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

Covid Safe Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Stage 4 Restrictions

From 11:59pm on 5 August 2020, the following types of food businesses are permitted to operate:

  • restaurants, cafes, pubs, taverns and bars (take away and delivery services only)
  • supermarkets and grocery stores, including all food and liquor stores
  • food and beverage product manufacturing
  • grocery wholesalers
  • food services such as roadhouses
  • emergency food services such as Foodbank, meals-on-wheels or any emergency food relief
  • outdoor food markets

Workplaces must have a Covid Safe Plan. However, workplaces with fewer than 5 workers on site are exempt.  

Environmental Health Officers have been conducting inspections throughout the pandemic to ensure compliance with food safety, and public health standards.

Business Victoria

Further information and resources

Stage 4 Restrictions

From 11:59pm 5 August 2020, all hairdressers, beauty and personal care service businesses are not permitted to operate. 

According to the current roadmap, hairdressers, beauty and personal care service businesses will be permitted to operate on 26 October 2020 (the third stage). 

Treatments where the customer cannot wear a mask for the full duration of the treatment will not be allowed at this stage. This includes treatments such as facials. 

Further information:

Permitted work premises under stage 4 restrictions

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.

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 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