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Guidelines for libraries, galleries, community organisations and places of religious worship - stage 3

From noon 5 June 2020 businesses such as art galleries or libraries, community organisations and places of religious worship can operate

However, the Chief Health Officer (the CHO) has placed requirements on the reopening or resuming of businesses and organisations.

These requirements are specified in CHO Directions No 36  PDF (204.3 KB)– Directions for Safety Measures at Reopened Places, Businesses, Activities, Services and Premises (the Directions).

Download guidelines for for libraries, galleries, community organisations and places of religious worship PDF (195.5 KB)

CHO Directions and mandatory requirements

Under the Directions, a business must:

  • complete and submit to the Department of Health a COVID-19 safety plan checklist before reopening or resuming
  • make available/provide hand sanitiser to customers unless handwashing facilities are available
  • Display signage stating that a person should consider the following:
    • keeping 1.5m away from a person who is not a member of the person’s family, a friend or an acquaintance (a person not known to them);if it isn’t possible to keep 1.5m away from a person not known to them - keeping close contact to less than 15 minutes
      o practising hand hygiene by washing hands or using hand sanitiser
      o   staying home if feeling unwell
      o downloading the COVIDSafe app.

The signs must be displayed in an area or areas that is open to the public and accessible to employees.

A business or organisation that has already submitted a COVID-19 safety plan checklist prior to 5 June 2020, does not need to submit another checklist.

The CHO’s directions are laws and it is an offence to contravene a direction of the CHO.

It is important that you keep informed about the Directions of the Chief Health Officer and any requirements which relate to the types of service that you may deliver.

How coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread

Currently, there is no evidence of food-borne transmission being a significant pathway.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand provides further advice in relation to this matter.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread from person-to-person through close contact and droplets including:

  • direct contact with infected people
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching contaminated objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables), and then touching your mouth or face.

The best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect your business is through maintaining good hygiene practices and following physical distancing principles.

Protect yourself and others

Before reopening, you should review all aspects of the business that may increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This will allow you to apply practical measures to reduce risk of infection between staff, volunteers or to the general public.

Hygiene practices

The manager of a business should provide training to staff on hygiene practices and any procedural changes that have been implemented to avoid spread of the virus.

Staff, volunteers and participants should:

  • wash your hands frequently when preparing foods, after going to the bathroom, after handling money and after touching your face or hair
  • avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
  • avoid touching areas that have been in direct contact with a customer
  • any staff member with a suspected communicable disease (such as coughing, sneezing, flu-like symptoms) should be excluded from the workplace.

Staff information

Staff members should not attend work if they are unwell. Managers should advise staff members to go home if the staff member is unwell.

Customers/attendees/staff with symptoms such as sore throat, runny or blocked nose, coughing or sneezing should be advised not to attend activities or religious services.
For religious services, consideration should be given to minimising any risks associated with religious rituals such as the sharing of drinking vessels, shaking of hands during the sign of peace etc.

Refer to SafeWork Australia for further information on keeping your workplace safe during COVID-19.

Wearing gloves

Washing hands regularly or using hand sanitiser will offer more protection against coronavirus (COVID-19) than wearing gloves.

If you are feeling well, there is currently no need to wear gloves, other than as part of the businesses normal food safety practices (such as handling ready to eat foods).

It is important to change gloves regularly between activities and wash hands thoroughly between glove changing to prevent contamination from used gloves onto the fresh gloves.

Wearing masks

If you are feeling well, there is currently no need to wear a protective mask. People should practise good hygiene and physical distancing in their workplace. For more information: go to Department of Health

Physical distancing

A  business or organisation should:

  • During activities or religious services – arrange participants from different groups to be 1.5 metres apart from another group.
  • Prevent participants from crowding together at the beginning or at the end of activities or religious services.
  • Arrange seating so participants of different groups are not seated face-to-face.
  • Manage the entry and exit points of the business so that participants are not queuing at these points.
  • Display, at the entrance to the business, the number of participants that may be inside the business in order to maintain physical distancing.
  • Place signage around the business to remind staff, volunteers and participants to maintain hygiene practices and to go home if feeling unwell.
  • Place signage around the business to discourage participants crowding together in any one area of the business.
  • Encourage participants to remain 1.5 metres apart when moving through the business.
  • Encourage customers to minimise time spent in close contact with a particular focus on minimising face-to-face contact. Face-to-face contact with people not from your group should be 15 minutes or less.
  • A minimum distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained at all times between you and any other people who are not part of your close circle of household or family contacts.
    This means you should not come closer than 1.5m (for more than 15 minutes) to other people such as workmates or those who you may encounter in any place outside of your home, other than those who you are already regularly, and necessarily in contact with to perform your work duties, such as a work partner with whom you travel regularly in a vehicle.
    Physical distancing remains one of the most important measures that we all can take to suppress and control the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Refer to SafeWork Australia for more information on physical distancing.

Cleaning and disinfecting

During the pandemic, extra cleaning should be carried out throughout the business.

You should keep your place of business clean and sanitised by taking the following measures:

  • Maintain thorough cleaning and sanitising of facilities, equipment, and transport vehicles
  • Clean shared surfaces more frequently, at least twice a day. This could include door handles, bathrooms, service counters, handrails, armrests, equipment and EFTPOS keypads.
  • If you think a surface may be contaminated, clean it with a common household disinfectant to kill the virus.
  • Increase cleaning regimes for all other areas within the food business. Follow the Australian Government cleaning advice for your cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

Cleaning products

Use a chlorine-based or similar disinfectant which the manufacturer claims can kill viruses.

Household bleach is one product which is suitable, and comes in varying strengths.

Bleach solutions should be made fresh daily as they become less effective over time.

The recommended concentration of available chlorine for routine disinfection of cleaned surfaces is 1000ppm.

Physical barriers

In certain situations, a physical barrier such as widening the counter can be used to help maintain physical distance between people.

Opaque or clear screen dividers of a suitable material that can be easily cleaned and disinfected can be used to create separation between people.

These barriers should be appropriately designed and installed and be of a size that creates protection for the person, especially around the face area.

Rubbish disposal

The risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) when handling waste is low.

Normal collection of waste for households, retail and other businesses continues.

When managing waste, the following hygiene practices should be followed:

  • disposable gloves, masks, and other items should be placed in rubbish bag before disposing of them with other domestic waste
  • hands should be washed with soap and running water or rubbed with an alcohol based solution immediately after handling these items.


Promote cashless payments. However, if cash is exchanged, hands should be washed with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser after handling money.


It is important to communicate your coronvirus (COVID-19) safety steps with patrons.

Provide updates on social media or via emails and provide signage and information at venues.

Encourage all your staff, volunteers and patrons to follow these guidelines in their daily life to keep our community safe.


Complete online checklist

More information

Contact Environmental Health COVID-19 Compliance on 1800 095 646.

Get COVID-19 information for workplaces on the Safe Work Australia website.-->