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Guidelines for gaming, amusement and entertainment businesses - stage 3

In response to the changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Northern Territory Government has implemented a staged lifting of restrictions.

From noon on 5 June 2020, gaming, amusement and entertainment businesses will be able to reopen. However, the Chief Health Officer (the CHO) has placed requirements on the reopening or resuming of businesses.

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 gaming amusement entertainment PDF (180.0 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 is COVID-19 spread?

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 coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

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

The following coronavirus (COVID-19) physical distancing and hygiene principles should be complied with where possible:

  • maintain physical distancing practices (1.5 metre separation between people)
  • increased focus on handwashing
  • maintain thorough cleaning and disinfection of facilities and equipment.

Strictly monitor the health and hygiene practices of staff and guests.

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 the spread of the virus.

Staff members should:

  • wash their hands frequently after going to the bathroom, after handling money, before and after eating and after touching their face or hair
  • avoid touching their eyes, mouth and nose
  • use a hand sanitiser on commencing and at the end of their shift, or wash hands with soap and water
  • avoid touching areas that have been in direct contact with a guest.

Guests should be advised to:

  • use hand sanitiser or wash their hands when entering a venue
  • regularly wash their hands or use hand sanitiser throughout their visit especially when moving to a different gaming/ amusement station.

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.

Guests with symptoms such as sore throat, runny or blocked nose, coughing or sneezing should be advised not to venues. This may be through signage placed at the entrance to the venue. 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 business's normal safety practices (such as handling ready to eat foods or cash).

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

Businesses need to manage the number of guests within their venue to allow sufficient space for 1.5 metres physical distancing. Businesses should:

  • provide bright coloured markings on the floor 1.5m apart to show people where they should stand when queuing
  • ensure seating arrangements allow for 1.5 metre between groups and between rows of seats
  • arrange placement of guests so that customers are not seated face to face
  • manage the entry and exit points of the business so that customers are not queuing at these points
  • display, at the entrance to the business, the number of guests that may be inside the business in order to maintain physical distancing
  • place signage around the business to remind staff and guests to maintain hygiene practices and to go home if the staff member or guest is feeling unwell
  • place signage around the business to discourage guests crowding together in any one area of the business
  • encourage guests to remain 1.5 metre 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 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.

Physical barriers

If you are unable to maintain 1.5m between guests, you may use screens as a protective device.

This may be particularly useful where guests are seated in close proximity to one another for extended periods such as when using gaming machines.

The screens should be able to be easily cleaned and disinfected. They should extend above head height and be long enough to provide protection in the event of guest movement.

Cleaning and disinfecting

During the pandemic, extra cleaning needs to 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 disinfection of facilities, and equipment.
  • Clean shared surfaces more frequently, at least twice a day. This could include door handles, bathrooms, service counters, gaming tables, handrails, EFTPOS keypads, armrests, gaming consoles, controls and equipment.
  • Regularly replace/ rotate gaming equipment such as dice and chips to allow for cleaning and disinfection.
  • 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 business. Consider whether aspects of the Australian Government cleaning advice will add anything to your cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
  • When operating the Banned Drinker Register, handling or contact of the customer’s photo ID should be minimised and regular cleaning of the scanner’s surfaces should occur.

Cleaning products

Use a disinfectant which the manufacturer claims can kill viruses.

Chlorine-based (bleach) disinfectants are one product which is suitable.

Read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution and usage.

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 as this concentration has been shown to be effective against the majority of microbial pathogens.

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 good 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 hand sanitiser immediately after handling these items.


Promote cashless payments. However, if cash is exchanged, ensure that hands are washed with soap and water, or a hand sanitiser is used after handling money.


It is important to communicate your coronavirus (COVID-19) safety steps with staff and guests.

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

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


Complete online checklist - Casinos and licensed gaming venues/activities and TAB’s

Complete online checklist - Cinemas, theatres, nightclubs and other similar entertainment venues

More information

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

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