CHANGES FROM 11 OCTOBER FOR BUSINESS OWNERS, STAFF & CUSTOMERS

So many of you have contacted me over the last few days with questions about what changes occur today (Monday 11 October) in Maitland and across the Hunter and what it means for your business, your employment, or your ability to enter various places.


I thought it might be easier to post something up here - to help provide some clarity about what happens from today and how it will or may impact you.


Please stay with me, as this gets a little involved…


Basically, the only businesses/business premises that are impacted by today’s COVID Roadmap changes are the following (ie. if your business/work is not in the below list then it continues to operate as per normal):

  • Hospitality venues (eg. pubs, registered clubs, cafes, & restaurants)

  • Places of public worship

  • Entertainment facilities (eg. cinema, theatre, concert hall)

  • Public swimming pools

  • Retail premises, but NOT critical retail premises (I will list these further down in the post)

  • Indoor recreation facilities (eg. gyms, bowling alley, squash court)

  • Major recreation facilities (eg. showgrounds, racecourses, motor racing tracks)

  • Hairdressers

  • Beauty/tanning/waxing/nail salons

  • Tattoo/massage parlours

  • Properties operated by the National Trust or Historic House Trust

  • Gaming lounges & betting agencies

  • Auction houses

  • Markets that do NOT predominantly sell food

  • Information and education facilities

From today, a person who works at any of the above businesses/business premises MUST have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and be booked to receive their 2nd by 1 November.


For customers, to enter any of the above businesses/business premises, from today, they must be fully vaccinated. Customers can, however, still access click and collect and takeaways at the above businesses/premises if you are not fully vaccinated.


For the owners of businesses/business premises in the above list, you must take reasonable steps to prevent unvaccinated people entering your premises.

  • ‘Reasonable steps’ does NOT require business owners/staff to ask customers their vaccination status, although you are free to do so. Placing vaccination requirements posters & information at the entry of your premises, alongside Service NSW QR code check-in material, for example, satisfies the ‘reasonable steps’ requirement.


For the purposes of the above list of impacted businesses, the below are defined as critical retail premises (ie NOT impacted by the changes today, so NO vaccination requirements for staff or customers):

  • Chemists and pharmacies

  • Garden centres and plant nurseries

  • Hardware and building supplies

  • Kiosks

  • Landscaping material supplies

  • Rural supplies

  • Shops that predominantly sell food or drinks (eg butchers, bakeries, fruit shops & delicatessens, but does not include restaurants or cafes)

  • Shops that predominantly carry out repairs of mobile phones

  • Shops that predominantly sell any of the following in the course of the normal operation of the shop: (i) office supplies, (ii) pet supplies, (iii) newspapers, magazines or stationery, (iv) alcohol, (v) maternity or baby supplies and (vi) medical or pharmaceutical supplies.

  • Supermarkets & grocery shops

  • Timber yards

  • Vehicle hire premises but NOT the premises at which vehicles are sold.


Again, if your business/place of work is not specifically mentioned in the first list (in the blue text ) then there are NO vaccination requirements for staff or customers from today. This means you continue to operate just as you did last week.


For those, like me, who like to read the Public Health Orders, you can find the latest one, which details all the new requirements, here https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/file/Public%20Health%20(COVID-19%20General)%20Order%202021.pdf


The best source of information I’ve found that may be helpful as guidance to businesses are here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/business/covid-safe-business


And this one is great for all the printable posters and signage: https://www.nsw.gov.au/.../covid-safe-business/toolkit