Source: Accountants Daily
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he is hoping to mostly reopen Australia by mid-July, following the announcement of a three-step plan agreed upon by the National Cabinet.
Each stage will be followed by a “cooling off” period which will be used to assess the health risks to Australians and whether or not restrictions need to be re-implemented.
“The next step beyond this will be to build the confidence and momentum that will see our economy get back up and running and get Australians back up on their feet and moving ahead with confidence,” Mr Morrison said.
“And then we can reset our economy for growth in the years ahead in this new environment.
“We know we need to be careful to preserve our gains, but we also know that if we wish to reclaim the ground we have lost, we cannot be too timid.”
The first stage will involve the reopening of cafes, restaurants, community centres and outdoor bootcamps, to be implemented as state and territory leaders see fit.
Accountants Daily took a look at how the states and territories are planning to reopen following the Prime Minister’s announcement.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that Victorians will now be able to host up to five visitors in their homes from 11:59 pm on Tuesday.
Weddings will now be able to have 10 guests and up to 20 people will be able to attend funerals held indoors and up to 30 if they’re outdoors.
Outdoor activities in groups of up to 10 will also be permitted but cafes and restaurants have not been given the green light to open just yet.
“I’m sure others would like us to go further. I’d take you through the obvious example, if you think about cafes and restaurants: my thinking here is that if we wait these three weeks, when we move to open, go beyond just takeaway, for cafes, we might not have to stick with the number of 10,” said Mr Andrews.
I think the feedback from many businesses is that at just 10 patrons, it’s hard to be viable.
“There will be a gradual opening up of the economy, gradual relaxation of these rules, but each step – and particularly the first step – has to be cautious, safe and appropriate to the circumstances and they are different to other states.”
SA Premier Steven Marshall announced that the state would begin to lift some restrictions on businesses from 11 May.
Cafes and restaurants in SA will be allowed to have outdoor dining for up to 10 people provided appropriate social distancing is observed.
Real estate will also see eased restrictions, with auctions and open inspections of up to 10 people to be allowed.
Mr Marshall also announced that restrictions will be lifted on camping and people travelling in caravans in a bid to encourage South Australians to head to regional areas to boost the local economy.
Further restriction easing will be considered at a later date, he said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said Queensland is planning to start easing restrictions from 16 May.
Restrictions will be lifted on restaurants, pubs and clubs to allow up to 10 patrons, with similar plans for public pools and libraries.
According to a roadmap released by Ms Palaszczuk, metropolitan Queensland will also see restrictions eased on retail shopping, open homes and auctions, and beauty therapy and nail salons.
The roadmap said “outback” Queensland will be allowed to dine in at restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels with a maximum of 20 people, which applies to locals only.
Ms Palaszczuk said she is hoping to reopen Queensland to interstate travel to restart the local economy by June.
The ACT has moved to quickly ease restrictions, with Chief Minister Andrew Barr announcing on Friday that restrictions were to be eased before the weekend.
While restaurants and cafes have been said to remain closed for now, Mr Barr said on Friday that open houses and auctions can resume with a maximum of 10 people.
Bootcamps were allowed to run outside, provided social distancing was maintained and people did not share equipment.
Restrictions were also eased to allow up to 10 people to attend a wedding, 20 people to attend an indoor funeral, and 30 for an outdoor funeral.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein announced on Friday that Tasmania would see stage one of the federal government’s plan implemented in increments.
From 11 May, Tasmanians will see restrictions eased around funerals, aged care visits, and some tertiary students will be allowed to return to campus.
More restrictions are set to be eased from 18 May, including restaurants and cafes being allowed to seat 10 people at a time with appropriate social distancing.
“This is a sector of the economy that has been hit the hardest,” Mr Gutwein said.
“The visible economy, especially and in terms of our pubs, clubs and many of the venues we have around the state, they were closed first and that has impacted on many businesses and employers and staff.”
Community and local government facilities and libraries will be allowed to open for up to 10 people, with outdoor parks, exercise equipment and bootcamps included.
Up to 30 people will be allowed to attend auctions, weddings and funerals provided they are held outside.
The Northern Territory had already announced a plan to ease restrictions, with the first stage of the “new normal” plan commencing from 1 May.
Stage one saw people in the Northern Territory allowed to conduct or attend open house inspections or auctions, and shop at outdoor markets.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the Northern Territory will continue with its plan, with stage two of its roadmap is set to commence from Friday 15 May.
People will be able to attend shopping centre food courts, restaurants, cafes and bars as long as they purchase food.
Beauty therapy salons for non-facial services such as nails, massage and tanning will also be reopened, along with fitness studios and gyms.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Sunday that, while the state was planning to ease some restrictions, it would not be follow all of the National Cabinet’s suggestions.
Cafes and restaurants will be allowed to have up to 10 people dining in under the relaxed restrictions from Friday 15 May.
Similar to other states, weddings will be allowed to host 10 guests, while indoor funerals can see 20 people attend with up to 30 allowed for outdoor funerals.
NSW will not, however, be permitting regional travel as Ms Berejiklian has said it is too soon to relax too many restrictions.
“My firm position during the crisis has been to follow the health advice and do what’s best for New South Wales,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 rates, especially community transmissions, to guide us towards easing further restrictions.”
Western Australia started easing restrictions towards the end of April, allowing indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings of up to 10 people at weddings, funerals, outdoor personal training bootcamps, and open houses and display village inspections.
Under the National Cabinet’s proposed plans, WA Premier Mark McGowan announced on Sunday that the state would start reopening its economy from 18 May.
Restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and community clubs will be allowed to seat up to 20 patients provided they adhere to social distancing rules.
Indoor and outdoor fitness classes of up to 20 people will also be allowed provided there is minimal sharing of equipment and people adhere to social distancing rules.
Mr McGowan also announced, however, that any business which reopened from 18 May would need to complete an official COVID-19 safety plan.
He said the details of the COVID-19 safety plan were going to be announced later.
The above information is current as of the time of publication.
Highly recommended. Mert is personable and trustworthy, experienced with entrepreneurs.
I’ve decided to make Nobel Thomas my regular accountant as I am now setting up a trust for my business. I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a quality inner city accountant.
The team at Nobel Thomas offer consistent and timely advice for both my personal and business accounting needs. Could not recommend them more highly!
I have been with Mert and the team at Nobel Thomas for a few years now and have never been anything less than impressed with their prompt and high quality service and professionalism.