Skip to main content
Image of a tick with the caption 'COVID Safety Plans for WA businesses'

COVID Safety Plans for business

Last updated: 18 May 2020

As of Monday 18 May, the State Government implemented phase 2 easing of COVID-19 restrictions, which enabled some previously prohibited premises to reopen. Having a COVID Safety Plan is mandatory for businesses that were restricted under the Emergency Management Act and are now reopening or transitioning to dine-in services. These include some hospitality and recreational businesses. 

Before reopening (or expanding from a take-away service) businesses are required to mitigate the risks of COVID-19, by doing the following:

  • ensure that you can comply with the requirements outlined in the COVID Safety Guidelines 
  • self-complete a COVID Safety Plan; and 
  • display a COVID Safety Plan Certificate in a visible location on their premises.

The requirements for the safe operation of your business include:

  • maintaining a strict limit of a minimum of four square metres (4sqm) per person*
  • ensuring a maximum of 20 people per venue (excluding staff)
  • maintaining hygiene and frequent cleaning
  • maintaining attendance records of patrons for the purposes of contact tracing
  • carefully managing waiting areas to ensure social distancing.

*The 4sqm rule or the 20 person per venue does not apply to businesses such as food markets, supermarkets, grocery/retail stores, shopping centre, office buildings, factories, mining sites, construction sites, childcare facilities or hairdressers, however in these instances 1.5m social distancing is still encouraged. 

Businesses that were previously restricted but now able to open will need to ensure their COVID Safety Plan is available for inspection by authorised officers. Failure to complete a COVID Safety Plan may mean your business is putting the community at risk.

If your business was not restricted (under the Emergency Management Act) you can continue to operate as usual and may choose to voluntarily complete a COVID Safety Plan and display a COVID Safety Plan Certificate to help clients and staff feel confident that the premises are safe. 

COVID Safety Plans are an important part of ensuring that the re-opening of businesses does not increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Reopening your food business

Food businesses, including bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and the casino may now open, within strict guidelines.

To reopen, all food businesses must enforce the following conditions:

  • maintain a strict limit of a minimum of four square metres per person (see our online calculator)
  • ensure a maximum of 20 dine-in customers per venue (this excludes staff)
  • maintain hygiene and frequent cleaning
  • complete a COVID Safety Plan before re-opening (or expanding beyond ‘takeaway only’) and display a COVID Safety Plan Certificate — both available from wa.gov.au
  • ensure staff have completed the AHA Hospitality & Tourism COVID-19 hygiene course before returning to work
  • ensure designated managers and supervisors complete the tier two hygiene officer course. Every venue must have a staff member with the more advanced accreditation on shift at all times as the venue’s dedicated hygiene officer
  • maintain attendance records of dine-in patrons for contact tracing (see our online template)
  • carefully manage waiting areas to ensure social distancing
  • only serve alcohol for consumption at a table, with a substantial meal.

It is essential to:
•    read the full details of how to comply
•    understand the COVID Safety Guidelines for food businesses
•    develop and implement your COVID Safety Plan.

For more information read these FAQs.

Reopening your recreational business

Outdoor or indoor fitness classes with minimal shared equipment can also restart. This includes sport and recreation venues, including indoor sports centres, swimming pools, gyms, health clubs and studios that offer yoga, Pilates and dance.

To reopen all sport and recreational businesses must enforce the following conditions:

  • maintain a strict limit of a minimum of four square metres per person
  • ensure a maximum of 20 people per venue (there is specific guidance on multipurpose venues)
  • maintain hygiene and frequent cleaning
  • complete a COVID Safety Plan prior to re-opening or recommencing activity and display a COVID Safety Plan Certificate at relevant sporting venues - available from wa.gov.au
  • maintain attendance records for the purposes of contact tracing
  • close communal showers and change rooms (toilets may remain open)
  • only allow non-contact training and non-contact sport
  • manage entry and exits to ensure social distancing
  • minimise shared equipment and disinfect equipment between use
  • only open if supervised/staff are available to conduct regular cleaning and enforce distancing.

It is essential to:

  • read the full details of how to comply
  • understand the COVID Safety Guidelines for food businesses
  • develop your COVID Safety Plan.

For more information read these FAQs.

Businesses that do not fall within the hospitality or recreational categories should refer to the general COVID Safety Guidelines to complete their COVID Safety Plans.

Calculating the maximum number of people allowed in your business

The four square metres required per person for businesses to reopen, may mean that fewer than 20 customers can be accommodated in certain premises. Work out the area of your establishment to ensure you can comply with these conditions using our free area calculation tool.

Note that staff-only areas, toilets and areas occupied by fixed furniture such as counters and bars must not be included in this calculation.

More information

Last updated on:

Get the latest SBDC small business news