clock iconPosted Monday, 26 October 2020

COVID-19: What Does This Mean for My Business?

By Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

Dear IICT Members,

We will be updating this blog regularly on how to move forward in response to COVID-19. Or stay up to date by visiting the Australian Government website by clicking here

Please note the information contained on this page is general in nature and does not contain professional IICT advice or recommendations, nor does it take into account your personal situation. If you require further information, seek professional advice from the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is operated by the Australian Government. 

26th October 2020

Victoria COVID-19 restrictions update

Below is an update on COVID-19 restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria:

  • Metropolitan Melbourne (Currently at Step 2): Personal services including massage is not permitted.
  • Regional Vic (Currently at Step 3): Massage & Beauty Therapy are allowed with the use of face masks. Personal services where a face mask can be worn for the duration of service is permitted, however with restrictions eg providing facials is not permitted as clients cannot wear a mask for total duration of the treatment.
If a service is required as part of a Chronic Disease Management Plan (as authorised/endorsed by NDIS, TAC, Workcover or DVA) then the practitioner is permitted to provide services.

All AHPRA registered health workers, including social workers, speech pathologists, dietetics, audiologists, exercise physiologists are permitted to provide face to face services if required to prevent significant deterioration in a patient.

For more information, please refer to the following helpful links:

We'll provide more information as we receive updates on the easing of restrictions in Victoria subject to public health advice.


15th October 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap for the reopening of Victoria

Regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne each have their own roadmaps, based on the number of active cases currently in the community. Each are will be able to move to the next step of the reopening roadmap subject to public health advice. 

Metropolitan Melbourne. Currently at Second Step can move to the Third Step of the roadmap to easing restrictions when the daily average number of cases in the last 14 days is less than five state-wide and when there are less than five cases with an unknown source in the last 14 days.

Regional Victoria. Currently at Third Step. The Last Step on regional Victoria's roadmap to easing restrictions can start when there have been no new cases for 14 days, across Victoria.

For further information on Victoria's roadmap for reopening, please refer to the useful links below:

On behalf of the IICT team, we encourage IICT Members to stay strong as we patiently wait for restrictions to ease in keeping with the lower case numbers across the state. Keep safe and take care.


16th September 2020

Regional Victoria moves to the Third Step from 11:59pm, Wed 16th Sept

IICT welcomes the announcement that regional Victoria has commenced the Third Step to reopening from 11:59pm, Wednesday 16 September 2020.

For all natural therapy practitioners in regional Victoria, you can continue to practice (as has been the case under Stage 3 restrictions). For more information and FAQs on the Third Step visit

For our Melbourne Metro members, we are hopeful that there will be further announcements soon that may indicate some good news for all. 


8th August 2020

COVID-19 Victoria Restrictions Update

To our Victorian IICT Members, below are updates on the COVID-19 restrictions in your state. Please read the guidelines below that apply for Regional Victorian and Melbourne metropolitan members:

Regional Victorian Members:
Stage 3 restrictions permit you to continue practising at this time, but we do urge you to exercise a high level of caution with regard to clients you accept, ensuring they are adequately screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to their appointment, that appropriate hygiene processes are adhered to, and that both you and your client are wearing a mask at all times.

Melbourne Metropolitan Members:
Stage 4 restrictions are aligned to Victoria’s current State of Disaster declaration and are understandably focused on saving and protecting the lives of all Victorians through restricting non-essential movement across the State.

What does this mean for you?

  • All therapeutic health services are not permitted
  • If you can conduct your services online via zoom, Skype etc, this is permitted
  • We very much appreciate that these restrictions will mean that closing your practices for now will be the only option for many Melbourne based therapists.

In addition to the above critical information, we have been advised the following:

  • You can leave home to receive health care or attend medical appointments. If you need to see a doctor or health care professional, you should do so. Do not put off getting medical care. Your doctor or health care professional can provide advice on how to stay safe.
  • You can leave home to care for a sick or elderly relative. If you are providing care for someone you should try to keep 1.5 metres between you when you can. Wear a face covering.
  • You can leave home to accompany someone for essential medical treatment only if you are a parent, guardian or necessary support person.

For further information and resources to help you create a COVID Safe Plan for your practice, click here.


8th July 2020

Victoria Reinstates Stage 3 Stay At Home Restrictions

To all our loyal IICT members in Victoria dealing with the second wave of Covid-19 restrictions, our heart goes out to you all as the impact of a second wave affects natural therapists across the state.

Below are all the details to assist you during this very difficult time:

Based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government announced Stay at Home directions for metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from 8 July until 11.59pm on 19 August. For six weeks, people who live in these areas are only allowed to go out for: shopping for food and supplies, health care and caregiving, outdoor exercise, and study or work (if unable to work or study from home).

Indoor sports centres including gyms, training facilities and pools will be closed.

Community sport training and competition cannot occur within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. People living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, cannot attend or participate in community sport elsewhere.

People can only exercise or undertake sporting activities outside with one other person or household members. A 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others must be kept.

Some outdoor sport facilities will be closed. Personal training outdoors can occur but with a limit of two participants, in addition to the instructor.

For more information on Victoria's restriction levels, click here.

Business Support Package

A $534 million Business Support Package was announced on the 10th July to provide more support to help businesses and workers through these renewed restrictions. This includes:

  • The expanded Business Support Fund, that will provide more than 80,000 eligible businesses with a new $5,000 grant to support them through the renewed restrictions
  • $26 million in mental health support to ensure Victorians dealing with the compounding challenges of running a small business can get the support they need as they navigate their way through the crisis
  • A $10 million business mentoring program, pairing small business owners with experienced professionals who can help them navigate their way through the crisis
  • A $20 million fund to support small businesses in Melbourne’s CBD that are faced with a large and sustained shock to their trading environments.
Get more information about the Victorian Business Support Package and view the details of each program by clicking here.


2nd June 2020

Gyms to Reopen in NSW June 13

The NSW Government announced restrictions on gyms to be lifted from June 13, including yoga and Pilates classes. Read the latest update here


25th May 2020

Further Restrictions Eased 

Yesterday, both NSW and Victoria announced an easing of restrictions to personal care services and offering treatments to clients.

In addition, six states and territories have confirmed when indoor gyms can reopen, including yoga and Pilates classes. Please find below update for both:

Personal Care Services Update

New South Wales - JUNE 1

Victoria - JUNE 1

Queensland - MAY 15 (Stage 1) & JUNE 12 (Stage 2)

  • Currently, up to a maximum of 10 clients at any one time 
  • This will increases to a maximum of 20 clients at any one time in stage 2
  • Click here for more details

South Australia - JUNE 5

Tasmania - JUNE 15

Northern Territory - MAY 15 (currently in effect)

Western Australia - To be confirmed

Australian Capital Territory - To be confirmed

Indoor Yoga and Pilates Classes and Gyms Update

New South Wales - To be confirmed

Victoria - JUNE 22

Queensland - JULY 10

South Australia - JUNE 5

Tasmania - JUNE 15

Northern Territory - MAY 15 (currently in effect)

Western Australia - MAY 18 (currently in effect)

Australian Capital Territory - To be confirmed

If you have any information to share regarding COVID-19 that you feel other members would find useful, please contact our team by clicking here.

For advice relating to your specific circumstances, seek professional advice from the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. 


20th May 2020

Latest State News & Updates

New South Wales

Free COVID-19 webinars for small businesses

Support and financial relief for businesses, workers and jobseekers

What you can and can't do under the easing of restrictions


Latest business support, advice and information

Current State of Emergency in Victoria


Roadmap to easing restrictions

South Australia

Roadmap to easing restrictions

Business restrictions and closures

Western Australia

COVID Safety Plans key to reopening WA businesses

Roadmap to easing restrictions


Roadmap to recovery

Northern Territory

Roadmap to the new normal

Steps to the new normal business restart


Restrictions and advice

Dates for stage two and three easing of coronavirus restrictions in Canberra announced


13th May 2020

Stage 2 Easing of Restrictions

Based on the new three-step framework, it appears that most therapists will be able to reopen in stage two with a maximum of 20 clients on the premises at any one time. This increases to 100 clients in stage three. However, each state and territory is different and we strongly recommend you visit your local government website (links below). For example Queensland is allowing some beauty therapies to open for up to 10 people at one time in stage one from Friday May 15.

At this stage Western Australia is planned to begin stage two on Monday May 18 (however beauty therapy and personal care services won't be permitted until stage 3), Queensland Friday June 12, Northern Territory Friday May 15, South Australia Monday June 8 and Tasmania Monday 15 June. Some of these dates are still subject to public health advice.

NSW, VIC and ACT will consider stage two restrictions in due course and have not announced any dates at this stage. 

11th May 2020

National Three-Step Plan to Relax Restrictions

A national three-step plan to relax coronavirus restrictions has been announced, with states and territories to decide when each step will be implemented locally. To read more click here.

While step one requires 'hair and beauty services' to remain closed, step two will allow allow these services to re-open with up to 20 clients in the premises and a requirement to record contact details. Step three allows all establishments to reopen with up to 100 people.  


For state and territory government information regarding stage one easing of restrictions please read below or click on your local state government for the latest responses:

New South Wales

New South Wales will start relaxing lockdown restrictions from Friday, but does not plan to implement all step one measures agreed to by National Cabinet.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Sunday that outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted and people can have five visitors at any one time.

Cafes and restaurants will also be able to have up to 10 people dining in.

Weddings will be allowed to have up to 10 guests while funerals can accommodate up to 20 mourners indoors and 30 outdoors.

The rules have also been relaxed for places of worship, where there can now be up to 10 people at religious gatherings.

Outdoor gyms and playgrounds will open and outdoor pools with restrictions.

But New South Wales does not intend to follow the National Cabinet's plan to permit local and regional travel.

From today, students across NSW will return to school at least one day a week as part of the Government's managed wind-back of coronavirus restrictions.


Premier Daniel Andrews has announced Victorians will be able to have five guests to their home from Wednesday.

As well, groups of 10 will be allowed to participate in outdoor activities.

Mr Andrews said the state was close to finalising a plan to see face-to-face learning return to schools before the end of term two, but said no details would be provided today.


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Queensland's plan for the next three months, with the first step taking effect from midnight Friday, May 15.

Under step one, restaurants, cafes and pubs will begin re-opening and bigger public gatherings will be allowed.

Queenslanders will be able to have up to five visitors in their home, with those visitors allowed to be from various households.

Gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed for outdoor activities, personal training, pools, parks and playgrounds, libraries, hiking in national and state parks and places of worship.

Some beauty therapies and nail salons for up to 10 people at one time

The number of people allowed at weddings will increase to a maximum of 10 people, with up to 20 for indoor funerals and up to 30 for outdoor funerals.

South Australia

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall also announced a raft of restrictions would be easing across the state from Monday, May 11.

Outdoor dining at restaurants and cafes will be allowed, and university and TAFE tutorials, as well as public libraries, pools, churches, community halls and auctions will also be reopened.

Groups will be limited to 10 people, however, funerals will soon be able to have 20 people at indoor ceremonies, or 30 for outdoor funerals.

Caravan and camping holidays, as well as regional travel in general, will also be allowed from Monday.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier described the announcement as a "really positive start to looking at moving forward".

The SA Government plans to ease restrictions on cinemas, theatres, seated dining, galleries, museums and gyms for groups of up to 20 people on June 8.

Western Australia

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has announced a roadmap for the reopening of the state's economy, doubling the number of people allowed at non-work gatherings and removing some regional travel borders.

Up to 20 people will be allowed to gather indoors and outdoors. The rule will apply to pubs, bars, community clubs, hotels and the casino.

Up to 20 people will be permitted to attend weddings and funerals, with the cap lifting to 30 people if the service is held outdoors.

WA's temporary regional borders have been reduced from 13 to four, allowing travel between some regions that were previously closed off.

Travel will be permitted within the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara; the Esperance-Goldfields region; and within the Kimberley.

Restrictions will be removed in the remaining regions — including the South West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Peel — to permit travel between those areas and Perth.

Travel between Perth and the other regions will remain prohibited, and WA's interstate border will remain shut for now.

Mr McGowan said the state's success in fighting the spread of coronavirus meant Western Australia was ready to "take the next step".

The changes will take effect from Monday, May 18.


Premier Peter Gutwein has unveiled Tasmania's three-stage plan to roll back restrictions, which could see students back at school by the end of the month.

From Monday, May 11, the limit on the number of people attending a funeral will increase from 10 to 20, aged care visits will be allowed once a week for a maximum of two visitors and national parks and reserves will be opened up to residents who live within a 30-kilometre distance.

Under the second stage, coming into effect on May 18, public gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed but visits to households will be capped at five people.

Restaurants, cafes, playgrounds, pools and boot camps will be allowed to restart for up to 10 people at a time.

The third stage will come into effect on May 25, and is set to see some students return to classrooms while aged care visits will be allowed daily for a maximum of two visitors.

The Premier said each stage will be subject to public health advice.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory has already entered stage one of its restriction-easing plan, opening parks, pools and playgrounds, and lifting limits on outdoor social activities.

From 12:00pm Friday, stage two activities including dining at restaurants, going to the library and exercising at the gym for less than two hours, will be allowed.

Whether the Territory will end its total border closure is still up in the air.

Australian Capital Territory

From midnight on Friday in the ACT, up to 10 people will be allowed to gather indoors or outdoors.

The changes also allow picnics and family gatherings to go ahead, and boot camps to resume.

Ten people can gather for weddings, but special allowances are being made for funerals with 20 people indoors or 30 outdoors.

Home inspections and auctions will also resume, but will be limited to 10 people.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr warned the easing of restrictions was not a licence to throw house parties.

COVIDsafe App

The COVIDSafe is now available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Safe Work Australia

Safe Work Australia has COVID information across 23 industries so that businesses can return to work in a COVID safe environment. Click here to view the health care advice.  


5th May 2020

Bowen Therapists

As of the 2nd May, Bowen Therapists who work in NSW, WA and QLD have been allowed to reopen their clinics. If you require further information, seek professional advice from the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is operated by the Australian Government. 

3rd May 2020

Small businesses offering beauty and personal care products can now open their doors

The NSW Government has made the decision to allow spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons and tanning salons to open their doors, but only to sell goods and gift vouchers.

Read more here

28th April 2020

NSW Health: COVID-19 - Health services and therapies

Under the the Public Health Act, a health service includes “optical dispensing, dietitian, massage therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, speech therapy, audiology and audiometry service”.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 requires certain premises to close, including spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours or massage parlours. This does not apply to premises offering health services.

People providing health services may include non-registered health practitioners. All non-registered health practitioners must comply with the code of conduct for non-registered health practitioners. The code requires, among other things, that “a health practitioner must adopt standard precautions for the control of infection in his or her practice.”

Health services that continue to operate should implement processes to minimise risk of transmission, including screening clients for symptoms or contact with a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, identifying and excluding unwell staff members, social distancing measures where feasible e.g. waiting rooms, and infection control procedures including access to soap and water or hand sanitising and enhancing environmental cleaning.

The Health Care Complaints Commission can issue a prohibition order against a practitioner who fails to comply with the code and who poses a risk to the public. A prohibition order can prevent the practitioner from practising or place conditions on their practice.​​​​​

To find out more, click here

20th April 2020


Enrolment is now open for the government's $130 billion JobKeeper Payment scheme. Eligible employers will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee. For details on how to enrol - click here

15th April 2020

Therapeutic and Remedial Massage Allowed to Remain Open

While spas and massage parlours providing relaxation massages must cease operating, this is distinct from therapeutic or remedial massage services which are allowed to remain open:

NSW Government

VIC Government

For more information visit your local state government or health department website for more information. 

JobKeeper Payment Update

The Government has passed legislation for the $130 billion JobKeeper Payment to keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the Coronavirus. Discover more here

9th April 2020

Commercial Tenancies

The National Cabinet has agreed that states and territories will implement a mandatory Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies. Click here to read more

Managing Employees During the Crisis

Finding and keeping good employees can be challenging at the best of times. We understand that you don’t want - if possible - to lose them during the pandemic.

To help you understand your options, and to keep your employees’ healthy and safe, please find below some handy legal articles:

Standing Down and Ending Employment

Options for Managing Employees

Employee Health and Safety

7th April 2020

Free TAFE Courses

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAFE NSW, in conjunction with the NSW Government, is offering a number of fee-free short courses that can be completed in just days or weeks, offering practical skills and experiences across a range of industries. Discover more

6th April 2020

Boosting cash flow for employers

Legislation has been enacted to provide temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations that employ staff during the economic downturn associated with COVID-19. This will be done through two sets of cash flow boosts delivered from 28 April 2020 to support employers to retain employees.

The Australian Government will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses, delivered through credits in the activity statement system, when eligible businesses lodge their activity statements.

Grants of up to $10,000 are available

The NSW Government has announced that it will put $750 million into the Small Business Support Fund to provide grants for small and micro businesses impacted by the Coronavirus shutdown.

The funding is particularly targeted at local cafés, restaurants, corner shops, gyms and small accommodation providers and is aimed at helping those businesses keep their doors open and staff employed.

To be eligible, businesses will need to:

  • Have between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000;
  • A payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000;
  • Have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020;
  • Be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020;
  • Use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice;
  • Provide appropriate documentation upon application.

Applications for a small business grant of up to $10,000 will be available through Service NSW within a fortnight and remain open until 1 June 2020. Click here to read more

Registrations now open for apprentice/trainee subsidies

Registrations are open for small businesses, and other eligible employers, to apply for a 50 per cent wage subsidy of their apprentice’s or trainee’s wage from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Click here to discover more

Update on Commercial Tenancies

The National Cabinet has agreed that a mandatory code of conduct, guided by certain principles, will be developed and subsequently legislated by State and Territory Governments to apply for tenancies where the tenant is eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper assistance and is a small- or medium-sized enterprise (less than $50 million turnover).

The principles that guide the code will be:

  • Where it can, rent should continue to be paid, and where there is financial distress as a result of COVID-19 (for example, the tenant is eligible for assistance through the JobKeeper program), tenants and landlords should negotiate a mutually agreed outcome
  • There will be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants
  • There will be a prohibition on termination of leases for non-payment of rent (lockouts and eviction)
  • There will be a freeze on rent increases (except for turnover leases)
  • There will be a prohibition on penalties for tenants who stop trading or reduce opening hours
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords passing land tax to tenants (if not already legislated)
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords charging interest on unpaid rent
  • There will be a prohibition on landlords from making a claim to a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent
  • Ensure that any legislative barriers or administrative hurdles to lease extensions are removed (so that a tenant and landlord could agree a rent waiver in return for a lease extension)

For landlords and tenants that sign up to the code of conduct, States and Territories have agreed to look at providing the equivalent of at least a three month land tax waiver and three month land tax deferral on application for eligible landowners, with jurisdictions to continue to monitor the situation. Landlords must pass on the benefits of such moves to the tenants.

In cases where parties have signed to the code of conduct, the ability for tenants to terminate leases as mentioned in the National Cabinet Statement on 29 March 2020 will not apply.

Mediation will be provided as needed through existing State and Territory mechanisms.

The proposed code of conduct will be discussed at the next meeting of the National Cabinet on Tuesday 7 April.

31st March 2020

New JobKeeper Payment

The Australian Government has announced a new subsidy program, the JobKeeper Payment, designed to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 to access $1500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees.

Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of 6 months. Eligible employees will receive a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of JobKeeper Payments.

Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment.

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

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
  • their 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); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.


Businesses with employees

Initially, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via from 30 March 2020.

Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application.

The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO.

Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.

Businesses without employees

Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via from 30 March 2020.

Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent business activity.

People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.

You can register your interest for JobKeeper NOW. Click here or click on the below button:
Register your Interest in JobKeeper Now

29th March 2020

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.

Evictions will be put on hold for 6 months by State and Territory governments. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements. 

If you are in self-isolation because you are confirmed or suspected to have Coronavirus (COVID-19), or have been in close contact with a confirmed case, use this form to help governments track the spread of the virus.

A safety net package of $1.1 billion has been announced by the Prime Minister to expand mental health and telehealth services, increase domestic violence services and provide more emergency food relief.

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. Restrictions on attendance at weddings, funerals and outdoor fitness classes remain in place. Supermarkets and pharmacies remain open.

New official "Coronavirus Australia” app. To stay informed download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play. Or join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

All travellers returning home from overseas will be quarantined in a hotel or designated facility for 14 days.

You can now check your symptoms online using the Australian Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker tool

The Australian Banking Association have advised that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for 6 months. If you experience financial difficulty the ABA have further info and the appropriate contact details for all member banks here.

25th March 2020

Last night Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced beauty salons (including tanning, waxing and nail services), spas and massage parlours, yoga, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres will need to close from midnight tonight. Hairdressers can remain open, but appointments can take no longer than 30 minutes. 

To read the full list of prohibited activities and venues please click here

If you are having difficulty paying rent or are worried about breaching contractual obligations, you might like to read these articles:

My Retail Business Is Struggling. How Can I Reduce the Rent?

Coronavirus Is Impacting My Contractual Obligations. What Can I Do?

My Supplier Cannot Perform Under Their Contract Due to Coronavirus. What Can I Do?

It also helps to understand your consumer law obligations, and whether your contracts have a force majeure clause.

Consumer Law and Coronavirus: What are my Obligations?

Coronavirus and Contracts: Will a Force Majeure Clause Help?

The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians. This includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.

Refer to the stimulus payments to households to support growth on the Government website - find out if you're eligible.

For stimulus payments to businesses - click here.


24th March 2020

These webpages provide guidance for healthcare workers, staff, healthcare students and volunteers on COVID-19:

NSW Health - Guidelines for healthcare workers who have travelled overseas, had contact with a case, or develop an acute respiratory illness

NSW Health - Guidelines for clinics

NSW Health - Guidelines for community-based and outpatient health services

Queensland Health - Guidelines for Queensland clinicians 

Department of Human Services and Health Victoria - Guidelines for clinicians

SA Health - Health topics

WA Health - Fact sheets and articles

Department of Health Northern Territory - Updates

Tasmanian Health Services - FAQ's Page

Current guidelines include:

Before attendance 

  • Develop a system, prior to attendance (e.g. phone call, SMS), to ask patients whether they’ve been overseas or have had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 while infectious, in the 14 days before the scheduled outpatient appointment.
  • If the patient meets the above criteria:
    • consider alternate of methods of conducting the appointment if appropriate (e.g. telephone or tele-medicine)
    • if it is not possible to conduct the appointment in an alternate way, reschedule their appointment unless it is medically necessary
    • reschedule the appointment for as soon as possible after the 14 day exclusion
    • remind them they are to self-isolate at home for 14 days after they returned or if they have had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 while infectious
    • remind them if they develop respiratory symptoms or fever to call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or call their GP.
  • Note, facilities will need to develop a system to implement the above steps, including appointing an appropriate person to assess whether or not it’s safe to defer the outpatient appointment.

During attendance

  • Consider options to identify patients in the clinic waiting room, e.g.
    • waiting room signage
    • asking patients at reception whether they have been overseas in the last 14 days or have had close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 while infectious, in the previous 14 days
  • For patients who meet the above criteria:
    • ask the patient to wear a surgical mask
    • ask the patient if they have any respiratory symptoms or fever.
  • For patients who meet the above criteria and who report symptoms manage the patient in conjunction with the emergency department as per the clinician guidance.
  • Other guidance: ensure availability of surgical masks and hand hygiene facilities


23rd March 2020

The Australian Government has announced the following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

Current advice on COVID-19 for the health and aged care sector can be found here:

Including information on:

  • Public Health Unit guidelines
  • Temporary COVID-19 telehealth Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items
  • Using personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • When you can and cannot work
  • When you should be tested
  • What employers should do
  • Cleaning in the workplace
  • Food and water
  • Training
  • Support for the aged care workforce
  • Stay informed
  • Resources

Who is most at risk:

In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:

  • recently been in in a high risk country or region (mainland China, Iran, Italy or Korea)
  • been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19

In addition those most at risk of serious infection are:

  • people with compromised immune systems (such as people who have cancer)
  • elderly people
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (as they have higher rates of chronic illness)
  • people with chronic medical conditions
  • people in group residential settings
  • people in detention facilities

If your clients are concerned:

They can call the National Coronavirus Helpline for advice on 1800 020 080.

Helpline for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

From today, the Morrison Government's Business Hotline -13 28 46 - will be expanded to provide specialist advisers and extended hours to support small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operations at the contact centre will increase from five days to seven days per week, and provide an additional two hours a day of support outside standard operating hours for the first month, answering calls from 7.00 am to 11.00 pm AEST.

For more information on the assistance available for businesses please go to: - This site will link you to the latest COVID-19 news, updates, and advice from Australian Government Agencies.

18th March 2020

For a community committed to healing, health, and wellbeing, the last couple of weeks have been difficult for us all. At present, the situation appears to be changing on an hourly basis, and our #1 priority is to keep our team safe and to help our members.

Given this current uncertainty, please find below a statement from our insurance partner, BMS Group. We hope this will answer some of your insurance questions. Please be assured we will continue to monitor the situation very closely and advise of any further changes as they come to light.

If you have questions, please email BMS directly at The BMS team are working around the clock to provide support to customers during this difficult time. If you’re waiting on a reply email, please be patient as they're doing all they can to contact customers as quickly as possible.

If you don't already, we recommend following us on Facebook to stay up-to-date at 

Stay safe friends,


Founder and CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer)



BMS Logo

We want to share with you what we are doing at BMS Australia to protect our people and our clients, including Associations and Members. Please note that measures are in place to ensure service delivery is not impacted. Additionally, we are actively engaging with Insurers to clarify and confirm coverage interpretation to provide members as much information as possible, along with news of any developments.

COVID19 is presenting many businesses with challenges, and understanding their level of insurance coverage is just one consideration. Whilst the situation is evolving at a rapid rate, it is difficult to provide a definitive answer on each business or personal circumstance.

However we can highlight that in most circumstances, Insurers have declared COVID19 as an exclusion.

BMS is working with its strategic partners to conduct further coverage reviews and monitor the development of COVID-19 closely. We will communicate information that may impact you as it comes to light.

Thank you for your ongoing support and please feel free to connect with any member of our team if you have any questions.


BMS Customer Service Team
IICT’s Exclusive Insurance Broker

Ph: 1800 290 981

COVID-19 – What Does This Mean for My Business?

Can I claim loss of income due to COVID 19?

If you have business insurance you should check with your insurer. The BMS business insurance policy does not provide cover for loss of income.

Does my professional indemnity cover me for COVID 19?

We would need to understand the individual circumstances of a claim. If you have a claim you should notify your insurer immediately.

Can I practice Telehealth?

Provided it’s considered within the scope of your individual practice, in most cases you can practice telehealth and, where practicable, this is recommended. If your professional indemnity policy is with BMS there is a jurisdictional limitation within Australia.

What measures should I be taking?

It is important that you follow and keep up to date with all directions and advice issued by state and federal health bodies around hygiene and cleanliness. This can be found here:

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

About the Author:

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard

Lawrence Taylor Ellyard is the CEO and Founder of the IICT with over 25 years experience in the natural health industry. Lawrence has been instrumental in developing the IICT's operations both within the Australia and Internationally.

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