Information for businesses

New measures to protect the community

The Australian Government has announced new measures to protect Australians from COVID-19. These measures include:

  • the temporary closure of non-essential businesses and undertakings
  • indoor and outdoor public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to a maximum of two people.

For more information and exceptions, see the Groups and gatherings page.

Business restrictions

To help slow the spread and rate of transmission of COVID-19, the Australian Government announced a range of prohibited activities and venues. In the ACT restrictions first commenced at 11:59pm (local time) 23 March 2020 and were recently updated and expanded on 31 March 2020. Affected businesses include, but are not limited to:

  • Pubs
  • licensed clubs and hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • gyms
  • skateparks
  • indoor sporting venues
  • cinemas
  • beauty salons
  • play centres and outside playgrounds (playgrounds on school grounds may be utilised by students of the school during the normal hours of operation of the school)
  • places of worship
  • and other public places must be closed.

You will find a list of prohibited activities and exclusions in the most recent Public Health (Closure of non-essential business or undertaking) Emergency Direction 2020 linked on the Directions page.

These restrictions will be enforceable with infringement notices of up to $1,000 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses.

Unless specifically restricted, businesses can still operate in the ACT.

For those still trading, make sure you follow advice to protect your employees and customers and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Canberrans can still go to work, where their business or employer hasn’t been restricted, however the health advice on how to prevent the spread of germs in our community is clear – maintain good hand hygiene, practice social distancing, and if employees are unwell, they should stay home.

If you have any questions about your business’s ability to open under the restrictions, or want to know how the ACT and Australian Government can support your business, visit the Support for businesses page.

Businesses still open

Unless specifically restricted, businesses can still operate in the ACT.

For those still trading, make sure you follow advice to protect your employees and customers and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Canberrans can still go to work, however the health advice on how to prevent the spread of germs in our community is clear – maintain good hand hygiene, practice social distancing, and if employees are unwell, they should stay home.

If you have any questions about your business’s ability to open under the restrictions, or want to know how the ACT and Australian Government can support your business, visit the Support for businesses page.

Tips to keep people safe

There are a range of restrictions on people being outside of the home, which restrict the number of people that can gather in public.

Some businesses have changed how they operate to help this, including:

  • only accepting tap payments
  • using tape to mark 1.5 metre distances on the floor of their venue to encourage customers to follow social distancing guidelines
  • limiting the number of people allowed to stand inside a small space

More information about workplace health and safety for customers and employees is on the Workplace Health and Safety page.

More information on social distancing and good hygiene is on the Protecting yourself and others page.

Posters about good hygiene that you can print to hang for employees and customers are on the Resources page.

Advice to specific industries

Access Canberra industry advice:

ACT Health guidance:

Australian Government resources:

Can’t find information about your business? The Australian Government has a list of social distancing measures on their restrictions for non-essential businesses page.

You can find more help on the Australian Government’s Coronavirus information and support for business page and the ATO’s COVID-19 and tax page.

You can also find help on how to keep your business operating during the pandemic on the Australian Government’s Continuing your business page.

More information for businesses

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: April 07 2020