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COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTRE

Tourism Geelong & The Bellarine will be updating this page regularly with information provided by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Department of HealthTourism Australia, Victorian Tourism Industry Council VTIC and other government announcements as we receive them.

WHAT WE’RE doing

As a team, we’re ensuring work progresses on all of our important projects. As circumstances change, we’re adjusting timelines and plans to ensure that we’re fully prepared for not only the current situation, but the future too.

We’re actively monitoring and advocating on behalf of the tourism industry for our region and will provide all the relevant support and advice right here. Or just give us a call.

Our Team

In line with the City of Greater Geelong directions, many of our team will be working remotely. Team Tourism is available should you have any questions or need additional help – these arrangements will remain in place until further advice.

info@tourismgeelongbellarine.com.au
03 5223 2588
Monday – Friday – 9:00am – 5:00pm
Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine

Our Approach to Visitor Servicing

We’ve transitioned all visitor information services across the region to phone and email services. Each site has clear instructions for how travellers can reach our team. The service will continue to be provided from 9am – 5pm, 7 days per week via 1800 755 611 or vic@tourismgeelongbellarine.com.au

Victoria’s roadmap to recovery – updated every step of the way

Victoria remains in a state of emergency and the State Government has announced that we are nearing the final stages of our ‘Roadmap for Reopening’.

The information below is in effect as of midnight on Tuesday, 27th of October.

Face masks remain mandatory – it is compulsory for anyone over the age of 12 to wear a face covering whenever you leave the house.

Physical distancing (1.5m) and careful hygiene measures remain crucial for all Victorians.

Keep good records, avoid interactions in close spaces and act quickly if staff become unwell.

Regional Victoria

Current Step: 3rd (27th October)

Next Step: 4th/Additional Changes (8th November)

For regional tourism operators, this means that many businesses can reopen under increasingly relaxed restrictions, however Metro Melbourne retains the 25km travel border.

 

In addition to the specific guidelines, all businesses must ensure:

  • Customers are restricted to visitors from outside Metropolitan Melbourne (until 8th November).
  • Staff wear masks at all times (certain exceptions).
  • They have a published COVIDsafe Plan, and display all required signage.
  • Communal facilities are subject to density quotient restrictions and increased cleaning requirements. This includes within tour vehicles, and other spaces.
  • They maintain an Attendance Register – including contact details for all staff, patrons and visitors to the premises. (Failure is punishable by a $10k fine).

 

The Industry Restart Guidelines provide everything you need to know to safely operate in accordance with public health directions, while also ensuring that workers and members of the public feel confident that their health and safety is being protected.

These documents includes lot of useful information on how to setup your workplace, key considerations for employers and more detail on patron numbers and protection measures.

Hospitality Guidelines

  • Seated service only, with a maximum of 10 people per booking.
  • Outdoor dining limited to 1 patron per 2m², to a maximum of 70 patrons.
  • Indoor dining limited to 1 patron per 4m², to a maximum of 40 patrons per space, with a maximum of two separate spaces.
  • Masks must be worn at all times by staff (some exceptions) and patrons (unless seated).

Download the Hospitality Guidelines here.

Council is also working through the details on how to expand outdoor dining spaces, and we recommend you contact your local body with any questions or an expression of interest:

City of Greater Geelong – contact the Concierge service on 52725272.
Borough of Queenscliffe – info@queenscliffe.vic.gov.au
Golden Plains Shire – business@gplains.vic.gov.au

For full details see the Regional Roadmap – How We Work

Accommodation Guidelines

  • Group bookings are open, but are restricted to members of the public who live together, are in an intimate personal relationship or are within a nominated ‘household bubble‘.
  • Outdoor physical recreation facilities, including pools and spas are open (see applicable guidelines).
  • Indoor physical recreation facilities, including saunas and gyms are closed. 
  • Staff member bubbles‘ are in place to minimise interaction between work premises.

Download the Accommodation Guidelines here.

Outdoor Attractions and Experiences Guidelines

  • Outdoor Experiences:
    • Customer limit of a household or maximum 10 people.
    • Space must allow for social distancing of 1.5 metres.
    • No enclosed vehicles.
  • Fixed Outdoor Venues:
    • No indoor venues, except toilets, hospitality or retail spaces (see applicable guidelines).
    • Non fixed-seated outdoor venues limited to 1 patron per 4m², to a maximum of 50 patrons.
    • Fixed-seating outdoor venues limited to 50 patrons or 25% capacity.
    • No enclosed vehicles.
  • Staff member bubbles‘ are in place to minimise interaction between work premises.

Download the Outdoor Attractions and Experiences Guidelines here.

Tours and Transport Guidelines

  • Group bookings are open, but are restricted to a maximum of 10 patrons, plus the minimum number of staff required to conduct the tour.
  • Licensed tourism services using open-air vehicles are permitted to operate. ‘Open-air vehicles’ include roofed vehicles if at least two sides are open to airflow at all times.
  • Tourism transport vehicles can now operate when they support the primary outdoor offering of a tourism facility (max. 30 min trip):
    • Smaller vehicles – private gathering limit of household plus 2 people and their dependants.
    • Larger vehicles – up to 10 people, infants under 12 months not included in cap.
  • All staff and customers must wear a mask (exemptions apply, e.g. eating, drinking, or engaging in strenuous physical activity). Tour guides may wear transparent face shields as a last resort to aid communication.
  • Staff member bubbles‘ are in place to minimise interaction between work premises.

New Guidelines pending.

 

 

 

Melbourne Metro

Current Step: 2nd (27th October)

Next Step: 3rd/Additional Changes (8th November)

Metro Melbourne has moved from ‘stay home’ to ‘stay safe’ and restrictions have been eased significantly. For regional tourism operators, this means no travellers from the Melbourne metro area until at least the 8th November.

Hospitality:

  • Seated service only, with a maximum of 10 people per booking.
  • Outdoor dining limited to 1 patron per 2m², to a maximum of 50 patrons.
  • Indoor dining limited to 1 patron per 4m², to a maximum of 20 patrons per space, with a maximum of two separate spaces.

Retail: Open with density limits.
Entertainment: Outdoor venues with density limits.
Intrastate travel: Regional border still in place and 25km metro Melbourne border in place until 8th November.

 

Stay at Home restrictions have been significantly relaxed, meaning residents may leave their house for any reason (within a 25km radius).

Public gatherings: Up to 10 people from any household can meet outdoors for social interaction with no time limits.
Visitors to the home: 2 adults plus dependants may visit one household, once per day. Only one visit per day for any one group.

For full details see the Melbourne Roadmap.

Government Support Available

LOCAL

City of Greater Geelong council has released a financial hardship policy supporting their existing business support package. This policy gives businesses and residents who pay rates, rent, fees and/or charges to the City the ability to defer payments for a mutually agreed period and create payment plans to suit individual circumstances. Read more about all the policy updates here.

The Business Support Package includes a program of expert professional advice in human resources, financial management and digital marketing, as well as business mentoring for operators within the region via Geelong Business Support. If you need help navigating these options, the Geelong business concierge service is available to help on 5272 5272. This Taking Care of Business fact sheet outlines the support that is available and to who. 

Golden Plains Shire has announced a range of Business Support measures to help businesses within the region.
Find out more details, and apply for any relevant packages here.

STATE

The Victorian Government has further extended the Business Support Fund, with a range of support initiatives aimed at the industries most impacted by the extended lockdown. Many of these programs are finalising details, and applications will be open soon.

Payroll tax relief extended:
An extension of the payroll tax relief for the remainder of the 2020/21 financial year for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million. 
In addition, a further $137 million worth of tax relief packages will include waiving and deferring charges like liquor licensing fees, the congestion levy and increases to the landfill levy.
Grants available to businesses with payrolls up to $10 million. Allocations will be based on the following:
  • companies with a payroll of less than $650,000 will be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant;
  • companies with a payroll between $650,000 and $3 million, a grant of $15,000 will be made available; and
  • companies with a payroll between $3 million and $10 million will be eligible for a grant of $20,000.

Licensed venues in the hospitality sector:

The $251 million Licensed Venue Fund will deliver grants of between $10,000 and $30,000. Levels of funding in Regional Victoria will be allocated as follows

  • venues with licenses allowing 1-20 patrons will be eligible for grants of $10,000;
  • venues with patron caps of between 21 and 100 are eligible for $15,000
  • venues with patron caps of greater than 100 have access to grants of $25,000.

Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package: 

A $290 million package was released today that will focus on outdoor dining and entertainment, including specific support for sole traders in the tourism industry. 
The $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package includes direct business support as well as opportunities for local government to access funds that will help them facilitate hospitality in outdoor environments.

More detail will be available soon on the Business Victoria website (and we’ll let our members know as soon as it is announced).

 

Looking for forms or application requirements? The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has compiled a range of official paperwork for download – relating to Jobkeeper, redundancy, working from home and updated awards. They’re also waiving fees for new members (some major savings)!

FEDERAL

The Australian Government has announced an Economic Response to the coronavirus. Information on financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support can be found on business.gov.au or via the hotline on 13 22 15.

There is also financial support for businesses from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and can be found here. 

The JobKeeper program has been adjusted and extended for Victoria, if you’re already in the system simply continue to follow the same nomination process via that ATO website. For new applications – you’ll need to make sure you have your business linked to your MyGovID account, and submit the forms for each employee you intend to claim the subsidy for. Get started here.

official announcements

Your one stop shop for all the latest announcements and advice from Government and official bodies.

TGGB – COVID-19 Update

Executive Director Update - Wednesday 28 October I'm so glad to be back at the helm of Team Tourism on the most positive week our industry has had in a very long time. I would like to thank Tracy Carter for her excellent leadership as Acting Executive Director over...

read more

Definitions for tour & transport operators – from VTIC

Definitions for tour & transport operators from Victoria Tourism industry Council (VTIC) - October 29 In our last update, we noted changes in restrictions to tours and transport in regional Victoria from 27 October, which will also be in place for metro Melbourne...

read more

Statement From The Premier

October 26 2020 Zero. The last time Victoria had zero cases was 9 June, 139 days ago. Even more incredibly, it’s zero cases off the back of a huge testing drive. Over the course of this weekend, we asked Victorians living in our northern suburbs to get tested. They...

read more

Latest update from Victorian Tourism Industry Council

Finally, the news we've been hoping and praying for Today’s announcement by the Premier regarding this latest round of easing restrictions has been a watershed moment for an industry that’s been on its knees for months now. VTIC has been advocating hard for a...

read more

Useful Links

Official Announcements

TGGB – COVID-19 Update

Executive Director Update - Wednesday 28 October I'm so glad to be back at the helm of Team Tourism on the most positive week our industry has had in a very long time. I would like to thank Tracy Carter for her excellent leadership as Acting Executive Director over...

Definitions for tour & transport operators – from VTIC

Definitions for tour & transport operators from Victoria Tourism industry Council (VTIC) - October 29 In our last update, we noted changes in restrictions to tours and transport in regional Victoria from 27 October, which will also be in place for metro Melbourne...

Statement From The Premier

October 26 2020 Zero. The last time Victoria had zero cases was 9 June, 139 days ago. Even more incredibly, it’s zero cases off the back of a huge testing drive. Over the course of this weekend, we asked Victorians living in our northern suburbs to get tested. They...

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