Information current 22 January 2021
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See all the vital information on COVID Safe business operation summed up in one page with our Quick Guide to being COVID Safe.
The Queensland Government has provided this fact sheet with advice for tourism operators on their role in responding to COVID-19 and what businesses do (and don't) need to do. This quick two-pager was most recently updated on 20 January 2021.
All businesses must do the following, no matter which plan they are following, how many patrons, what type of operation they are running, etc:
- Allow for social distancing, and encourage your guests to observe social distancing - there is a shared responsibility.
- Have a current Work Health and Safety (WHS) Plan in place including strategies to manage COVID-19 to protect both staff and customers. This includes taking into account social distancing requirements. The WHS Plan is an existing internal plan which does not need to be submitted for approval and should be made available if requested.
- Collect contact information for all customers, workers and contractors and retain for a period of at least 56 days for the purpose of assisting authorities in tracing infections of COVID-19 if they occur. More information on the requirements can be found here. From 20 December 2020, all venues must move to recording contact details electronically.
- Increase cleaning and hygiene practices, especially on high-touch areas such as screens, counter-tops and serving areas, handrails, elevator panels, door handles, trolleys and seats.
- Ensure you are familiar and compliant with the details of relevant Public Health Directions.
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO OPERATE YOUR TOURISM BUSINESS SAFELY
All tourism businesses need to plan for COVID safety in order to operate. There are two ways to operate:
1. In line with baseline restrictions, as per the roadmap - up to a maximum of 50 patrons. Currently, Queensland is at Stage Six of the roadmap. Venues can have one person per two square metres of useable floorspace. Read more.
2. In compliance with an Industry COVID Safe Plan, which allows for operation beyond the baseline restrictions (including up to 50 people on vehicles or vessels, no matter the square metreage). For Queensland’s tourism and events industry, one or more Industry Plans may apply, pending the complexity of the business. Find approved Industry Plans here.
If you are operating as per the guidelines in the roadmap, then you are considered to be operating within the baseline restrictions. You must complete the basic 'must-do' requirements and follow the baseline social distancing and capacity requirements:
- In Queensland, social distancing requirements allow for one person per two square metres and allowing 1.5m distancing between people.
- You are allowed to operate based on the baseline restrictions, without a dedicated COVID Safe Plan, for up to 50 patrons.
- For tourism experiences, 50 people are allowed to be seated together - see more below.
- For accommodation, there is no restriction on the number of rooms that a property can operate. However, individual rooms must allow for one person per four square meters. Businesses should also consider social distancing requirements in common areas such as reception areas. Accommodation with shared facilities (e.g. bathrooms) - including overnight vessel accommodation - must have a Health Management Plan in place.
- For caravan/camping parks with shared facilities a Health Management Plan must be in place.
- High risk businesses, such as cafes, restaurants, beauty therapies and spas, need to complete a COVID Safe Checklist.
Social distancing is a shared responsibility - both guests and businesses are responsible for adhering to the 1.5m social distancing guidelines. People from the same household do not need to observe 1.5m distancing from each other, but must keep 1.5m distance from other people/groups of people.
The Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction governs the requirements for restricted businesses (which includes accommodation and tourism experiences). Ensure you are familiar with the requirements of the direction and any updates made to it.
Tourism experiences are allowed up to 50 people seated together. When following the Queensland Tourism and Accommodation Industry Plan, tourism experiences may seat guests together during the tourism experience without physical distancing (up to a maximum of 50 people). These tourism experience operators must:
- Ensure physical distancing of 1.5m is in place at all other times possible.
- Complete and comply with the checklist that has been added to the Industry Plan (it is at the end of the document).
Tourism experiences include: tours, trips, boat trips, charter boats, hot air balloons, scenic flights, bicycle tours, gondolas and bus tours. Read the fact sheet for tourism experiences, including which experiences are not included.
For larger marine tourism operatorsPrivate point to point ferry services under three hours travel time:
- Can operate 100 per cent of indoor seated capacity provided passengers are in ticketed and allocated seating.
- Passengers on day trips must return in their allocated seat.
- Mask wearing encouraged.
- Outside of household and social groups, one person per two seats.
Round trip day vessels:
- Can operate with a capacity of one person per two square metres based on accessible indoor and protected outdoor spaces instead of previous one person per four metres, or
- Can use up to 100 per cent of indoor seated capacity provided passengers are in ticketed and allocated seating.
- Passengers must maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing in food and drink kiosk areas.
- Operators must also manage the outdoor space to maintain one person per two square metres in these areas.
If you want to operate beyond the baseline restrictions (i.e. have more than 50 patrons), then as well as the basic 'must-do' requirements, you need to:
- Comply with the relevant approved Industry COVID-Safe Plan that your business fits within. There are a number of approved Industry COVID Safe Plans that may apply to tourism businesses including the Queensland Tourism and Accommodation plan, the Food Services plan, Queensland Clubs and Hotels plan, the Queensland wineries plan and more. See all approved plans here.
- The Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction governs the requirements for restricted businesses (which includes accommodation and tourism experiences). Ensure you are familiar with the requirements of the direction and any updates made to it.
Unique operations - in some limited cases, a site-specific plan can be developed by eligible operators that are larger in scale due to the unique aspects (complexity and size) of their business.
More details on the above, as well as the COVID Safe Framework which outlines what you need to have in place, is available on the Queensland Government's COVID-19 website.
There are also the following dedicated tourism resources:
- Approved COVID-Safe Industry Plans
- Fact Sheet - Tourism experiences on vehicles or vessels
- Information and large bank of Q&As on the Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Public Health Direction
It is important to remember that we are all in this together, and that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19. We need to rapidly respond to outbreaks by testing and self-quarantining, so we can stop the spread.
As part of your COVID Safe plan protocols, you should be asking guests to provide information about their previous travel through your pre-screening process. Hotspot declarations and border restriction changes are made regularly – the best way to keep up to date is to visit the Queensland Health Border Restrictions page. If you suspect someone may have recently been in a hotspot, you have the right to refuse service and refer them to requirements of the Queensland Government.You have the right to refuse service and must insist that anyone with symptoms will not be able to participate in your tourism experience. This should be advised to guests as part of the booking process and prompted with signage at check-in/the entrance of your business.
As the tourism industry re-opens and travellers begin to return to hotels, tours and destinations, ensuring that your business delivers on new traveller expectations will be vital for longer term success. Consumer research highlights the need for tourism experiences to consider how they can clearly and effectively communicate the efforts they are making to protect public health.
The below options can help you communicate that your business is operating safely.
- Good to Go Stamp (optional marketing tool):
A core message of TEQ’s Good to Go campaign is built on the premise that Queensland's tourism industry is open, ready to welcome visitors and is following COVID Safe practices. Queensland's tourism businesses can display the Good to Go stamp in their marketing, on their website and through their communications channels to assure travellers that they are offering a safe travel experience. With the above required COVID Safe documentation in place, you can download the 'Good to Go' stamp from our campaign webpage.
- COVID-Clean (optional business module):
- ATEC's COVID Ready Program (optional program):
- Global 'Safe Travels' stamp (optional):
- Displaying accreditation via ATDW:
Log into ATDW Online, navigate to the 'Accreditations' section and select the COVID Safe programs you have completed: COVID Safe documentation in place, COVID Clean module completed or COVID Ready Program completed. By ticking one (or more) of these options, the Good to Go stamp will appear on your listing on Queensland.com.
- Prioritise trust
- Assuring visitors during their stay:
The below resources include a range of posters and other signage that you can display throughout your business to remind visitors how to keep safe while staying and/or travelling with you.
- Safe Work Australia information for workplaces
- The Australian Government has a large range of customisable resources including posters, decals, social media elements and pictograms for businesses to display throughout their business and marketing.
- Queensland Health also has a large range of posters that can be used by businesses, as well as cleaning and disinfection recommendations.