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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

The Geelong visitor information centre at the Wool Museum will be open Friday to Sunday – 10am-3pm. Outside of these hours and for other locations 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 entering the final stages of our ‘Roadmap for Reopening’.

While Victoria remains in a state of emergency, restrictions are now equal across both regional and metro Melbourne. 

The information below is in effect as of Monday, 23rd of November.

Face masks remain mandatory when indoors or unable to socially distance. 

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.

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: Last (23rd November)

Next Step: Covid-safe Christmas (14th December)

Travel restrictions have been relaxed, the 25km rule has been removed and the regional-metro border has come down. The message is Stay Safe, Stay Open.

For regional tourism operators, this means that businesses continue to operate as they have been, however they can now welcome visitors from across Victoria.

If numbers remain low, restrictions are expected to be removed on the 14th of December, these will be updated as confirmed. 

 

The Summary of Last Step Restrictions provides the latest changes, including relevant updates to hospitality, accommodation and entertainment venues. 

The Industry Guidelines below 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. In addition to the specific guidelines, all businesses must ensure:

  • 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).

 

Hospitality Guidelines

  • Indoor dining:
    • Venues with less than 200sqm of floorspace are subject to density quotient of 1 patron per 2sqm, to a maximum of 50 patrons.
    • QR codes must be used for record keeping for businesses using the above density quotient.
    • Venues with more than 200sqm of floorspace are subject to density quotient of 1 patron per 4sqm, to a maximum of 150 patrons.
    • No group limits. 
    • No enforced time limit. 
  • Outdoor dining:
    • Subject to density quotient of 1 patron per 2sqm, to a maximum of 300 patrons.
    • Total venue capacity cannot exceed 300 people, including both indoor and outdoor spaces.
    • Masks must be worn at all times by staff (some exceptions) and patrons (unless seated).
  •  Food Courts: 
    • Indoor venues limited to lesser of 50% fixed seating capacity or density quotient of 1 patron per 8sqm.
    • Outdoor venues limited to 50 patrons per area, subject to density quotient of 1 patron per 2sqm.
    • Each outdoor area must be separated by 10m, no more than 10 areas per facility to a maximum of 500 people.
  • Weddings:
    • Indoor and Outdoor venues subject to a density quotient of 1 patron per 4sqm, to a maximum of 150 patrons.
    • Persons necessary to conduct the wedding – eg. celebrant, staff, etc. are excluded from the above limit.
    • No group limits.

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

Accommodation Guidelines

  • Group bookings are open, but each booking is capped as if were at the home of the person who booked.
    • Host booking with up to 15 visitors allowed.
  • Outdoor physical recreation facilities, including pools and spas are open (see applicable guidelines).
  • Indoor recreation facilities, are open subject to the restrictions of that particular setting.

 Download the Accommodation Guidelines here.

 

Outdoor Attractions and Experiences Guidelines

  • Outdoor Experiences:
    • Non seated venues are subject to a density quotient of 1 patron per 4m².
      • Venues with a capacity of greater than 500 patrons must publish a COVID Safe plan.
      • Group limit of 50 patrons per space, in line with outdoor gathering limits.
    • Seated venues are subject to lesser of 50% seated capacity or a maximum of 500 people with no density quotient. 

Download the Outdoor Attractions and Experiences Guidelines here.

 

Tours and Transport Guidelines

  • Group bookings are open, limited to 20 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
    • Staff are not included in the cap.
  • Enclosed vehicles are restricted to a maximum of 20 patrons, plus the minimum number of staff required to conduct the tour.
  • Open-air vehicles are restricted to a maximum of 50 patrons, plus the minimum number of staff required to conduct the tour.
  • All staff and customers must wear a mask indoors. Tour guides may wear transparent face shields as a last resort to aid communication.

Download the Tourism (Tours and Transport) Guidelines here. 

Public events venue requirements 

  • Outdoor venues:

    • 25 per cent of the venue’s seating capacity, up to a maximum of 500 people seated.
  • Indoor venues:

    • 25 per cent of the venue’s seating capacity, up to a maximum of 250 people seated.
      Density quotient of one person per four square metres applies to non-fixed seated areas – e.g. grassed areas.
      Allocated seated events only. Free-standing events not permitted.

    • 25 per cent of the venue’s seating capacity, up to a maximum of 500 people seated.

    Download the the Public Events Framework and information to help organisers of public events here.

    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.

    Latest Update Visit Victoria

    Today the Premier announced that Victoria will move to the Last Step in the roadmap towards reopening from 11.59pm on Sunday 22 November.   It’s great news for our industry, particularly the hospitality, cultural and events sectors, as we head into the Christmas...

    read more

    Latest update from Victorian Tourism Industry Council

    Final Step, a cause for celebration - Sunday 22 November The Premier’s latest easing of restrictions to take us to the FINAL STEP has been a joyous day and a true cause for celebration. The pain and heartache of the last many months was jettisoned today, replaced by a...

    read more

    Latest update from Victorian Tourism Industry Council

    $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package - Wednesday 19 November The Andrews Government has today announced an astonishing $465 million tourism package as part of the upcoming 2020-21 Victorian State Budget. The funding package sees hundreds of millions of...

    read more

    TGGB – COVID-19 Update

    Executive Director Update - Monday 9 November The sun is shining, the grass is green and Victoria is one again! Today we can finally welcome back all our mates from Metro Melbourne as the ring of steel is removed and all Victorians are now on the same restrictions....

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    Useful Links

    Official Announcements

    Latest Update Visit Victoria

    Today the Premier announced that Victoria will move to the Last Step in the roadmap towards reopening from 11.59pm on Sunday 22 November.   It’s great news for our industry, particularly the hospitality, cultural and events sectors, as we head into the Christmas...

    Latest update from Victorian Tourism Industry Council

    Final Step, a cause for celebration - Sunday 22 November The Premier’s latest easing of restrictions to take us to the FINAL STEP has been a joyous day and a true cause for celebration. The pain and heartache of the last many months was jettisoned today, replaced by a...

    Latest update from Victorian Tourism Industry Council

    $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package - Wednesday 19 November The Andrews Government has today announced an astonishing $465 million tourism package as part of the upcoming 2020-21 Victorian State Budget. The funding package sees hundreds of millions of...

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