While the Ministers for Health around the country commence issuing various Public Health Orders (NSW, VIC) in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding public gatherings, businesses are left wondering where or how far restrictions might go, and what that will mean for them.
Until that plays out, for now the best thing we can do is put in place our own controls and measures to ensure the collective safety of our staff, patrons and customers.
While running or organising indoor gatherings of greater than 100 or outdoor gatherings of 500 or more people can now lead to hefty fines or even jail time, licenced venues and crowd controllers (security) responsible for operating or managing smaller public spaces and entertainment, have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to operate safe, compliant and well run businesses by adopting voluntary and socially responsible practices.
What does that mean and what could it look like?
Proactive measures to consider may include;
- Making hand sanitiser readily available to staff and patrons
- Ensuring restrooms are well provisioned for hand cleaning
- Increasing cleaning practices when closed
- Perhaps even reducing patron numbers to allow for the recommended ‘social distancing’ within your venue
- Refusing access to patrons who appear unwell
- Removing and/or reporting patrons who show flu like symptoms
- Posting clear guidelines and policies regarding hygiene and health management within your venue
- Meeting and communicating regularly with staff members to keep them up to date on expectations and changes
Just as every business is different, at the end of the day the practices you’re prepared to adopt are up to you and your business, but don’t be afraid to show your social responsibility and dedication to your local community by implementing your own business specific practices. Working responsibly together should mean we minimise the length of time COVID-19 continues to influence our day to day lives and we keep venues open.
Collectively the hospitality industry has an opportunity to lead by example, show we can gather responsibly in public spaces and can be trusted to operate safe, compliant well-run establishments.
Importantly, after applying temporary additional measures the single next best thing you can do is record the application and results of what you’ve put in place and then review the success or need for further modification.
Your community will appreciate and thank you for making a difference and helping to keep them safe. And you never know, it may just help demonstrate the industry’s ability to self-regulate and make a positive statement when the relaxation of the lockouts is reviewed next year or when future legislative changes are considered?
Jason Thomas is a Founding Director of AusComply, an Australian-owned digital incident register and compliance platform. He was a former inspector and senior member of Audit and Compliance for the NSW Police. Get in touch via AusComply.com.au, 1300 2 COMPLY, or firstname.lastname@example.org.