Update on COVID-19 for businesses
The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus affecting humans and the World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 is a pandemic. The information on this page is being regularly updated to provide Queensland's tourism industry with links to official updates and resources.
If you are a traveller seeking information on current travel restrictions, please visit this page.
What's new on this page? Recent updates:
- All of the links in the below information have been updated and checked as at today, 4 April 2020.
- NEW 4 April: Updated links under business support and business advice sections.
- NEW 3 April: Revised advice on whether you can continue to operate your tourism business (see below).
- FROM TODAY, 3 April: Stricter Queensland border controls now apply. Application for Queensland border pass.
- NEW 3 April: Fact sheet: Queensland border restrictions – what it means for business and industry?
- FROM TODAY, 3 April: National Park closures for many high-use areas in effect.
- NEW 3 April: Indigenous Business Australia support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
- NEW 2 April: Australian Government fact sheet: Sole trader support.
- UPDATED 2 April: updated detailed breakdown of government support packages available.
- UPDATED 31 March: Non-Essential Business, Activity and Undertaking Closure Direction (new business types added). See all directions.
- NEW 29 March: Queensland Health direction: Home Confinement Direction. See all directions.
Can I continue to operate my event or business?
Queensland's Chief Health Officer is issuing health directions to contain, or respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.
We all have a role to play in uniting against COVID-19, and if you are encouraging people to holiday at your business or in Queensland for purposes not permitted by the public health directions, you must cease immediately. Unfortunately, this does mean cancelling any future bookings while the home confinement direction is in place. This public health direction is outlined here and is currently in place until 19 May 2020 and may be extended further.
Public Health directions include:
- Home Confinement Direction - instructing people in Queensland to remain in their home unless undertaking essential tasks.
- Restrictions on non-essential business activities and undertakings - including, among others: retail food services (takeaway excepted), beauty and personal care services, entertainment venues, hostels, bed and breakfasts, boarding houses, caravan and camping parks (with some exceptions), campgrounds, zoos and wildlife centres (except for the purpose of maintenance and care for the animals).
- Queensland’s border restrictions.
- Self-quarantine for persons arriving in Queensland from overseas.
- Trading hours.
- Mass gatherings.
Above all, the Home Confinement Direction restricts people from leaving their home except for permitted, essential reasons. Businesses should be clear on the details and exemptions of the Mass Gatherings and Non-Essential Business Directions, while keeping the Home Confinement Direction as the main guide. Now is not the time to travel, or encourage travel, other than for essential reasons.
Caravan and Camping parks: Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so, with social distancing observed. This includes the use of cabins within caravan parks. Caravan and Camping Parks may also continue to operate for essential workers such as health practitioners or other persons providing essential services for example, emergency services or infrastructure projects, with social distancing observed.
Hostels, bed and breakfasts, backpackers and boarding houses:
- May continue to operate for permanent and temporary residents traveling for a permitted purpose under the home confinement direction, and workers of the facility, with social distancing observed.
- If you are a backpacker and a temporary resident at a hostel, you are subject to home confinement and should only leave the premises for the permitted purposes.
- Working holiday visa holders must visit www.australia.gov.au and register for self-isolation before travelling to another area of the country so they can show a potential employer they have followed the health rules.
- Limited to 2 people in common areas such as lounge rooms and shared facilities, with no more than one person per 4 square metres.
- Limited to 2 people in outdoor areas, that is part of the facility, or near the facility, with social distancing observed.
If the person does not comply with the public health directions, penalties will apply: $13,345 for individuals and $66,672.50 for corporations. It is possible the enforcement officer can issue on the spot tickets of $1,334.50 or $6,672.50 for corporations.
It is vital that business operators read the directions in full to understand all exceptions, definitions and details. These directions must be read in conjunction with other public health directions, particularly the Home Confinement Direction restricting non-essential activities outside of the home. These directives have been put in place to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.
There is also a fact sheet on Queensland's border restrictions and what it means for business and industry.
Wondering about liquor licensing laws? Here's an update.
For further support: TEQ's events team is working with individual event organisers to manage the implications for Queensland Destination Events Program (QDEP), Major and Business events supported by TEQ. These events can contact their contract manager with any questions or concerns.
Tourism operators can contact their Regional Tourism Organisation, or TEQ Destination Director with further questions. Contacts.
The Australian Government has established an advice hotline for small and medium-sized businesses: ph. 13 28 46. More information.
Key messages we suggest you can share with people enquiring about leisure travel:
- Under the home confinement public health direction a person who resides in Queensland must not leave their principal place of residence except for necessary permitted purposes. This does not include leisure travel.
- Queenslanders should stay in their homes and SHOULD NOT travel – now is not the time for people to leave their village/suburb.
- The clear message to Queenslanders is to stay at home, except for permitted purposes. This public health direction is outlined here and is currently in place until 19 May 2020 and may be extended further.
Due to the constant evolving nature of current travel advice, we are keeping all information updated on our Tourist Safety Information page, including detailed advice for backpackers, working holiday makers and those on a visa.
It is important to access the official advice from the Australian and Queensland Governments during this crisis to help inform your business and personal decisions:
COVID-19 information specific to hotels, tourism operators, event organisers and workplaces:
The Australian Government has produced a large range of resources to businesses to respond. This includes information on:
- Fact sheets for travel, transport and hotel industries
- Isolation advice
- Information on social distancing (including advice for workplaces)
- Various information posters that can be used throughout businesses
Support for businesses:
UPDATED 2 April: Government support packages - Queensland's Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (DITID) has provided a detailed breakdown of federal and state support packages available for businesses and relevant contacts. Updates today include a special focus on sole traders and small/medium businesses, Australian Government jobs hub, and the Ports North rebate relief package.
NEW 4 April: The Australian Tax Office webpage also provides a breakdown of support for businesses.
The Australian Government has established an advice hotline for small and medium-sized businesses: ph. 13 28 46.
NEW 3 April: Indigenous Business Australia has announced a COVID-19 support package for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, including tourism businesses. Majority Indigenous-owned businesses can access specialist advice and working capital assistance from 9 April.
- The Australian Banking Association has announced a support package, including a six-month deferral of loan repayments. The package is subject to authorisation by the ACCC.
- For Brisbane City Council-based businesses, the Lord Mayor has announced a Council business fee waiver.
- City of Gold Coast has also announced immediate financial support including waiving certain business fees, rates, water and waste charges. Click here for more information.
Business advice and updates:
- The Australian Tourism Export Council has a dedicated webpage linking you to vital resources and support, as well as ATEC's webinar series.
- Fair Work Ombudsman - Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws.
- Safe Work Australia - COVID-19 information for workplaces including preparing workplaces and workers for COVID-19, what to do if a worker has COVID-19, safe working from home practices and much more.
- Australian Department of Health information for employers - including whether staff can go to work, what precautions you should take when cleaning and how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- Fair Work Commission variance of the modern award - update courtesy Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.
- Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) helplines - banking, business and personal distress support, general insurance and HR advice.
- The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has a dedicated COVID-19 assistance webpage, including all employers in Queensland having unlimited access to its HR Helpline, webinars on managing workforce and remote working conditions and policies and templates to use in your business.
- COVID-19 Business Advice courtesy Hoffman Kelly Chartered Accountants.
- ACCC guidance for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Business resources to assist during and post-pandemic:
- Pandemic risk-management resource from Business Queensland
- Tourism e-school's COVID-19 Immediate Response Action Plan for Operators
- Tourism Tribe's free Disaster Recovery Marketing Resource Hub
- Austrade's Guide to assist tourism businesses to prepare, respond and recover from a crisis
- Business Australia's business guide to coronavirus - latest business news feed
- Coronavirus marketing battle plan
- Facebook's guide to how businesses can respond to the coronavirus
Feeling concerned? Anxious? Worried?:
If you are struggling at this challenging time, these online resources may help:
- Head to Health - the Australian Government's Head to Health website has extensive resources on dealing with COVID-19, including how to maintain good mental health, how to talk to children about COVID-19 and access to support services.
- Life in Mind Australia - COVID-19 Mental Health Support.
- Beyond Blue - looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.
- How to maintain good mental health while social distancing.
TEQ marketing update:
In line with current Federal and State Government advice that Australians should not travel unless it is essential, TEQ has paused all marketing activities. We continue to provide inspirational content in international and domestic markets to keep Queensland top of mind now and when global travel resumes. We are also making the most of our spectacular and inspiring Queensland imagery to connect with social media users who are in isolation or feeling anxious during this time, sending them serenity and calm from Queensland.
Keeping up to date:
This webpage is being updated daily with the latest information available and links to the official sources of information to help businesses make informed decisions and access support. Tourism and events businesses can also keep up-to-date with industry news, information and TEQ updates through 'Eye on Q', our industry newsletter. View recent editions here.
If you have questions or concerns, you can contact your Regional Tourism Organisation, or TEQ Destination Director. Contacts.