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CoronaviruS (COVID-19) Information for BUSINESSES

The ARA is monitoring information from government, health agencies

and retailers to provide our retail members with updates as

the developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation unfolds.

State and local governments are continuing to release their next stage plans to aid in the economic recovery and ensure safe work practices. Here is an updated summary of plans announced

from around the country.


VIC | NSW | QLD | WA | SA | TAS | NT | ACT


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on Australian retail, we have revised our Best Practice Guidelines for ARA members to bring the information into line with current business needs and health and safety protocols.

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1) Max occupancy instore poster

2) General social distancing poster

3) Health.gov.au campaign resources


 Are you a COVID-Safe Retailer?

COVID-19 will continue to be an ongoing concern for retailers for some time. The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission’s My Business COVIDSafe Plan is a guide to help employers plan through each stage of the pandemic. Each state and territory has issued its own requirements based around the national plan, which can be found below:

VIC | NSW | QLD | WA | SA | TAS | NT | ACT


COVID-19 could be with us for some time, so it’s important that businesses have a plan to keep their workforce safe and virus free. Businesses need to develop safe work practices and consider how they can reconfigure their operations to adapt to ongoing restrictions.

We urge all retailers to develop arrangements which will enable them to resume business operations as quickly as possible when the opportunity arises including:

1. Comprehensive plans to prepare so employees and customers know what to expect both in undertaking daily business but also in the event of a COVID-19 related incident or outbreak;


2. Workplace and business models to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which incorporate measures such as physical distancing or barriers and hygiene as appropriate depending on the nature of the business and workplace operations;


3. Plans to respond in the event of an incident involving an infected employee or customer including testing and isolation measures (as well as support for and information flow to employees and their families);

4. Plans and protocols to recover after incidents including cleaning and testing the workplace.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Information Line: 1800 020 080


Australian Government Business Hotline - 13 28 46



Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

Assistance for severely affected regions and sectors

Supporting Apprentice and Trainees


For more information about these packages visit the relevant websites below:


Australian Government  | Australian Tax Office  



WH&S Guide for retailers - Coronavirus (COVID-19) AND the workplace


​Health and safety laws in Australia place a duty of care on retailers as employers/PCBUs to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace.  This includes identifying risks to health or safety associated with potential exposure to the coronavirus.

Identify the risk associated with Coronavirus


  • Monitor expert advice as the coronavirus situation develops (national and local public health authority)

  • Consult with workers regarding potential exposure and the associated risks

  • Consider whether work activities put workers and other people at risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19)

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important documents

Controlling risks to health

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​Safe Systems of Work

  1. Develop or review infection control policy

    • standard precautions

    • interaction with other people

    • hand hygiene

    • personal protective equipment

    • management of workers with symptomatic illness 

    • additional controls

  2. Develop or review a travel policy

    • travel risk assessment

    • travel authorization process

    • monitor the latest travel advice on the Smartraveller website

    • restrictions and limits on business travel

  3. Develop or review fitness for work policy

  4. Develop or review plans for conferences, events and meetings 

  5. Develop or review plans for working remotely and consider health and safety risks and processes

  6. Develop or review systems for communication with workers

  7. Develop or review bullying, discrimination and occupational policies

  8. Develop or review the emergency response plan

Provision of adequate facilities for the welfare of workers

  1. Provide adequate facilities or products, and instructions to allow workers to maintain good hygiene practices.  Facilities and products may include:

    • washbasins

    • soap

    • hand sanitiser

    • tissues

    • closed bins

    • cleaning products

    • personal protective equipment

  2. Provision for adequate facilities and products for visitors and customers who enter the workplace.  This may include:

    • Information about hygiene and preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

    • Hand sanitiser, tissues and closed bins

    • Alcohol wipes for items such as trolleys

  3.  Read on the Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19

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​Provision of information, instruction and training

  1. Provide information and brief all workers, including contract staff - domestic and cleaning staff where applicable, on relevant information and procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus

  2. Inform workers who meet the following criteria that they should remain isolated in their home:

    • left, or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days from leaving mainland China) 

    • left, or transited through Iran on or after 1 March, they must isolate themselves until 14 days after leaving Iran 

    • been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case).

  3. Communicate to workers that if they think they may be at risk of infection of coronavirus:

    • the worker should raise this with their manager immediately.

    • the employer may ask the worker to seek medical clearance or work from home during the risk period.

    • If workers are not fit for work due to contracting coronavirus, they should follow the medical advice to remain isolated for 14 days.

  4. Communicate to workers if they have fever, cough, difficulty breathing, to seek early medical care

  5. Educate and keep workers up to date on new information

  6. Provide adequate information and training to managers about the implications of COVID-19 and the company policies and procedures to prevent the spread of infection

  7. Provide information concerning health and safety to workers, including (where appropriate) in languages other than English

Monitoring the health of workers and conditions of the workplace

  1. Regular consultation with workers on the risks associated with exposure to coronavirus

  2. Monitor conditions of the workplace and review risk control measures


Ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of workers who may be concerned about coronavirus.

  1. Coronavirus Health Information Line (seeking information on novel coronavirus. Phone: 1800 020 080

  2. Healthdirect Hotline (to speak to a registered nurse about health concerns): Phone 1800 022 222

  3. Employee Assistance Program (if available through the company)

  4. Head to Health website for mental health online and phone support, resources and treatment options.  Website: https://headtohealth.gov.au/

  5. World Health Organisation (WHO) online training www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/training/online-training

  6. WorkSafe Victoria is working as part of a whole-of-government approach to mitigate the risk of Coronavirus in Victoria. Here is the safety alert and guidance on preparing for pandemics, which includes information on managing the direct risks of infection  from WorkSafe

  7. Contact your bank for financial hardship assistance

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The ARA has welcomed the establishment of a mandatory retail leasing code of conduct by the Morrison government, which provides major relief to small and medium-sized retailers suffering due to the impact of Coronavirus.

The Code, enforceable through state and territory legislation, imposes a set of good faith leasing principles for application to commercial tenancies, where the tenant is eligible for the JobKeeper program. Rent reductions for eligible tenants, in the form of rent waivers and deferrals, should be based on the reduction in the tenant’s trade during the COVID-19 pandemic period and a subsequent reasonable recovery period.

Retailers should familiarise themselves with the principles and contact their landlords to negotiate a suitable agreement if they are yet to do so.

ARA's leasing partner, Lease1, is offering a support package that includes important information, including worksheet templates, zoom Q&A sessions, and recovery webinars, to help you through the pandemic.


Retailers can find out more about the leasing support package here.

Do you have questions about COVID-19 affecting your business?

Phone 1300 368 041  or submit a query here