Media and Events Centre » Coronavirus (COVID-19) » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars and clubs and other indoor venues still open? 

A: To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Australian Government has announced that the following facilities are restricted from opening: 

• Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)

• Gyms, skate parks, indoor sporting venues, play centres and outside playgrounds

• Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs

• Beauty salons,

• Places of worship

• Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery

• There are also restrictions on attendance at weddings, funerals and outdoor fitness classes.
 

Supermarkets and pharmacies remain open. Please check your State and Territory websites for full details.

 

Q: Where can I get more information about the coronavirus? 

A: There are a number of resources available for more information about the coronavirus.
 

• For the latest information about the coronavirus in Australia visit the Department of Health website. 

• The Australian Government’s Smartraveller website also provides advice to Australians considering overseas travel or who are considering returning from overseas. 

• Detailed information about current border restrictions for travellers is available from the Australian Border Force website. 

• If you have questions about the coronavirus you can contact your state or territory public health agency or the national hotline:
 

  • § Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080
  • § Australian Capital Territory: 02 5124 9213
  • § New South Wales: 1300 066 055
  • § Northern Territory: 08 8922 8044
  • § Queensland: 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
  • § South Australia: 1300 232 272
  • § Tasmania: 1800 671
  • § Victoria: 1300 651 160
  • § Western Australia: 08 9328 0553

 

Q: What resources are available from Wine Australia? 

A: Wine Australia has a Coronavirus Information page with information on its research, export and marketing activities and other resources.

 

Q: What are the restrictions around indoor gatherings?

A: Public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to a maximum of two people. Check State and Territory websites for further enforcement information. Everyone should stay home unless you are:
 

• Shopping for essentials,

• Receiving medical care,

• Exercising, or

• Travelling to work or education.

 
People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection. Social distancing rules still apply, with people being required to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres.

 
Pubs, licensed clubs and hotels (excluding accommodation), gyms, skateparks, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, beauty salons, play centres and outside playgrounds, places of worship and other public places remain closed. There are restrictions on attendance at weddings, funerals and outdoor fitness classes.

 
Supermarkets and pharmacies remain open. Please check your State and Territory websites for full details.

 

Q: Where can I get more advice about travel restrictions or support in my State or Territory? 

A: State or Territory Tourism Organisations are providing regular updates about coronavirus. Links to these are below:

Destination NSW

South Australian Tourism Commission

Tourism and Events Queensland

Tourism Tasmania

Tourism WA

Visit Canberra

Visit Victoria

 

Q: My business is being impacted as a result of coronavirus, what support is available from the Australian Government?

A: The Australian Government has announced an Economic Response to support households and businesses and address the significant economic consequences of coronavirus. So far, this includes:

• $17.6 billion from the Government’s first economic stimulus package

• $90 billion from the Reserve Bank of Australia

• $15 billion to deliver easier access to finance

• $66.1 billion from the Government’s second economic support package

• $1.1 billion safety net package to expand mental health and telehealth services, increase domestic violence services and provide more emergency food relief

• $130 billion JobKeeper Payment to keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the Coronavirus.

 

Specific information on financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support can be found on business.gov.au and the latest announcements relating to coronavirus can be found on Australia.gov.au

The Australian Government has also established a series of communication channels for individuals and businesses:
 

• Business hotline for small and medium businesses which is open seven days a week from 7am to 11pm AEST: 13 28 46. 

• Official government “Coronavirus Australia” app, downloadable from Apple App Store or Google Play.

 

Q: As part of the Australian Government’s Economic Response, what are the specific measures in place for grape, wine and tourism businesses?

A: The Economic Response includes $1 billion in funds to support sectors, regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as agriculture and tourism.

 

Q: I am a small wine business with employees, what support is available to help with my cashflow?

A: Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees.

The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the coronavirus. The JobKeeper Payment will also be available to the self-employed.

The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months. You may also be eligible for temporary cash flow support to help cover the costs of your employee's wages.

As part of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure up to $100,000 back to businesses, with a minimum payment of $20,000 for eligible businesses. The tax-free payment will provide temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses that employ staff. For more details click here.

If you have apprentices or trainees you may be able to get assistance to help pay their wages, including a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. For more details click here.

 

Q: My business employs casual staff, what support is available?

A: If you employ casual employees and they can’t work because they become sick or need to self-isolate, or their income has been otherwise impacted by the economic downturn caused by coronavirus, they may be eligible for income support payments.

The Government is also allowing individuals to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation for 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Information on income support is available here.

 

Q: I have a wine business, but I am a sole trader and don’t employ any staff, what support is available?

A: Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can also register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via the ATO. If you are a sole trader and do not employ any staff you may also be eligible for the increased instant asset write-off measures and/or the accelerated depreciation deduction arrangements.

The Government has also announced a series of measures designed to support the flow of credit including the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, which will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. The Government has also granted an exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers. More information about support for sole traders and small businesses can be found here.

  

Q: What other support is available?

A: The Australian Banking Association has announced a small business relief package from Australia’s banks. Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by coronavirus for six months. Find out more here. Evictions have also been put on hold for six months. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements.

 

Q: Are my customers entitled to a refund if my business is required to cancel their wine experience or event due to Government restrictions around coronavirus?

A: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued advice for consumers here.

Businesses should contact the ACCC for specific advice, however:
 

• If the wine experience or event is cancelled, the ACCC expects that customers will receive a refund or other remedy, such as a credit note or voucher, in most circumstances. 

• However, if the wine experience or event is cancelled due to government restrictions, this impacts their rights under the consumer guarantees. 

• They may still be entitled to a refund under the terms and conditions of the ticket. 

• If you are not offering a refund, advise your customers to see if they are able to seek reimbursement under their travel insurance policy.



Q: My business requires operation across state boundaries as I have vineyards on both sides of the border.

A. Currently, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia have border restrictions in place.  

However, the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, has also announced that Australia’s food production and supply chain will not be affected by coronavirus shutdowns, deeming food production and supply as an essential service. So the border restrictions do not apply to essential freight traffic and essential industries such as agriculture which encompasses viticulture and winemaking.

 

Q. What controls have been placed on primary producers?

A. Emergency powers in each State operate under State legislation, so it is important for all producers to understand the regulations and requirements of the State they operate in. We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the regulations in the State/s you operate in:

Each State Department of Primary Industries has a dedicated website with specific information for producers within the state jurisdictions.
 

New South Wales

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia