range of measures and programs that are available to support our local business community.
- See Council’s Business and COVID-19 page for support initiatives from all levels of government; industry information; and Buy Local information
- Council will fast-track payments to local suppliers to inject much-needed funds into the local economy. READ MORE HERE
- Ensuring key contractors such as garbage collection and cleaning can continue to provide services.
- Tourism Australia's weekly tourism webinar series kicks off on Friday 27 March to keep the industry connected and informed.
- ATEC responds to Australian Government's second stimulus package
- Flights cut - Virgin Australia will temporarily suspend services to Sunshine Coast Airport from midnight 27 March
- Latest travel alerts and restrictions
- Tourism Australia international news and one-stop help page with information on support and relief assistance for tourism businesses