To all our industry,
Over the last couple of days the Government has announced further support to businesses and individuals to assist through the coronavirus crisis and further restrictions to slow the spread. In addition, NSW Health Orders have advised that people must not travel to regional areas and tourism operators are requested to follow this advice and to reschedule or postpone bookings.
$130 BILLION JOBKEEPER PAYMENT
To keep more Australians in jobs in businesses who have suffered a 30% reduction in turnover as result of the Coronavirus impact, the Federal Government announced a $130 billion JobKeeper Payment to allow businesses to retain their employees by providing a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight to eligible workers, before tax.
Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via ato.gov.au. For more information see the Australian Government website where you can download fact sheets with additional information for employers and employees.
STAY SAFE, STAY HOME
The Australian and NSW Governments have stepped up measures to further control the spread of the virus, advising Australians must stay at home.
Latest Government Orders instruct that people must stay at home unless undertaking essential activities being:
Shopping for essentials (food and necessary supplies)
Medical or health care needs
Exercise in compliance with public gathering requirements
Work and study if this is not possible remotely
Non-essential public gatherings are now limited to two people only, or members of a household, and this applies to indoor and outdoor activities. As such further public facilities and activities are either closed – playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms – or restricted, such as bootcamps which can have a maximum of two people.
For the latest advice about public gatherings and self-isolation requirements, visit NSW.gov.au
TRAVEL TO REGIONAL AREAS
NSW Health Orders advise that people must not travel to regional areas, as this is not a “reasonable excuse” for leaving the house. Anyone who does travel will be breaching Orders and may be subject to heavy penalties.
In line with this advice, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro today called on all people to cancel non-essential travel to regional NSW towns and communities, in particular over Easter. Mr Barilaro said that metropolitan and regional residents should not visit regional NSW for a holiday, for meetings, to relocate for a longer period or to see family and friends. Read the full statement.
Tourism operators are requested to follow this advice by not promoting travel within NSW or accommodation stays until further notice. Operators who have existing bookings are encouraged to contact guests to postpone and reschedule travel and stays for another time in the future when Government advice has changed.
SUPPORT FOR INDUSTRY
The DPS dedicated COVID-19 page on our corporate website has been developed to provide state and federal government details on grants and business support, as well as mental health assistance information. In these very challenging times, it is more important than ever that we look after ourselves and each other.
Weekly Member Meetings are being held on Friday at 1pm via Zoom which aims to support the tourism sector during this difficult time.The meetings provide a forum to share information and for operators to collaborate through the obstacles that we are all currently dealing with. Invitations will be sent our separately.
STAY UP TO DATE – RECEIVE LATEST GOVERNMENT ADVICE DIRECT
Two new platforms announced by the Australian Government are providing trusted information to businesses and individuals looking for the latest COVID-19 advice and support:
An official Coronavirus Australia app for smartphone users. The app is available on Apple and Android devices and includes a symptom checker, an isolation register, news and media, resources and advice.
A WhatsApp service to keep people informed about the latest developments. WhatsApp users should go to www.australia.gov.au/whatsapp to register and then, through simple response commands can request information including latest news, a guide to check your symptoms, support for people and families or businesses, travel advice and State/Territory specific advice.
Rest assured, that DPS and the board are working hard to advocate strongly and passionately for our industry. Please give the team a call if we can offer you any assistance.
Stay safe and look after yourselves.
Eileen, Sharon and Nat