Covid-19 Information Hub for Australian Businesses

With Covid-19 sweeping the planet and affecting virtually every industry Business News Australia has launched an Information Hub for businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
This hub is your go-to place for up-to-date information about Covid-19, what to do to support your business in this trying time, and resources to help manage the coming weeks and months.


Real-time tracking of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia

Data is based on media reports and verified with updates from state and federal health departments.  This site is run by volunteers.

Real-time tracking of global cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19

by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)


Planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has created an online planning tool to help business develop a plan to keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the weeks and months ahead.

Click here to download the Planning tool to help business reopen and be COVIDSafe 
 


Australian States ease of COVID-19 restrictions

Click on the links to find the States roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions, including what this means for community and business.

South Australian Government's Roadmap to ease COVID-19 Restrictions: Stage one started on Monday 11 May.

Victoria Government has issued a gradual easing of restrictions from Wednesday 13 May

Western Australia's four-phase roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions; Stage two starts on Friday 15 May

Northern Territory Government's Roadmap to ease COVID-19 Restrictions; Stage two starts on Friday 15 May

New South Wales Government's will ease restrictions from Friday 15 May

Queensland Government will ease COVID-19 Restrictions; Stage one starts on Saturday 16 May


$130 BILLION JOBKEEPER PAYMENT TO KEEP AUSTRALIANS IN A JOB

The Government is introducing a subsidy program to support employees and businesses. The JobKeeper Payment is designed to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees' wages, so that more employees can retain their job and continue to earn an income.

Employers (including non-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • The business turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month).

  • The business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month)

  • The business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

  • Employers must elect to participate in the scheme. They will need to make an application to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and provide supporting information demonstrating a downturn in their business.

  • Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months.

  • Eligible employers will receive the payment for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and continues to be engaged by that employer including full-time, part-time, long-term casuals and stood down employees. 

  • Casual employees eligible for the JobKeeper Payment are those employees who have been with their employer on a regular basis for at least the previous 12 months as at 1 March 2020.

  • To be eligible, an employee must be an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.

  • Eligible employers who have stood down their employees before the commencement of this scheme will be able to participate.

  • Employees that are re-engaged by a business that was their employer on 1 March 2020 will also be eligible.

  • Self-employed individuals will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they have suffered or expect to suffer a 30 per cent decline in turnover relative to a comparable prior period (of at least a month).

  • The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May. 

    Click here to go to ATO's COVID-19 support page


Australian banks extend loan deferrals to 30,000 more businesses

More than 30,000 Australian businesses can now access the six-month loan repayment deferral program after the Australian Banking Association decided to extend the relief.

Businesses with total loan facilities of up to $10 million will now be able to defer repayments for loans attached to their businesses for six months.

Businesses with total loans of more than $10 million may also be eligible for relief, but will be considered on a case by case basis as they are often much more complex in their structure.


Relief for commercial tenants

The Government has announced a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus.

The Code of Conduct (the Code) outlines a set of good faith leasing principles for commercial tenancies including:

  • retail
  • office
  • industrial

between:

  • owners
  • operators
  • other landlords
  • tenants

This Code applies to tenants that are:

  • a small-medium sized business with an annual turnover of up to $50 million
  • eligible for the JobKeeper Payment

State and territory information, grants and assistance

Find the latest coronavirus information, grants and support in your state or territory.


International delivery delays Impact of novel coronavirus

Australia Post expects major international delivery delays due to flight cancellations and government restrictions because of COVID-19.

Australia Post is working with partner airlines and other postal operators to move items as quickly as possible.

Please note Australia Post will suspend its "Economy Air" international delivery service for parcels to all countries effective 3 April and until further notice.

Click here to see country specific updates




Three things to consider before accessing your super

Associate Professor Paul Lajbcygier from Monash Business School's Department of Banking and Finance says people should consider three key things

Software and data to unlock smoother EOFY in the Covid-19 economy

How is the coronavirus likely to play out, how does it end, and does our behaviour make a difference?

Infectious diseases expert Dr Siouxsie Wiles walks us through the epidemic curve.

Can I take the dog for a walk? Can I put the kids to bed? What you should and shouldn't do if you're in coronavirus self-isolation

COVID-19 risk on public transport: What we can learn from overseas

Australia can learn from how other countries are reducing the spread of the virus on public transport, writes Dr Yale Zhuxiao Wong


Latest information from the Australian Government

COVID-19 updates for exporters
Latest information on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) for exporters.

This page has information to help Australian exporters manage the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on their business.

Recommendation for public gatherings and testing

Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) notes emerging evidence of community transmission in localised areas within Australia, current issues limiting the capacity to do widespread COVID-19 diagnostic tests and emerging international evidence that, for best effect, social distancing measures are best introduced at the earliest stages of community transmission.

AHPPC considers that, for these reasons, the time has come to put in place social distancing measures to mitigate spread.

These include:

  • Limiting non-essential organised gatherings to fewer than 500 people
  • Limiting non-essential meetings or conferences of critical workforce eg healthcare professionals and emergency services
  • Encouraging all Australians to exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures
  • Initiating measures to protect vulnerable populations, such as reducing visitors to all residential care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

These measures are of most importance for people over 60, particularly those with chronic disease.


 

Further resources for businesses

COVID-19 Work Place Ready Course, a free course designed to give employers and staff the skills and training to adequately respond to the global pandemic

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 published by World Health Organisation

COVID-19: Implications for business, published by Matt Craven, Linda Liu, Mihir Mysore, and Matt Wilson, McKinsey

Advice on event and travel cancellations due to COVID-19

The ACCC has issued advice for consumers and businesses on their rights and obligations if events, flights or travel services are cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), or if people wish to cancel their travel plans.

If events, flights or other travel services such as cruises are cancelled, the ACCC expects refunds or other remedy such as a credit note or voucher will be offered in most circumstances.

However, if the event, flight or travel service is cancelled due to government restrictions, consumer rights under the consumer guarantees may be impacted. In these situations consumers may be entitled to a refund under the terms and conditions of their ticket, or potentially may make a claim under a travel insurance policy.

The ACCC is alert to any instances of unfair or unconscionable conduct on the part of businesses in dealing with consumers during the current crisis.


Travel

Latest update from Smart Travellers

The Australian Goverment's information for travellers.

 


State or territory public health agency contact details 

Australian Capital Territory Government's Department of Health.

Business hours
Ph:02 5124 9213

After hours
Ph:02 9962 4155


New South Wales Department of Health

Contact for the New South Wales Government's Department of Health.

Ph: 1300 066 055



Northern Territory Department of Health

Contact for the Northern Territory Government's Department of Health.

Ph:08 8922 8044


Queensland Department of Health

Contact for the Queensland Government's Department of Health.

Ph: 13HEALTH or 13 432 584


South Australian Department of Health

Contact for the South Australian Government's Department of Health.

Ph: 1300 232 272


Tasmanian Department of Health

Contact for the Tasmanian Government's Department of Health.

Ph: 1800 671 738

Victorian Department of Health

Contact for the Victorian Government's Department of Health.

Ph: 1800 675 398


Western Australian Department of Health

Contact for the Western Australian Government's Department of Health.


The Australian Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert

The Australian Goverment's information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) for employers


Click here for Live news updates about the Covid-19 coronavirus


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