Following the announcement on March 18 by the Prime Minister, Chief Medical Officer and the Federal Health Department, we would like to provide further clarity regarding their advice and how this impacts the caravan and camping industry.
Today, the following announcements were made:
- The banning of non-essential gatherings of 100 people or more indoors.
- The raising to level 4 travel warning on all international travel to ‘do not travel’.
- The banning of non-essential and static gatherings of 500 people or more outdoors.
In addition, we also received written confirmation from the Prime Minister’s office indicating that “National Cabinet agreed that all Australians should only consider travelling when it is essential.”
These announcements have led to confusion regarding what is classified as ‘essential’ travel and how this applies to caravan parks.
We are in communication with the Health Department, Prime Minister’s office and the Minister for Tourism to seek clarification around the following points:
- A caravan park is considered ‘essential’ (consistent with hotels, motels or other accommodation services);
- The 500-person limit on mass gatherings therefore does not apply for “campers” and “caravans”;
- The indoor 100-person limit could apply to a caravan park e.g. on-site restaurant, but they could remain open subject to a maximum limit applying and social distancing taking place;
- That domestic travel is still encouraged (even for holiday purposes) subject to common sense and good hygiene practices.
- A person could self-isolate in a cabin (with ensuite facilities).
- A person could self-isolate in a campervan or caravan (subject to having on-board bathroom and kitchen facilities) practising.
- A person cannot self-isolate in any accommodation which relies upon shared bathroom or cooking facilities (and further that a caravan park can refuse entry relying on Section 86 of the Equal Opportunity Act to reasonably protect the health and safety of any person (including any person discriminated against) or of the public generally)
We expect responses to these queries in the following days and will provide to member State Associations and to industry as they come to hand.
It is important to note that the Prime Minister was very firm in the announcement that factories and offices are considered essential services and should therefore, remain operational. Business operators should ensure social distancing measures are enforced and policies are in place regarding staff who may have symptoms and the need for self-isolation.
In addition, all businesses are encouraged to form a remote working action plan. We appreciate the situation that not all staff are able to work from home and as such, we are currently advocating government regarding the need to provide clarity around how a stimulus package will support our industry’s business and staff who are unable to work from home.
We will endeavour to provide a further update as soon as the information is made available from the government.