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What does Step 3 of eased restrictions mean for your business?

4-minute read

If you’re a business owner, learn how to get your workplace ready to return to work as Step 3 COVID-19 restrictions begin to take effect from July in some states.

Key take-outs
  • Create a COVIDSafe plan and share it with your employees
  • Remind your staff to stay home and to get tested if they feel unwell
  • Every state and territory has its own interpretation of the guidelines so make you understand how they apply to you

With most states and territories moving into the next phase of eased restrictions from July, the nation is on track to move forward with the final step in the government's 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia. This means even more people are about to return to work. That’s why your business should have a plan in place. From making your premises ‘COVIDSafe’ to managing cash flow, we take a look at what this new phase means for your business.

What does Step 3 of eased restrictions entail?

Overall, Step 3 means:


  • Staying 1.5m apart at gatherings.
  • Adhering to the four square metres per person rule, although a two square metre rule may apply to smaller venues and in some states.
  • Avoiding public transport at peak hour.
  • Implementing a COVIDSafe plan for your workplace.
  • Returning your employees to work.


Designed to help communities and businesses return to work safely, if possible, with minimal restrictions, the particulars of Step 3 can vary in each state and territory. You can learn more about the individual public health guidelines for each jurisdiction below:


Getting your workplace ready for Step 3 of eased restrictions

Creating a COVIDSafe Plan within your state or territory's guidelines and sharing it with your employees is an essential first step, whether you're preparing for your staff to return to work at the office or getting a hospitality venue or retail store ready to welcome more customers. Safe Work Australia has compiled WHS safety guidelines for more than 30 industries covering legal requirements, cleaning and hygiene protocols, physical distancing and how you can prepare in the event an employee or customer contracts the virus. They also provide a COVID-19 resource kit with signage, checklists, posters and infographics for the workplace.


Other things to remember:


  • Log staff and customer contact information, especially if your business hosts weddings or funerals, for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • Remind staff to stay home and get tested if they show any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Encourage staff and customers to download the COVIDSafe app.

Get your finances in order

One of the most important things you can do to keep your business afloat during a challenging economy is to keep a close eye on your cash flow. Try talking to your accountant about what you can do to streamline your financial operations.


Government assistance for eligible business owners is available until September 2020. The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers Scheme provides temporary cash flow support for eligible businesses and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations with employees for payments between $20,000 and $100,000. 


The JobKeeper payment program can help cover wages if you're unable to bring your entire workforce back to work just yet. The program pays eligible businesses $1,500 per fortnight per employee. The instant asset write-off threshold has been expanded to include purchases of up to $150,000 for businesses with aggregated turnover of less than $500 million. It’s also been extended to include eligible purchases made between 12 March 2020 and 31 December 2020.


Many financial institutions have also introduced financial relief measures to help your business through COVID-19


Things may continue to feel different for a little while longer but with some careful planning there are steps you can take to help get your business back on track sooner rather than later. 

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Things you should know

This article is a general overview and should be used as a guide only. We recommend that you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before acting.