**Last updated 3/7/2020**

 

SA Border Restrictions Update – New Changes Announced

South Australia has abandoned plans to reopen the Victorian border on 20 July as COVID-19 cases spike in Victoria. Premier Marshall stated ACT and NSW restrictions could still be lifted.

A new portal has been created for people who wish to travel into South Australia. If you are travelling into South Australia, by road or via the Adelaide airport, you need to complete the cross border pre-approval form at least 72 hours prior to your arrival. This applies to all people travelling to SA, from all states and includes residents coming back into the state.

According to current SAPOL advice, if you already have an essential traveller status under the cross border community member category and your circumstance has not changed you do not need to complete the cross border pre-approval form.

If you have an essential traveller status other than the cross border community member category you will need to apply online. This advice may change and we will update as soon as further information is available.

The online portal and further information (including what happens if you haven’t completed an online application) is available here.

The most recent South Australian Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions can be found here.

Not all border-crossing arrangements are mutual. The Healthdirect Australia Restriction Checker has advice on what restrictions are in place in each state and territory across Australia.

 

Step 3 – From 29 June 2020

Step 3 is a simplified principle-based approach, except for some high-risk activities.

While physical distancing of 1.5 m is still encouraged, social distancing requirements within venues will be reduced to one person per two square metres.

All businesses, activities and gatherings allowed under Step 3 are listed in the Public activities direction no 3.

COVID-Safe Plan
Businesses that don’t need a new plan:

You will NOT have to complete a revised plan for Step 3, if you:

  • have already completed a Step 2 plus COVID-safe plan for your business
  • are not increasing the amount of space or number of rooms open to patrons for Step 3.

An updated plan will be sent to the email address on file with a revised total of patrons allowed based on the room sizes originally supplied. You will have to print and make this updated plan available from 29 June.

Businesses that do need a new plan:

You WILL need to complete a revised COVID-Safe Plan for Step 3 if you:

  • plan to offer more rooms or spaces to patrons
  • plan to extend or alter the floorspace of any existing rooms or spaces.
Further information is available on the website.

COVIDSafe Plan

All businesses that were directed to close during COVID-19 restrictions must complete a COVIDSafe Plan. If you were allowed to reopen during Step 1, 2 or 3, you must complete your Plan and ensure that it is available at your business premises.  If your business has several premises, each venue will need a separate Plan.

This Plan will outline how your staff and patrons can be kept safe from COVID-19.

While other businesses are not required to complete a COVIDSafe Plan, they are encouraged to do so to help keep South Australia safe.

Further information can be found here.

 

SA Government’s Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions

While the Prime Minister and National Cabinet have released a national framework, state and territory governments have developed their own plans for moving towards a COVID safe society and economy. The South Australian government released a Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions, starting Monday 11 May, you can read it in full here.

We moved to Step 2 PLUS of the Roadmap on Monday 19 June.  For more details on Step 2 PLUS, please visit the State’s COVID-19 website here.

From Monday 29 June new easing of restrictions will be introduced including social distancing being reduced to 1 person per 2 square meters which will see the capacity of venues increased.

 

3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia

The Australian Government released a 3-step framework to create a COVIDSafe society. You can view the infographic here.

 

australia.gov.au

The Australian Governments dedicated COVID-19 website links you to all the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from Australian Government agencies.

 

business.gov.au

The Federal Government’s website business.gov.au is a key source of information on the financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the COVID-19 related financial support available for Australian businesses. The website also includes a range of tools, guides and information on matters like business planning, links to ATO and other useful resources for your business. They have also released a Continuing your business guide, designed to help business-owners understand what to do to keep their business operating.

 

Federal Government HomeBuilder Stimulus

HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. HomeBuilder will assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations.

Information on when and how you will be able to apply will become available through the relevant State or Territory revenue office in due course.

Information about what Homebuilder will mean for the construction industry is available on business.gov.au or by contacting 13 28 46. Please keep in touch with business.gov.au for updated State and Territory information as it becomes available.

You can find out more, read a FAQ’s factsheet or register for more information here.

 

JobKeeper Payments

The government’s $130 billion JobKeeper payment scheme supports businesses significantly affected by the Coronavirus to help keep more Australians in jobs. 31 May 2020 was the final date to enrol for JobKeeper to claim for wages paid for JobKeeper fortnights in April and May.

The Jobkeeper subsidy is worth $1,500 a fortnight. The aim of the package is to enable businesses to keep workers on their payrolls throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and is applicable to full and part time workers and casuals who have been with their employers for 12 months or more.  Businesses and not-for-profits were eligible if they experienced a downturn in revenue of 30 per cent or more. You can find out more information on the ATO website.

 

South Australian COVID-Clean Toolkit Training Program

The Government of South Australia are creating a training program that will help businesses adopt healthy hygiene practices as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Up to 5,500 members of the retail, hospitality, tourism, cleaning, security, transport and logistics industries will receive this accredited training—dubbed the COVID-Clean Toolkit.

The Department for Innovation and Skills are currently finalising arrangements with training providers to deliver high-quality COVID-Clean training from mid-June. Participants will learn a range of skills, including hand hygiene practices, effective surface cleaning, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disposal of contaminated waste.

The aim of this COVID-Clean Toolkit is to ensure South Australians can confidently return to supporting our local shops and eateries when health advice permits.

You can find out more and register your interest here.

 

Restrictions and Responsibilities – FAQs

Each State in Australia currently has different rules regarding non-essential businesses and other activities which can make it confusing to know what we are allowed to do.  The SA Government have put together a useful set of questions and answers that you can access here.

 

Mental Health Support

The Australian Government’s ‘Head to Health’ website is committed to providing Australians with trusted information and digital supports to help support everyone’s mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic. For information, resources and links to support services please visit this link.

 

South Australian $10,000 Emergency Cash Grants for Small Businesses –  Now Closed

 

South Australian Jobs Rescue Package – ‘Business and Jobs Support Fund’

The South Australian Government has announced details of its second economic stimulus package – the Jobs Rescue Package. Within the Jobs Rescue Package, there are a range of measures that will provide support for workers, individual businesses and industry sectors, community organisations, sporting clubs, arts, cultural, community and recreational bodies as well as non-government organisations experiencing financial hardship and other impacts caused by restrictions enforced to limit the spread of the disease. A part of this package is the $300 million ‘Business and Jobs Support Fund’.

RDALC are still waiting for the Government to provide details on the eligibility criteria for applications for the Business and Jobs Support Fund however applications are now open. Please click here for further information on what you could consider including in your submission for access to this fund, or contact rachael@rdalc.org.au.

 

National Jobs Hub

The Australian Government has launched a new Jobs Hub, supporting businesses and those Australians looking for work. The Jobs Hub helps Australians looking for work find advertised vacancies.

An up-to-date list of a selection of businesses and organisations that are currently hiring, and how to contact them, can be found here.

While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers.

Employers who are hiring and want support to connect with potential candidates can also contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at workforce@dese.gov.au to be connected directly with businesses reducing their workforces; and the employment services network to source suitable candidates.

 

COVIDSafe App

The Australian Government has released the COVIDSafe app, designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus by speeding up the process of identifying people who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus, quickly stopping further spread of the virus in the community.

The COVIDSafe app is completely voluntary. The more Australians who connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker health authorities can find the virus.

Download the app:

Apple app store for iPhones

Google play for Android phones

For more information including frequently asked questions, click here.

 

Coronavirus App and WhatsApp Group

Stay informed with the latest advice and information by downloading the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Australia app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

WhatsApp users – You need to connect online, not via your app – search aus.gov.au/whatsapp on your phone browser and follow the prompts to choose the information you want to receive.

Don’t have WhatsApp? Search aus.gov.au/whatsapp on your smart phone, tablet or computer and follow the prompts.

 

Rent Relief for Commercial Tenants

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new rental waivers and deferrals for commercial tenants hit by the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Under the scheme, landlords will have to reduce leases in proportion to the reduction in the tenant’s business.

Deferrals — rental payments that will need to be made, but can be put off — must be spread over the remaining time on a lease and for no less than 24 months. The code will apply to any tenancies where the landlord or tenant applies for JobKeeper and where they have a turnover of $50 million or less.

Further information on the COVID-19 mandatory commercial tenancy code can be found here.

For essential information for South Australian Lessees and Lessors dealing with COVID-19, please visit the Small Business Commissioner at this link.

 

Measures to Help Renters

The Prime Minister has announced new measures to help renters. Under these measures, evictions will be put on hold over the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenants in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the coronavirus. You can find out more here.

 

Information on Commercial Leasing

New legislation and regulations were brought into effect on 15 May concerning commercial leases in the Covid-19 pandemic environment.

The Act and Regulations make various temporary modifications in relation to commercial leases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including stopping evictions.

Further information can be found here. A video from the Small Business Commissioner outlining the new changes can be viewed here.

 

South Australian Support for Tourism Operators

The State Government has announced a $5.7 million financial support package to help local tourism operators get through – and continue well past – the current COVID-19 crisis.

The two major funding packages, the Small Tourism Business Grant Fund and the Regional Events Grant Fund are now closed.  If you have any questions relating to the Grant Funds, please email.

In addition, the SA Tourism Commission (SATC) has developed other programs which will assist the industry more widely including the Digital Training Program, Regional Funding Support Program and the Resilience and Rebound Project.

For more details, eligibility, dates, terms and conditions, and to apply, visit the SATC Tourism Response Portal.

Fee and rent relief for nature-based tourism businesses including fishing – The South Australian Government will provide fee and rent relief for nature-based tourism businesses (including boating experiences and fishing) who have been significantly impacted in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. View media release here.

 

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

Around 1 million families are currently receiving free child care due to the coronavirus pandemic. You can read the Prime Minister’s statement here.

From 6 April to 12 July, weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs. Families will not be charged fees during this time.

For further information, click here.

 

Freight Access

The Australian Government has announced a $110 million initiative securing freight access for Australia agricultural and fisheries exporters. For more details, please refer to the following joint media release here.

Further details are available on Austrade’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism webpage.

 

COVID-19 and Australian Workplace Laws

The Fair Work Australia website contains information and links to relevant Government sites, on the topic of employer obligations during COVID-19. It addresses many questions employers may be asking, including pay and leave during the coronavirus, health and safety and ending employment.

 

Income Support for Individuals

The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians to support them through the Coronavirus. This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation. Further information is available here.

 

Support Available for Employers

The Australian Government has announced measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you’re an employer, refer to this website to learn what your business can get, where to go for help and what your obligations are. The website also provides useful links to the Department of Health and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

 

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers Payments

Small and medium businesses with an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million that employ workers will be eligible for payments. Eligibility will generally be based on prior year turnover.  The information here includes useful examples and scenarios to help explain these payments.

 

Support Available for Sole Traders

The Australian Government has announced a number of measures to support sole traders impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you’re a sole trader, learn what your business can get and where to go for help here.

 

Supporting Trainees and Apprentices

If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from January 2020 to September 2020.  For more information, refer to the business.gov.au website.

 

Small Business Loan Repayments Deferred

The Australian Banking Association has announced that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for 6 months.

Find more information on the Australian Banking Association website.

 

Support Available from ATO

Support is available on the ATO website for anyone experiencing difficulties with tax obligations due to COVID-19. For help tailored to your circumstances call the Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 or email COVID-19Taxissues@ato.gov.au.

If you prefer to use a language other than English, phone the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50 for help with your call. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can phone the Indigenous Helpline on 13 10 30.

The ATO has also released some common tax questions about COVID-19 regarding individuals, businesses, cancelled supplies and events as well as international business issues. These can be viewed on the website.

 

COVID-19 Health Information Line

If you require information whether you, your family or your employees could be affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) please call the Corona Virus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.  The information line is available Monday to Friday 8.00AM to 8.00PM, Saturdays from 8.00AM to 5.00PM and Sundays from 9.00AM until 5.00PM.

 

Telstra and Optus Support During COVID-19

Telstra is currently offering consumer and small business customers additional data as well as offering unlimited home phone calls to pensioners. Further information on how to take up this offer is available on the Telstra website.

Optus is supporting customers with additional data as businesses and schools across the country transition to working remotely. Information on how to access extra data is available on the Optus website.

 

School Information and Advice

Information and frequently asked questions for all South Australian Schools can be found at the following website. Schools and preschools in South Australia will stay open, including out of schools hours care (OSHC). The Department for Education is following the Australian Government’s advice and we will update this advice if it changes.  Individual schools will only be temporarily closed if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19.