COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Industry Support

With the current challenges facing our tourism industry and uncertainty on what the next 6-12 months will look like for global travel, it’s now more than ever that we need to band together and look after one another.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to our team email: phone: 02 4981 2964 or the Port Stephens Council Business Support team email: phone: 0428 115 124.


  • Current Travel Advice

    International Travel

    Departing Australia

    On 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced a ban on Australians travelling overseas under the Biosecurity Act 2015. This will help prevent travellers returning to Australia with coronavirus.

    There are limited exceptions, for example to allow people to return home if their normal place of residence is overseas. This process is managed by the Department of Home Affairs.

    If you do secure an exemption and plan to depart Australia, be aware that flights may be difficult to find. Read our travel advice for your planned destination before booking, as many countries have closed their borders to foreign citizens or have changing entry requirements.

    Domestic Travel

    Australians must avoid all non-essential domestic travel.  Read our travel advice for within Australia.

    Travel Updates

    For the latest Australian travel restrictions, visit the Department of Home Affairs or Department of Health.

    For advice on travelling outside of Australia, visit Smart Traveller

  • Self - Isolation

    Self-isolation means you must stay at home for 14 days. You must self-isolate if you have COVID-19, or you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or you arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020.

    How to self-isolate information.

  • Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre

    We are following the advice and regulations set out by the Australian GovernmentNSW Department of Health and the NSW Government

    For all visitors to Port Stephens we ask you to follow the Government guidelines currently in place regarding travel, social gatherings and social distancing.

    We will try and keep as up to date as possible, however things are changing on a daily and sometimes an hourly basis.

    While some of our local operators have made the tough decision to temporarily shut down until further notice online purchases for travel in the future, when the bans have been lifted are still available, however, if you are in doubt we recommend you contact the business direct.

    While the Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre is closed to the public, our team are available Monday to Friday to help with any enquiries you may have. You can phone directly on 1800 808 900 or email

    For all general travel enquiries relating to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic please visit the Smart Traveller Site.


  • Latest Information

    For the current information on health recommendations, visit NSW Health and Australian Government Department of Health.

    For further health advice and downloadable assets on being prepared for COVID-19, protecting yourself and others from getting sick and coping with stress during the outbreak. Information and downloads are available here. 

    If you have any health questions regarding COVID-19, you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. Healthdirect have resources that can answer your Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

  • About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

    Advice on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection for people living, working and visiting NSW.

    What you need to know about the virus, statistics, confirmed cases, symptoms and getting tested.

    The NSW Government has put together a simple 'find the facts'.

    How to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus. 


  • Business Closures and Restrictions

    Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can call the hotline 13 28 46.

    From Friday 15 May, the following is allowed:

    For businesses that can open, each business owner can make decisions about what makes the most sense for their situation.

  • Public Gatherings

    Venues where a large number of people are in one place can increase the risk of spreading viruses. 

    What you can and can't do under the new rules

    • public gatherings of up to 10 people
    • food and drink premises can open, but only to seat a maximum of 10 customers at any one time – this includes cafes and restaurants, a restaurant within a registered club or pub, or a cellar door that serves food
    • up to 5 visitors may visit another household at any one time
    • weddings can have up to 10 guests plus the people conducting or assisting in the conduct of the service, a photographer, a videographer, and the couple
    • indoor funerals and memorial services can have up to 20 mourners and outdoor funerals up to 30 mourners
    • religious gatherings and places of worship can have up to 10 worshippers
    • outdoor playground and exercise equipment can be used with caution
    • outdoor pools can open with restrictions.

    An indoor gathering takes place within a single enclosed area (a single room or area). Essential activities include: essential workplaces, health care settings, pharmacies, food shopping, schools and universities, public transport and airports. These essential indoor gatherings must apply social distancing and good hygiene practices and be able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between people.

    A full list of essential and nonessential gatherings can be found at the NSW Government.


  • Port Stephens Council COVID-19 Business Support

    In response to the issues facing our local business community as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Council has established a Business Support Service to connect business with information on government support, advice and professional services.

    Call our Small Business Support Hotline on 02 4988 0255 or email and our team will help connect you with the advice you need.

  • Industry News - Destination NSW & Tourism Australia

    It is a challenging time and the tourism industry is being widely impacted by measures introduced to control the spread of COVID-19.

    Destination NSW will provide regular updates to keep industry informed via this website, our industry newsletter Insights (with frequency increased to twice weekly - Wednesday and Friday), and Destination NSW’s social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter).

    In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Tourism Australia is hosting a series of weekly webinars with different guest speakers. Please subscribe to Essentials to get updates on how to register for future webinars. 


  • Australian Government Support

    The Government is providing financial assistance to Australians to support them through the economic impact of the Coronavirus. The Government is temporarily allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access some of their superannuation.

    Eligible pensioners, seniors, carers and student payment recipients will receive two separate $750 Economic Support payments.

    Retirees whose savings are being affected by financial market volatility can take advantage of a temporary reduction in minimum superannuation drawdown requirements.

    Social security deeming rates are also being reduced in recognition of the impact of low interest rates on retiree savings.

    The Government's economic response targets areas: 

    1. Economic Response to Coronavirus

    2. Supporting individuals and households 

    3. Support for businesses and employers

    4. Job keeper Payment

    5. Flow of Credit

    Visit the Australian Treasury Economic Response to the Coronavirus for detailed information.

  • NSW Government Support

    $2.3 billion health boost and economic stimulus.

    This package has two key components — $700 million in extra health funding and $1.6 billion in tax cuts to support business and jobs. 

    The key elements of the Help for Small Businesses are available to read in full detail.

  • Wage Subsidies for Apprentices & Trainees

    Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice.

    Visit the Australian Government supporting apprentices and trainees for more information.

  • Early Access to Superannuation

    Eligible individuals affected by the coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.

    Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

    Early access to superannuation details can be found here.

  • Cashflow Boost

    The cashflow boost will assist businesses to manage cashflow challenges and help businesses retain their employees. 

    The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. The payment will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff.

    The ATO will deliver the payment as a credit to your business upon lodgment of your activity statements. Where this places the business in a refund position, the ATO will deliver the refund within 14 days. The payment will be tax free. 

    For more information, visit the Australian Government Business website - Boosting cash flow for employers.

    Cash flow assistance for business fact sheet.

  • Economic Response Fact Sheets

    Last updated Sunday 22 March 2020 -  Easy to read factsheets

    Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates fact sheet.

    Boosting cash flow for employers fact sheet.

    Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses fact sheet.

    Supporting apprentices and trainees fact sheet.

    Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities fact sheet.

    Supporting the flow of credit fact sheet.

  • Assistance from Financial Sector

    If you are having some financial difficulty Australian banks have hardship teams ready to help. If you’re dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic there are practical ways your bank can help. The type of assistance will depend on individual circumstances.

    Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months. 

    If your small business has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and lock downs, contact your bank online today.

    The Australian Banking Association has a list of small business FAQs.



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