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COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTRE

ITourism 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

The Geelong Visitor Information Centre at the Wool Museum will be open Monday to Sunday – 10am-3pm. 

Geelong Waterfront Visitor Information Booth (The Carousel) will be open Monday to Sunday – 10.30am – 4.30pm. 

Other centres are not currently staffed by volunteers, however brochures are readily available during business hours. Outside of these hours or for more information, travellers can reach our team from 9am – 5pm, 7 days per week via 1800 755 611 or vic@tourismgeelongbellarine.com.au

Victoria’s roadmap to recovery – STAY SAFE, STAY OPEN

 

The State Government has announced that we are now officially into COVIDSafe Summer. 

All restrictions apply equally across both regional and metro Melbourne.  

The information below is in effect as of Saturday 23 January.

Face masks continue to be mandatory in airports, hospitals, large retail stores over 2000 sqm, shopping centres, indoor markets, in taxis and rideshares, on public transport, and on domestic flights to and from Victoria.

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

Record keeping continues to be an important tool for helping Victoria to stay safe and stay open. Businesses must record the details of all visitors – customers, suppliers, etc. – and should use the Victorian Government’s free QR code service to do so.

It is mandatory for every Victorian business with on-site operations to have a COVIDSafe Plan. Random spot checks are occurring to ensure businesses are meeting these obligations.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 or require more guidance call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days 1800 675 398

 

Statewide Restrictions

 

Current Step: COVIDSafe Summer (Updated 22nd January) 

Next Step: 31st January

 

The “COVIDSafe Summer” restrictions have been updated and will be in place until at least the end of January, giving Victorians a bit more certainty about what the next couple of months will look like. UPDATED

These are the restrictions that will apply through the summer months until we get a greater sense of what the rest of 2021 will look like.

The Industry Guidelines include a lot of useful information on how to setup your workplace, key considerations for employers and more detail on patron numbers and protection measures.

    Hospitality

    • Open with COVIDSafe requirements.
    • A hospitality venue can host up to 25 patrons before density quotients apply.
    • Density quotient of 1 patron per 2sqm if using electronic record keeping, otherwise 1 per 4sqm applies.
    • No group limits.
    • No enforced time limit.

    Council has also implemented plans for expanded 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

     

    Accommodation

    • Open with COVIDSafe requirements.
    • Private gathering limits apply within accommodation venues – 15 max.
    • Density quotient of 1 patron per 2sqm in communal spaces, if using electronic record keeping, otherwise 1 per 4sqm applies.

     

    Outdoor Attractions and Experiences

    • Open with COVIDSafe requirements.
    • Operating at 75% fixed seated capacity up to 1000 patrons, no density quotient in seated areas.
    • Density quotient of 1 per 2sqm in other areas and non-seated venues if using electronic record keeping, otherwise 1 per 4spm applies.
    • Venues with capacity over 500 must publish COVIDSafe Plan.
    • Events are subject to the Public Events Framework.

     

    Tours and Transport

    • Open with COVIDSafe requirements.
    • Masks must be worn when transporting patrons.
    • Density quotient of 1 per 2sqm in other areas and non-seated venues if using electronic record keeping, otherwise 1 per 4spm applies.

    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.

    Tourism listing scam warning

    January 2021 Dear industry colleagues, We are aware that some Victorian tourism operators have recently received an email from "Victoria Tourism" advising that their business listing is due to expire and requires payment. "Victoria Tourism" is not in any way...

    read more

    Statement From The Premier

    January 20 2021 Victorians will be able to attend larger private gatherings from tomorrow with updated health advice allowing for restrictions to be downgraded further. Following reduced exposure risk and continued low community transmission, from 11:59pm tonight...

    read more

    NSW Boarder update from Victorian Tourism Industry Council

    In the last few days, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews announced some changes on the permit system for Queensland and New South Wales. Please see a summary below. New South Wales border towns All Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the New South Wales’ border bubble...

    read more

    Face masks and Return to the office update

    From Monday 18 January 2021 more office workers will be able to make a partial return to the office. In line with previous announcements, up to 50 per cent of office workers who are not in the public service will be able to return to on-site work as well as up to 25...

    read more

    Useful Links

    Official Announcements

    Tourism listing scam warning

    January 2021 Dear industry colleagues, We are aware that some Victorian tourism operators have recently received an email from "Victoria Tourism" advising that their business listing is due to expire and requires payment. "Victoria Tourism" is not in any way...

    Statement From The Premier

    January 20 2021 Victorians will be able to attend larger private gatherings from tomorrow with updated health advice allowing for restrictions to be downgraded further. Following reduced exposure risk and continued low community transmission, from 11:59pm tonight...

    NSW Boarder update from Victorian Tourism Industry Council

    In the last few days, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews announced some changes on the permit system for Queensland and New South Wales. Please see a summary below. New South Wales border towns All Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the New South Wales’ border bubble...

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