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Public Health Direction and Current Restrictions

Last Updated:11 Sep 2020 11:00am

The Director of Public Health has now issued a new Public Health Direction to manage the threat to public health posed by the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

The Direction sets out the minimum standards that businesses need to meet to manage the risk of COVID-19 spreading and protect both workers and customers.

The new minimum standards require a workplace to:

  • manage the risks of a person contracting or spreading COVID-19 in the workplace
  • implement and maintain a cleaning schedule across the workplace
  • have good hygiene procedures and practices (such as washing and/or sanitising of hands)
  • ensure workers who have been instructed to quarantine or self-isolate don’t come to the workplace
  • make sure physical distancing requirements are met by workers, contractors and others entering, leaving or moving around the workplace.
  • provide information, training and supervision on how the risks of COVID-19 are to be managed and ensure all processes and procedures are applied by the workers.
  • provide information and instruction to other people who attend the workplace about how they are to comply with your processes and procedures, and make sure they apply them
  • all information, recommendations, directions and guidance materials relevant to the workplace (obtained from reputable sources) is reviewed regularly to ensure the control measures implemented are appropriate
  • entry into the workplace is managed and controlled in a reasonable manner if someone is suspected of showing symptoms of COVID-19, or of being exposed to COVID-19 within the preceding 14 days, or or being diagnosed with COVID-19
  • any workplace records that would assist with notifying people who enter/leave the workplace of any potential exposure to COVID-19 must be kept for at least 21 days.

Employers must ensure that the above measures remove or reduce the risk posed by COVID-19 as far as is reasonably practicable and those measures are recorded in writing.

The Government has worked with stakeholders to develop industry specific guidelines to provide examples of the sorts of measures to suit businesses in each sector.

A COVID Safety Plan is a great way for businesses to document measures and show how they are keeping their customers, their workers and the community safe.

WorkSafe Tasmania has also developed templates to help small and medium businesses to prepare their COVID Safety Plans.

Find COVID Safety Plan templates.

See the industry specific guidelines.

See national employer resources.

Current Restrictions

Stage Three – 26 June 2020 at 12 noon

Gathering limits

Information from coronavirus.tas.gov.au (external link)

The number of people permitted at businesses/activities (other than households) is now determined by the density of the area, up to a maximum of:

  • 250 people for an undivided space in an indoor premises; and
  • 500 people in an undivided space outdoors.

The maximum density limit is one person per 2 square metres.

Where the number of people permitted according to the density limit is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies.

All people in any single undivided space count towards the maximum number of people permitted. For example, staff in a restaurant; spectators at a pool; and athletes, volunteers and coaches at a sporting facility are all counted within the maximum number of people permitted in that space. Children and babies also count towards the maximum number.

Where practicable, business operators, staff, volunteers and attendees should maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people.

For mixed use venues with multiple indoor or outdoor spaces, the gathering limit applies separately to each single undivided space. For example, a large hotel with multiple, separate indoor spaces (eg conference room, bar, restaurant, foyer, beer garden), is permitted to have up to 250 people for each of these spaces (the density limit applies).

Indoor sport, recreation and exercise facilities must have at least one employee (or other person responsible for the premises) present at the facility at all times while it is being used. See coronavirus.tas.gov.au (external link) for more information.

Exclusions

Information from coronavirus.tas.gov.au (external link)

The limits outlined above do not apply to the following specified premises, but the number of people on these premises should not exceed the total number specified in the occupancy permit for the premises under the Building Act 2016. The specified premises are:

  • Airports and premises used for public or commercial transport
  • Medical or health service facilities, including veterinary facilities
  • Disability or aged care facilities
  • Prisons, correctional facilities, youth justice centres
  • Courts or tribunals
  • Parliament
  • Schools, universities, education institutions, childcare facilities, child and family centres
  • Premises that deliver services and support to disadvantaged community members eg those providing homeless accommodation, boarding houses, emergency/social housing, child safety services, foodbanks, employment services, and migrant and refugee assistance
  • Indoor and outdoor spaces where people are transiting through
  • Emergency services
  • Commercial boats and pontoons (not including commercial boats or pontoons occupied by patrons – for example, tour boats are still required to comply with density requirements).

Read more about Gatherings, density limits and physical distancing (external link).

Additional requirements for licensed venues

Information from coronavirus.tas.gov.au (external link)

Business restrictions have changed to allow standing activities – like darts, pool, eight-ball, snooker and karaoke – in licensed venues.

People attending an event in a licensed venue can move around freely, as long as they are not standing and drinking alcohol. For example, at a function or a networking event, people can stand and mingle, but they must to be seated while drinking alcohol.

Restrictions remain in place for dancing in all venues where food and alcohol is consumed because of the increased risk of close contact, particularly where alcohol is consumed, and difficulty of tracing contact among patrons. This restriction will be in place at least until the end of 2020.

Dancing is only permitted when it is pre-arranged, held in a separate room to where food and alcohol is consumed and contact information is recorded. For example, the following can occur:

  • a pre-arranged dance class in a separate room of a pub;
  • dance classes or dancing in a community hall; and
  • water, tea, coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks could be consumed in the same room as a dance class or dancing.

The only other exception is dancing at a wedding reception. The wedding couple, their parents/guardians and other bridal party members can dance.

The management of risk associated with these activities must also be covered in a venue’s COVID-19 Safety Plan.

If someone hires a venue, such as a community hall, they share with the venue owner/operator the responsibility for managing dance and other activities, including physical distancing and facilitating a safe entry and exit to the premises.

Sport, exercise and recreation

Information from coronavirus.tas.gov.au (external link).

Gatherings are limited to 500 people (including athletes and support staff) in an undivided space outdoors for community sport and 250 for an undivided space in an indoor premises, or a maximum of one person per 2 square metres under the density limit, whichever is less.

Indoor pools are limited to 250 people (including athletes and support staff) in each single undivided space, or a maximum of one person per 2 square metres under the density limit, whichever is less. Outdoor pools are limited to 500 people (including athletes and support staff) in each single undivided space, or a maximum of one person per 2 square metres under the density limit, whichever is less.

All people in any single undivided space count towards the maximum number of people permitted. For example, spectators at a pool, athletes and coaches, and canteen staff at a sporting facility are all counted within the maximum number of people permitted in that space.

For sporting and recreation facilities with multiple indoor or outdoor spaces, the gathering cap applies separately to each single undivided space. For example, a multi-purpose sporting venue with multiple, separate, undivided indoor spaces, could have up to 250 people in each of these spaces (the density limit applies).

Sporting and gym facilities must ensure there is at least one staff member or other authorised person present to supervise the premises at all times while it is being used (creation and maintenance of a record is recommended).

Sporting activities permitted based on Level C of the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport, meaning the following are permitted:

  • full contact training;
  • full competition sport (contact and non-contact);
  • sharing of equipment where necessary; and
  • use of change rooms and other shared facilities.

Larger teams should consider maintaining some small group separation at training and non-essential social gatherings should be limited.

Gathering limits and the requirement to maintain physical distancing where practical applies to all sports, exercise and recreation.

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