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Providing accommodation and transport for seasonal workers

Accommodating seasonal workers

Accommodation providers may continue to operate during COVID-19 as long as social distancing is observed and you comply with the relevant Public Health Directions.

You are required to have a health management plan (DOC, 238KB) unless operating only for permanent residents, health and community services or educational providers. An accommodation provider includes:

  • hostels
  • backpackers
  • bed and breakfasts
  • boarding houses
  • caravan and camping parks.

Industry guidelines (PDF, 249KB) outline how your health management plan must include the measures in place for your facility to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among guests and the community. Facilities should manage guests to allow access to areas on the basis of 1 person per 4 square metres.

Your health management plan may allow social distancing requirements to be modified provided guests are managed in 'household units' of no more than 4 people who will work, use transport and share communal facilities together.

You are required to keep records of the locations your guests have visited and their accommodation details for the 14 days before accessing your accommodation (including quarantine compliance if relevant) to assist with contact tracing if necessary.

All accommodation must be of a standard to allow for appropriate hygiene and social distancing practices.

The premises should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before guests arrive, after they leave, and as regularly as possible during their stay.

If you do not comply with the public health directions, penalties will apply: $13,345 for individuals and $66,725 for corporations. The enforcement officer can issue on-the-spot fines of $1,334.50 for individuals or $6,672.50 for corporations.

Transporting seasonal workers

Seasonal workers move between regions in response to work availability; therefore, it’s critical to minimise the potential risk of spreading COVID-19 to the communities which workers travel to and temporarily reside in. One risk pathway is the transportation of workers to, from and around the workplace.

Private or charter workforce transport providers to agribusiness (and agribusiness labour hire companies) transporting seasonal workers to, from and around a workplace are required to have a health management plan in place, including appropriate record keeping.

Health management plan requirements

A health management plan is a risk-based plan that demonstrates compliance with COVID-19 public health directions and describes the measures to minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19 among the workers and the community.

As a private or charter workforce transportation provider, you will need to complete a health management plan if you are engaged in transferring seasonal workers in passenger transport vehicles, such as:

  • buses
  • coaches
  • minivans
  • courtesy vehicles.

Download the health management template (DOC, 238KB) and associated guidelines for accommodation and private workforce transport providers.

Read more about the requirements of a health management plan in the Restrictions on businesses, activities and undertakings direction.

Obligations for private or charter workforce transport providers

Measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission include:

  • passengers achieving social distancing requirements by maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5m from each other within the vehicle
  • bus, minibus or van passengers keeping at least 1 vacant seat in all directions, separating them from other passengers
  • vehicles having as much fresh air circulation as possible by adjusting air conditioning or opening windows and leaving windows down between trips, wherever possible
  • good hygiene measures and consistent cleaning of vehicles, paying particular attention to frequently touched surfaces. Read the fact sheet for transport industry workers on cleaning and management of personalised transport vehicles during COVID-19.
  • any unwell staff staying home.

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