It can be confusing to understand the full nature of the restrictions we are all facing. Further details regarding the Stage five restrictions are available via: Activity restriction levels | SA.GOV.AU: COVID-19.
As per the SA Government’s current message, the state is currently facing an extraordinary challenge with the COVID Delta variant, and as such, they are acting quickly and decisively to slow and stop the spread. And they need the cooperation of all South Australians in this to avoid an extended lockdown. As communicated, these measures were not taken lightly, and will not remain in place any longer than necessary.
For many businesses, this means that the activities that were allowed until now under your COVID-Safe Plan will be prohibited for the next seven days, and only essential businesses are allowed to operate at this time staffed by authorised workers. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact our office and we can provide you with a letter template to provide to employees (Work Access Letter — Essential Worker). Should you require further information regarding definitions of Essential Workers, it is available in ‘Public-Activities-Level-5-Essential-Workers-List‘, which we can provide upon your request. Other businesses not classified as Essential Workers will be ordered to have staff work from home, or close for the duration of the lockdown.
Other information we can help you with is available upon request, including information on:
- COVID19 Employee Entitlements
- Options for businesses during downturns in work due to coronavirus
- Stand Down Information
- Stand Down Letter
Please note that the information provided is generic in nature, however we have partnered with Paulette and her team at Bespoke HR who would happily be available to provide you with information more specific to your business/industry. Paulette can be contacted on 0412 393 068, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For essential businesses still operating, please be aware the below advice supersedes the information in your COVID-Safe Plan (whether you have a mandatory or voluntary plan) until further notice:
- Density requirement — 1 person per 4 square metres must be used to calculate maximum capacity
- Masks — masks must be worn in public places
- Physical distancing — persons present should be separated at a reasonable distance from each other
- QR codes — an approved contact tracing system must be used to capture the relevant contact details of persons entering the place
- COVID Marshals — existing requirements continue to apply
Under this current ‘Stay at Home’ direction there are only 5 reasons to leave your home during the lockdown:
- Care and compassion reasons
- Essential work
- Purchase of essential goods
- Medical reasons including COVID testing and vaccination
- Exercise but limited to people from same household
Income Support Payment
In addition, it has been announced that individuals affected by Lockdowns in SA may be eligible to claim income support payments of up to $600 per week. Individuals may be eligible for the payment if they have lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work for a payment of $375, and for 20 or more hours of work for a payment of $600 during the period of the lockdown. There will be no liquid assets test applied to eligibility for these payments, and they will be paid directly to the taxpayer from the Government and are on an opt in basis. The Government will automatically pay this weekly for the period of the lock down if lock down is extended for more than 2 weeks.
Further information is available at https://www.pm.gov.au/media/commonwealth-income-support-way-sa-hotspots. Anyone affected can apply through their myGov from Wednesday, 28 July. More information about this payment and how to claim, will be available on the Services Australia website soon at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19disasterpayment
To get ready, South Australians should set up their myGovaccounts so they can claim quickly and easily online.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
Anyone who is required to self-isolate by South Australian health directions is also eligible for payments of $1,500 to support them to replace lost income. You can get more information on this payment at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/pandemic-leave-disaster-payment
Emergency Payment Scheme
A 100 million dollar emergency payment scheme has been announced by the State Treasurer, designed to provide relief to more than 50 thousand small and medium sized businesses. This is in the form of a $3,000 emergency cash grant, or $1,000 for non-employing businesses, if annual turnover is above $75,000 and payroll is under $10m whose turnover is reduced by at least 30% over the seven days from 20th July 2021 because of the lockdown. This is combined with income support for staff announced by the Commonwealth Government which is likely to extend to micro businesses with under $75,000 annual turnover. More information is available at https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/cash-grants-lifeline-for-sa-small-businesses-and-income-support-payments-for-regional-workers
For further information and resources
Visit the following websites for more information.
You can find the latest COVID-19 Emergency Management Directions by visiting www.sa.gov.au/covid-19.
www.covid-19.sa.gov.au for the latest official health advice, news and information on current COVID-19 restrictions, support packages and the State’s Roadmap to Recovery.
www.openyourworld.sa.gov.au for advice and resources on how to promote wellbeing.
You can also call the dedicated SA information line on 1800 253 787.
Please take care and do not hesitate to contact us should you need, as we are always here and happy to help.