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

COVID Safe Plan for all open workplaces

Workplaces that are open are required by law to have a Covid Safe Plan. Workplaces with less than 5 employees onsite are exempt from having a Covid Safe Plan.  

Your Covid Safe Plan must describe:

  • how your workplace will prevent the introduction and spread of Covid-19
  • what level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) staff are required to wear
  • how you will respond to a confirmed case of Covid-19 in your workplace
  • how you will meet the requirements under stage 4 restrictions set out by the Victorian Government

High-risk Covid Safe Plan

Some types of industries require a High-risk Covid Safe Plan.

The only food businesses registered with Council that will require the high-risk plan are warehousing and distribution centres and supermarket and distribution businesses. 

More information about High-risk Covid Safe Plans can be found at Business Victoria High-risk Covid Safe Plan.

How do I create a Covid Safe Plan?

Business Victoria has created a template to allow workplaces to tailor their own plan.

Create a Covid Safe Plan


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

To protect others you must:

  • practise good hygiene 
  • practise social distancing
  • follow the limits for public gatherings
  • understand how to self-isolate if you need to

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

For further information on how to protect yourself and others visit the Department of Health website.


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.

More information:

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 contacted by phone on 9932 1504 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.

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