Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on food and health premises

We can all help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.

To protect others you must:

If you have a confirmed case, you must isolate yourself to stop the virus spreading to other people.

Please contact us should you change your email address or mobile number. Your contact details will enable us to provide you with current news via email and/or text. The Public Health Unit are here to assist and can be by phone or email.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for the hospitality, beauty, hairdressing and personal care service industries. These businesses are essential in bringing diversity, quality and a strong sense of community to the City of Hobsons Bay.

Unfortunately, should you close your business for good, please advise the Public Health Unit in writing.

The Public Health Unit continues to closely monitor the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) based on the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the lead Victorian agency dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. Visit the DHHS website.  

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that usually cause respiratory illness. They include viruses that cause the common cold and more serious illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Can the virus be transmitted through food?

Previous experience with outbreaks of illness due to MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and other respiratory viruses (e.g. avian influenza) suggest that novel coronavirus may have been transmitted from animals to humans.

Transmission through food is unlikely and there is no evidence of this occurring with novel coronavirus to date, however investigations into how the virus spreads are continuing.

General food safety advice

Everyone should practise good hygiene when preparing and handling food.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, they include:

  • washing hands between handling raw and cooked foods
  • thorough cooking and proper handling of meat products
  • covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing

Good hygiene and sanitation are important to avoid cross contamination between raw or undercooked foods and cooked or ready to eat foods in the kitchen.

As an added precaution, if you have suspected symptoms of respiratory illness you should avoid preparing food for other people and seek medical attention.

From 16 March 2020 the Public Health Unit will be conducting inspections and site visits by appointments.

View our COVID-19 Food Premises Information Sheet here(PDF, 687KB) .   

More information:

From 9 July 2020, cafes and restaurants may return to take-away and delivery services only. Pubs and clubs are to remain closed, apart from bottle shop and take-away services. 

All venues need to:

  • abide by existing physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metre
  • abide by other safety requirements including extra cleaning
  • staff should not work when unwell

Environmental Health Officers have been conducting inspections throughout the pandemic to ensure compliance with food safety, and public health standards. To assist food businesses to prepare and safely resume operations we have developed a guide(PDF, 664KB) and self-assessment checklist(PDF, 617KB). Please return completed self-assessment checklist to the Public Health Unit to obtain your 'Supporting Business COVID-19 Certificate'. You may wish to display this certificate in your window to inform the community that you have taken necessary measures to protect your staff and the community. Alternatively, you can contact us so that we may assist you through this process. 

Resource material 

Business Victoria

Further information and resources

From 9 July, only hairdressing and barbering services may open.

Venues must:

  • abide by existing physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metre for publicly accessible parts of the premises
  • a distance of 1.5 metre should be maintained between customers
  • venues will be required to take the contact details of each visitor who has attended the premises (staff, patrons, maintenance and delivery workers) to assist with contact tracing should it be required
  • abide by other safety requirements such as increased cleaning and disinfection

Beauty and Personal Care Facility Guidelines for COVID-19 provides information that will assist businesses to prepare to safely resume operations. Complete the Public Health Unit's  self-assessment checklist(PDF, 522KB) , to obtain a 'Supporting Business COVID-19 Certificate'. This certificate may be displayed in shop windows to inform the community of local businesses that are operating in accordance with the guidelines. Alternatively, you can contact us so that we can assist you at a time that is convenient for you.

 Business Victoria:

Further information:

Community members can raise concerns about compliance with directions through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. Whilst workers can raise concerns via Worksafe on 03 9641 1555. 

What are the penalties for noncompliance?

Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for: 

  • refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions
  • refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction
  • refusing or failing to comply with a direction by the Chief Health Officer to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,0000 for businesses are possible through the court system.

Further information