Current News - Coronavirus
Tourism Noosa provides members with the following information regarding COVID-19 restrictions, aimed at helping you and your business be best prepared for these changes.
What happens if your business becomes an exposure site?
Date posted: 18 October 2021
Based on advice from Queensland Health, the Office of Fair Trading created a guide on what to do in the event that your business is identified as an exposure site.
If your business is added to the list of contact tracing locations, it will include the date and time the infected person visited your establishment. Businesses can let their staff and customers know and encourage them to follow relevant Queensland Health advice.
Queensland Health with then start contacting businesses listed, prioritising close contact sites, so you may not be contacted immediately. If you are contacted you will be provided with information on cleaning requirements, whether you need to close until cleaning is complete and testing and quarantining for staff. To view the guide click here.
Date posted: 18 October 2021
Queensland's borders will begin to open from November, and will open to travellers from interstate hotspots without the need to quarantine, in time for Christmas, subject to planned vaccination targets:
70 per cent vaccination target: Friday 19 November
- Anyone who has been in a domestic hotspot can travel into Queensland provided they are fully vaccinated, arrive by air, have had a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 72 hours and undertake home quarantine for 14 days.
80 per cent vaccination target: Friday 17 December
- Travellers from an interstate hotspot can arrive by road or air, must be fully vaccinated, have had a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 72 hours. Quarantine will not be required.
- Direct international arrivals can undertake home quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and have had a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 72 hours.
90 per cent vaccination
- No entry restrictions or quarantine for vaccinated arrivals from interstate or overseas.
Read the Premier's statement here.
We'll pass on more information on procedures for businesses as it becomes available.
This COVID Vaccination Plan is subject to the Queensland community reaching vaccination milestones. The role we can all play in this is to support COVID vaccinations which are the key to reopening and getting our industry back on track.
If you'd like to share a vaccination message, the Queensland Government's 'For the love of' campaign highlights many of the activities that we can get back to, including travel, when vaccination rates reach targets. See and share the ad below.
Noosa and South East Queensland are on Level 3 restrictions:
- Venues such as pubs, restaurants and cafes can have one person per 2sqm, with eating or drinking while standing allowed
- One person per 2sqm for short-term accommodation (including hostels, B&Bs and short-term rentals) with the COVID Safe Checklist
- People must carry a mask at all times and wear it indoors, or when you are unable to physically distance outside.
- Mask wearing remains mandatory on public transport and ride share
- No restrictions on self-service food
SUPPORT FOR TOURISM BUSINESSES
Grants and other support are available to tourism businesses that are experiencing financial and other difficulties.
TOURISM & HOSPITALITY HARDSHIP PROGRAM
Grants of up to $100,000 are available for eligible tourism and hospitality operators, including employing sole traders, who are facing significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions and interstate lockdowns.
The Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Grants Program provides funds to support businesses so they can continue offering a viable product and retain and ramp-up their workforce as interstate tourism markets fully open.
The grant is part of the $600 million Australian-Queensland Government COVID-19 support package to help Queensland’s tourism and hospitality businesses.
BUSINESS SUPPORT GRANTS
Businesses, including sole traders, and not-for-profit organisations in Queensland that were affected by the South East Qld lockdown in August 2021 may be eligible for financial support through the 2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants.
Applications for grants are now open, with information available on the Business Queensland website.
Applications will close:
- for employing businesses on 16 November 2021
- for non-employing sole traders on 30 November 2021.
Sole traders that are employing businesses will be eligible for the grants if they are not receiving, or are not eligible to receive, income support through the Australian Government’s disaster payment. Non employing sole traders may be eligible for support through the COVID-19 Disaster Payment. Find out more on the Services Australia website (see more information about the disaster payments for workers below).
The Queensland Government's $47m Tourism and Hospitality Sector COVID-19 Lockdown Support Package will assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns in Queensland and other states. It includes:
PAYROLL TAX DEFERRAL: Eligible tourism and hospitality businesses that lodge payroll tax returns monthly can apply to defer paying their payroll tax liability due in August 2021 for 6 months.
STATE LAND RENT DEFERRAL: Rent deferral is available for eligible tourism operators on state land for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. More information coming soon.
CLEANING REBATE: A $20m Queensland COVID-19 Cleaning Rebate scheme for small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations affected by possible exposure to a COVID case, provides up to 80% of cleaning costs, capped at $10,000 per incident, where a business is a confirmed COVID-19 exposure site. Find out more in the Frequently asked questions.
FEE WAIVER AND REFUNDS FOR COMMERCIAL TOURISM DAILY PASSENGER FEES: Tourism businesses that operate in a national park, conservation park, recreation area or state forest, including whale watching operations, may have fees waived or refunded between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022. More information coming soon.
FEE WAIVER OR REFUND OF INBOUND TOUR OPERATOR FEES: The 12-month waiver/refund is available to inbound tour operators for fee renewals up until 30 June 2022.
LIQUOR LICENSING FEES WAIVED: Tourism and hospitality businesses can have their licensing fees for 2021–22 waived or refunded if they were licensed under the Liquor Act or Wine Industry Acts as at 30 June 2021.
FINANCIAL COUNSELLING: Businesses under financial stress can contact a Queensland Government-funded Tourism Business Financial Counsellor or COVID-19 Small Business Counsellor who can assist with identifying potential sources of funding and business support.
ROLE OF TOURISM BUSINESSES
Tourism businesses are not expected to enforce Public Health Directions, however they do have the right to refuse service should they choose, and can report any suspected breaches to their Public Health Unit or Queensland Police.
This fact sheet helps you understand what you do (and don't need to do) to help your guests understand the requirements.
The Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s free online coaching will soon come to an end, so be sure to access your free sessions now. They will help eligible tourism and hospitality businesses upskill in areas such as pivoting a product, domestic trade and marketing. REGISTER HERE
ONE-ON-ONE SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Queensland small business owners can access one-on-one and mental health support.
- The Queensland Small Business Commissioner recently worked with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, the Queensland Mental Health Commission and Beyond Blue to develop A small business owner's guide to creating a mental health and wellbeing plan – a practical guide to help small businesses identify stressors and red flags, find available support, and develop practical strategies.
- The Qld Govt’s free Mentoring for Growth program matches small business owners with experienced mentors who can provide one-on-one guidance.
NOOSA COUNCIL'S COVID CASH FLOW RELIEF
12 August 2021
Noosa Council has introduced immediate cash flow relief measures, and is considering further measures:
- The rates discount period has been extended to 17 September 2021 and ratepayers have the option of deferring rate payments until the end of the year through an agreed payment arrangement.
- Council is deferring the payment of outstanding Health Licence renewals and Footpath Dining permits until 31 December 2021.
- Mayor Clare Stewart said Council encouraged landlords to consider staging rate payments until 31 December and pass on the cash flow relief to their business tenants, where possible.
- Other services offered include:
- Free business advice
- Free government grant writing support
- Access to a mentoring program delivered by Business Mentoring Noosa
For information on a rate deferral payment plan, contact Council’s Customer Service Centre or see noosa.qld.gov.au/about-council/rates-levies/discounts-and-concessions/rates-instalments
NOOSA BUSINESS SUPPORT PANEL
Noosa Council’s Business Support Panel offers two hours of free specialised support for local businesses, including crisis communications, HR, marketing and business strategy. An initiative of Noosa Council’s Economic Development team in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it aims to support local businesses as they start, grow and adapt.
See a summary of the government financial support available for businesses HERE.
The Australian and Queensland Governments have resources to support the emotional wellbeing of small business owners and their staff. FIND OUT MORE HERE.
Australia’s consumer protection agencies have developed best practice guidelines for pandemic-related travel cancellations. There is also a summary of your rights as a business, as well as consumer rights, here.
Contact the Queensland Government’s Tourism Response Team for queries about COVID safe planning, checklists and interpreting Public Health Directions relevant to tourism businesses at [email protected]
BUSINESS AUSTRALIA GRANT FINDER
Look after your own, and your staff’s mental health – Beyond Blue has a free and confidential mental health coaching program, Beyond Blue New Access, to give small business owners, including sole traders the support they need.
FREE FINANCIAL COUNSELLING
Any business experiencing financial pressures can use the services of the Queensland Government's free Tourism Business Financial Counsellors and COVID19 Small Business Financial Counsellors.
Free and ongoing support and guidance can be provided in areas such
as analysing a business’s financial position and assisting with
negotiation and mediation, as well as identifying a range of possible
options, strategies and plans so a business can make the best decisions
about their future sustainability.
If a tourism business needs support and is located outside the centres where a counsellor is located, they are assigned to the counsellor closest to their location. Meetings can be arranged via Zoom, Teams or phone and the counsellors can travel to them if required.
Additionally, the Queensland Small Business Commissioner is available to provide informal resolution and mediation of COVID-19 affected small business leases.
Businesses can also access support through the COVID-19 business support and recovery information: Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and recovery | Business Queensland and the COVID-19 business assistance finder.
NOOSA COUNCIL FUNDING FINDER
Noosa Council's Funding Finder helps you find out about the latest grants available, and has tips on applying for funding.
COVID-19 DISASTER PAYMENTS FOR WORKERS
The Australian Government's COVID-19 Disaster Payments will be extended to people affected by Queensland COVID-19 hotspots and restrictions. Eligible workers will receive $750 per week if they lose 20 hours or more of work, while those who lose between 8 and less than 20 hours, or a full day of work, will receive a payment of $450 per week.
See further information on eligibility criteria on the Services Australia website.
See information on the current border restrictions, including the compulsory Queensland Travel Declaration.
What you can do: Help your guests understand the requirements by providing a link to the information on your website, in your booking confirmation, or in an email shortly before they are due to travel.
TOURISM AND EVENTS
Find the latest COVID-19 information relating to the tourism and events industries.
The Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation has 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.
The Queensland Government has a DEDICATION HOTLINE for questions specific to your business:
- Phone: 134 COVID (134 268 43)
- Email: [email protected]
TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND (TEQ) has information on marketing help, research, COVID-19 support for tourism businesses and more.
The QLD TOURISM INDUSTRY COUNCIL (QTIC) has resources for tourism businesses and information on mentoring and training.
TOURISM AUSTRALIA has information and resources to support the tourism industry.
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.