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Covid-19 Tourism Industry Update

How is Visit River Country responding

It is a challenging time and the tourism industry is being widely impacted by measures introduced to control the spread of COVID-19.

We encourage all operators to keep abreast of current developments and advice through official government channels:

Visit River Country will continue to monitor developments and local conditions, provide inspiration for future holidays, and direct the public to the latest health and travel advice.

For further information on how to protect yourself and others and the latest travel advice please refer to the following links:

To ensure you have the most up-to-date information regarding these restrictions, please refer to the Australian Government's COVID-19 updates.

As our community becomes more active and gets back to business, it's important that we:

  • follow the NSW rules for gatherings that apply to individuals and businesses
  • maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others
  • practise good hand hygiene
  • take extra care if you're around vulnerable people
  • get tested if you have any symptoms, even if they are only mild
  • stay home until you get the test result, or are medically cleared.

Public Gatherings and Self Isolation

  • public gatherings of up to 10 people
  • food and drink premises can open, but only to seat a maximum of 10 customers at any one time – this includes cafes and restaurants, a restaurant within a registered club or pub, or a cellar door that serves food
  • up to 5 visitors may visit another household at any one time
  • weddings can have up to 10 guests plus the people conducting or assisting in the conduct of the service, a photographer, a videographer, and the couple
  • indoor funerals and memorial services can have up to 20 mourners and outdoor funerals up to 30 mourners
  • religious gatherings and places of worship can have up to 10 worshippers
  • outdoor playground and exercise equipment can be used with caution
  • outdoor pools can open with restrictions.

For the latest advice about public gatherings and self-isolation requirements, visit


Under the amendments caravan parks and campgrounds are to be closed except to accommodate:-
  • permanent residents of the caravan park or camping ground;
  • overnight travellers;
  • persons working in the local area;
  • other persons who have no other place of permanent residence or whose primary place of residence is temporarily unavailable and;
  • visitors who are visiting those who meet the above criteria.

Truck stops are also designated as essential services under the order, meaning that selling food or beverages to truck drivers or their passengers at a truck stop, whether for consumption on or off the premises, is still permissible.

To read the amended Public Health Order in full, please click here.

Travel within NSW
  • NSW residents will be able to travel for recreational purposes in NSW from next month, with intrastate travel restrictions to be lifted from Monday 1 June, 2020.
  • All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival. You can only travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.

For up-to-date information and advice:

Business Support and Jobs

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a devastating impact on businesses across Australia. Find out what support is available for sole traders, employers and companies, the restrictions on non-essential services and how to continue your business. Further information here.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. Further info here.

The Australian and NSW Governments have announced a series of stimulus activities to support the industry during this situation incorporating a $2.3 billion health boost and economic stimulus package to protect the community and help protect jobs in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak over the next six months.

NSW Government Small Business Support Fund and Economic Stimulus Package 2

The NSW Government has announced grants of up to $10,000 under its Small Business Support Fund assistance scheme.

Applications for a small business grant will be available through Service NSW and will remain open until 1 June 2020. Find our more here.

The Package also includes:-

  • deferral of gaming machine tax for clubs, pubs and hotels for six months, which includes payments due for the most recent quarter and payments due for the coming quarter.
  • an additional three month deferral on payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less taking the total deferral period to six months.

What Can Tourism Businesses Do?

In the midst of managing the business impacts of the crisis, here are our recommendations to ensure the safety of your team and to keep up to date with current information which is changing daily

  • Make sure you are following health and safety guidance from the Department of Health and NSW Health;
  • Look after your staff, your customers and yourself – safety first;
  • Communicate what health and safety measures you are taking in your business to your customers and partners;
  • Review your contingency plans and risk assessment processes;
  • Review your cancellation policy for bookings and seek advice where required;
  • Reach out to your partners, suppliers and industry associations;
  • The Department of Health has launched a national campaign to inform all Australians about the coronavirus. They have developed a range of resources for businesses to use, find out more here;
  • The Australian, State and Territory Governments have announced a series of measures to support businesses and individuals during this difficult time. Find out more here;
  • Look after your mental health and reach out if you need help;
  • Maintain your social media communications to visitors, and include Now’s The Time To Love NSW messaging to drive visitation where appropriate:
  • Update your free Get Connected listing;

Post photos from your business on social channels with the hashtag #LoveNSW; #VisitRiverCountry #VisitTheMurray

Further information about managing your tourism business

Fact sheets are available with specific advice for various industries including for hotels and hotel staff here.