AUSTRALIA — Strict social distancing measures will have to be implemented at public transport, pubs, cinemas and local sporting ovals before they can re-open once Australia begins to ease its coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Pub owners are discussing a set of rules to lessen social contact including bans on communal items like buzzers, water jugs and plastic laminated menus.
A leading tourist board has also warned hotel buffets will not be open for service, with guests turning to in-room dining during the first phase of restriction easing.
Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson told the Sunday Telegraph said that he thinks there will be a lot more in-room dining. “People won’t be as keen to eat in the restaurant,”
It comes as the federal government, health experts and state leaders work on plans to restart sport and get Australians back to work ahead of a review of coronavirus restrictions on May 11. With a vaccine yet to be developed, the Australian Hotels Association said a ‘new world order’ should be expected when pubs open their doors again.
‘’They are thinking about anything that people touch like water jars at the end of the bar, those laminated menus, the buzzer,’’ the association’s NSW chief executive officer John Whelan said.
‘Live music is a real difficult one. Possibly seated. A lot of hotels are giving real consideration to everything. They all accept social distancing is here to stay for a while.’
Australian National University microbiologist Peter Collignon last week told Daily Mail Australia that hotels and pubs may not return to normal until September.
Sign-in and sign-out procedures to maintain contact tracing and a 50 per cent capacity limit at venues are among those measures being discussed by hospitality industry leaders.
The implementation of a staggered return to work could also reduce the risk of transmission on buses, provided that there will be a ban on standing and preventing passengers from sitting next to each other. Temperature checks of customers and staff may also become the norm in cinemas and league clubs.
The 20-point checklist features a chequerboard-based seating plan in the chain’s theatres and online payment being the only way to buy a ticket.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today after a national cabinet meeting that they’re working on plans to restart sport and get Australians back to work, he also added that health experts will release guidance on how to make professional and community sport safe.
‘Community sport is such an important part of our way of life here in Australia, and these principles can help guide decisions by states and territories in the future,’ he said.
The NRL has already announced plans to resume the season on 28 May, although the exact arrangements are yet to be announced. Morrison said experts will also release principles that businesses can follow make workplaces safe to return to.
The guidance will advise what workers should do if one of their colleagues gets coronavirus.
‘We also agreed National COVID-19 safe workplace principles. This is all about getting Australians back to work,’ the prime minister said.
Morrison also warned aged care homes to stop preventing residents from seeing family.
Aged care homes may have to seek a special exemption if they want to ban visitors or confine residents to their rooms, he said.
The Prime Minister said if facilities that had gone beyond baseline coronavirus requirements did not return to that level and allow each resident two visitors a day, his government would make it mandatory.
Morrison said nursing homes would have to argue why they had a ‘very real and serious medical reason’ to need a tighter lockdown.
Finally, he said Parliament will sit on 12, 13 and 14 May to pass ‘a couple’ bills relating to coronavirus.