I hope you are all well, and allowing yourself some cautious excitement as regional Victoria takes another step on the Roadmap to Recovery tomorrow. This is a fabulous result, and a cause for real optimism!

Crucially this step means that people in regional Victoria are now able to enjoy recreational travel, with no restrictions on the reasons for leaving home or distances travelled (excluding Metropolitan Melbourne).

The focus will be outdoor activities, with relaxed limitations on the numbers of people you can meet up with, and a household bubble to allow for more social visits within the home.

Excitingly, this also means that businesses across the regional tourism industry are now able to reopen, welcoming customers back under a set of important Covid-Safe guidelines. There’s lots of detail, so we have broken out some key sectors below, and included links to the latest guidelines.

The Facts heading

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.

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

  • Customers are restricted to visitors from outside Metropolitan Melbourne.
  • 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.

Some key details include:

  • 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 10 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.

Councils are 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

Some key details include:

  • 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.

Some key details include:

  • 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.

Some key details include:

  • Group bookings are open, but are restricted to a maximum of 10 patrons, plus the minimum number of staff required to conduct the tour.
  • No enclosed vehicles, however open vehicles such as boats are allowed to operate.
  • 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.

Download the Tour and Transport Guidelines here.

Finally, we’ve had a great response so far and I encourage everyone who hasn’t yet to please complete the latest state of play survey.

This data is crucial to allowing us to lobby, advocate and paint an accurate picture of the challenge we face, and we share the aggregated results with Victoria Tourism Industry Council for statewide advocacy.

It’s a terrific way to tell us exactly where you’re at now and what you need.

We’ve been speaking with so many of you over the last few weeks, and this is just the sort of news we’ve all been waiting for. As new details are announced we’ll continue to update you by email and via our Covid-19 Resource Centre, so apologies for the spam and as always we’re available for any questions you may have.

Take care,

Tracy Carter
Acting Executive Director
Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine