March 25, 2020
Following on from the National Cabinet meeting last night (24/03), the Prime Minister has made further announcements regarding social distancing measures to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
The announcement was extensive and listed several additional activities and venues that are now prohibited. A complete list of these can be found here.
Although not acknowledged directly in the Prime Minister’s announcement, in the formal advice that has been received overnight, reference has been made to the provision of caravan parks. The following statement has been made:
The prohibition of “Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses (excluding permanent residents and workers in these premises) will be a decision for each state and territory”
In addition, “Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so.”
Our interpretation of these amendments in that the government is moving towards limiting short term visitors and leisure travellers from using caravan parks and campgrounds. However, the government acknowledges the essential service they provide to permanent residents, workers and transit population as they move towards their primary residence.
As the decision regarding the status of caravan parks rests with State Governments, we are working closely with member State Associations to provide further clarity, with announcements expected throughout the day as the State Governments provide further information.
Regarding the operation of offices, factories and dealerships. The Prime Minister was clear that if businesses are not specifically excluded in current lists, they remain essential business and therefore, should remain open at the decision of the business owner/s. However, the Prime Minister did state that if employees were able to work from home, this should now be enacted. For those employees are that are required to remain on premise, social distance measures must be enforced.
It is evident that the urgency in halting the spread of Coronavirus has intensified and as an industry, we must play our role in supporting the government’s announcements. We implore each business to strictly adhere to the advice of Federal and State governments through limiting non essential travel of your employees as well as your customers. The actions we all take now can help minimise the impacts of Coronavirus and improve the chances for us to get back to work sooner rather than later.
In regard to the National Association, we are also following the health advice closely, and have working from home provisions in place to enable all operations to continue as normally as possible in what are abnormal times.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the National Association or your State Association if you have queries or if we can be of assistance in any way, even if it is just for a chat. Also, make sure to keep up to date on our industry COVID-19 resource page: https://www.caravanindustry.com.au/coronavirus-covid-19-information