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.
COVID Safe Business Practices
Becoming a COVID Safe Business
Show your commitment to COVID Safety and keeping our community safe. Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan and register as a COVID Safe business.
Here are the steps to become a COVID Safe business, hygiene and safety, physical distancing, digital COVID Safe badge for use on Google and social channels, posters on safety and hygiene. Download and display your COVID Safe posters and make your customers feel confident. Click here for all your information or follow the steps below -
- Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your industry
- If you completed your plan you can now register as a COVID Safe business
- Show that you're COVID Safe by collecting customer details, displaying signage, display your COVID Safe badge and more.
Getting back to work in a COVID Safe way
Help for businesses and workers, including COVID-19 Safety Plans to protect staff and customers, financial relief and personalised support. See the information provided by the NSW Government to help your workplace get back to business in a COVID Safe way.
Safe Work Australia has put together some great industry information. Here you will find the relevant information for your business.
Keep up to date with what you can and can't do or to find out more information.
Resources for your business
These signs and posters can be downloaded, printed and put up around the workplace to remind staff, workers, customers and visitors of the risks of COVID-19 and how everyone can help to stop its spread.
There is so much information regarding COVI-19 (Coronavirus) that the following quicklinks might help you find the information faster.
Australian Government - latest updates
NSW Government - COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Business Australia - Business guide to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
NSW Coronavirus Health Information - 1800 020 080 (general advice)
Healthdirect - 1800 022 222 (if you have symptoms)
Smart Traveller - 1300 555 135 (within Australia) +61 2 6261 3305 (outside Australia)
MyGov - 13 23 07
Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14
Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
Moneysmart - moneysmart.gov.au
National Debt Helpline - 1800 007 007
Safe Work NSW - 13 10 50
Tenants Union of NSW - 1800 251 101
Australian Banking Association - 02 8298 0417
Fair Work Ombudsman - 13 13 94
Law Access and Legal Aid NSW - 1300 888 529
Hunter New England Health - 4921 3000
1. TRAVEL ADVICE & RESTRICTIONS
Current Travel Advice
All passengers who arrive in Australia will go into mandatory quarantine in hotels for 14 days.
There is a 'do not travel' ban on Australians travelling overseas. You can’t leave Australia unless you get an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs. Find out more on its Leaving Australia page.
What you need to know about self-isolating.
States and territories can apply their own restrictions, including closing their state borders and additional quarantine requirements.
Click here to find out more about restrictions in your state or territory
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
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
The Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre is now open to the public, our team are available 9:00am-4:00pm daily (Monday to Sunday) to help with any enquiries you may have. We ask all visitors entering the centre to sanitise their hands on arrival, follow the social distancing measures in place and do not enter if you have any of the COVID symptoms. You can also phone directly on 1800 808 900 or email [email protected].
For all general travel enquiries relating to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic please visit the Smart Traveller Site
2. HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS
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'.
Learn about the symptoms of COVID-19, how it's spread and what to do if you're feeling unwell.
How to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus.
3. BUSINESSES & PUBLIC GATHERINGS
Business Closures and Restrictions
You can find some common FAQ’s here about the current rules.
Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can call the hotline 13 28 46.
The NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research has issued public health orders to deal with the public health risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Public gatherings and social occasions significantly increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
Rules for public gatherings and social gatherings differ between states and territories. Click here to find out more.
4. RESOURCES & SUPPORT
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 [email protected] 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.
5. STIMULUS PACKAGE & FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Australian Government Support
Supporting households and businesses through the period ahead, the Australian Government has now announced a second set of economic responses on 22 March 2020, after the initial economic response on 12 March, 2020.
The Government's economic response targets three areas:
1. Supporting individuals and households
- Income support for individuals
- Payments to support households
- Temporary early release of superannuation
- Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates
- Reducing social security deeming rates
2. Support for businesses
- Boosting cash flow for employers
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Increasing the instant asset write-off
- Backing business investment
- Supporting apprentices and trainees
3. Supporting the flow of credit
- Support for immediate cash flow needs for SMEs (small and medium enterprise).
- Quick and efficient access to credit for small business
- Supporting the flow and reducing the cost of credit
- Support for non-ADI and smaller ADI lenders in the securitisation market
- Ensuring banks are well placed to lend
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 NSW COVID-19 package 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.
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
Income support for individuals fact sheet.
Payments to support households fact sheet.
Temporary early release of superannuation fact sheet.
Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates fact sheet.
Boosting cash flow for employers fact sheet.
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses fact sheet.
Increasing the instant asset write-off and backing business investment 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.
Assistance can include:
- A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
- Waiving fees and charges
- Interest free periods or no interest rate increases
- Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.
6. MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Coronavirus is likely to have a big impact on the mental health of business owners. In these challenging times, it is inevitable that many of us will struggle, including experiencing anxiety, distress, and concern in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impacts.
Support and resources are available to you at all times. You are not alone.
Here is some information on your mental health & wellbeing during the Coronaviris COVID-19 outbreak.
Lifeline — 13 11 14
Beyond Blue — 1300 224 636
MensLine Australia — 1300 789 978
Suicide Call Back Service — 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline — 1800 551 800
Headspace — 1800 650 890
Mates in Construction - 1300 642 111
Yacaaba Centre - 02 4984 2176
Tomaree Neighbourhood Centre - 02 4984 6220
7. WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS
Information for Employers & Employees
Find out about workplace entitlements and obligations if you or your workers are affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Information including stand downs from work, working arrangements, entitlements, WHS (Work, Health and Safety) and obligations.
Australian Government Fair Work Ombudsman - Call 13 13 94
Fair Trading NSW - Call 13 32 20
Webinars, Toolkits & Training
Now is the time to learn as much as you can about your business. The online information is endless.
Here are just a few ideas of social channels to follow, newsletters to sign up to, resources, webinars, tips and tricks.
The page will be updated regularly with new opportunities and resources.
Training and Education
- The Business Centre - 02 4925 7700. A team of business advisors to help you navigate through the stages of your business. Advice, education and courses, events and workshops and mentoring.
- Facebook Business - Learn the skills you need with these free online courses covering Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
Click on the course that interests you; All Courses, Facebook Courses; Instagram Courses; Messenger Courses
- Destination NSW Develop your Tourism Business
- Hootsuite social media toolkits
- Lets Help Hunter Business - online portal sharing free COVID-19 business guides
- Social Media Playbook - Creating content for social media channels
- Destination NSW - Tools for Tourism Businesses in Challenging Times
YouTube channels to follow -
Facebook pages to follow -
Subscribe to the following newsletters -
- Tourism Australia 'Essentials'
- Destination NSW 'Insights'
- NSW Government preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
Destination Port Stephens webinars and notes;
- 27th March 2020 - Government Stimulus Package presented by Haddad Baker
Money Smart COVID-19 making financial decisions https://moneysmart.gov.au