We are keeping you in the loop with COVID-19 news, including restriction and stimulus updates.


Details are subject to change due to fluctuating Coronavirus case numbers across Australia. So stay tuned for future updates, restrictions, and assistance packages available.  

Contents:

Victoria’s COVID Restrictions

Restrictions are subject to change based on coronavirus case numbers and other factors. So make sure you get updates from trusted sources such as the Victorian Government website!

The Victorian Government DH Twitter page is also updated regularly.

Restriction Update – Tuesday 27 July 2021

From 11:59pm on Tuesday 27 July, the following restrictions changes will apply:

  • Everyone aged over 12 years old must wear a mask at all times, inside and outdoors, except in your own home, in your intimate partner’s home, or if a lawful exception applies.
  • No visitors allowed in the home.
  • Public gatherings up to 10 people are permitted.
  • The five reasons to leave home is removed, you can leave the house for any reason.
  • Businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits of 1 person per 4sqm.
  • Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service.
  • Retail, beauty and personal care, entertainment venues and community facilities, live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities, including gyms, will open with density limits.
  • Office workers will be able to return up to 25 per cent or up to 10 people – but it’s recommended that if you can work from home, you should.
  • Schools reopening for onsite learning to all students from Wednesday 28 July.
  • Public gatherings will be allowed with up to 10 people.
  • Maximum of 50 people at weddings and funerals.

Read the press statement here.

Workplace COVID-Safe Plans

From 11:59pm on 13 September 2020, it is mandatory for every Victorian business to have a COVIDSafe Plan.

Random spot checks are underway in metropolitan Melbourne to ensure compliance.

Your COVID-Safe Plan must include:

  • Your actions to help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 in your workplace
  • The level of face mask or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce
  • How you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your workplace
  • Demonstrate how you will meet all the requirements set out by the Victorian Government.

If you’re a public-facing business, part of your COVID-Safe Plan should involve how you will be tracking and screening people coming in and out of your business.

There are plenty of apps and new software popping up to help businesses with this process. Do your research and find out what will work best for your business and effectively keep everyone safe.

Some QR Visitor Scanning Options include:

Some higher-risk industries or workplaces have additional requirements of employers and employees. Click here to see High-Risk COVID Safe Plan details.

Businesses must review and update their COVIDSafe Plans routinely, especially when restrictions or public health advice changes. For example, scarves, bandannas and face shields alone are no longer an acceptable face covering in Victoria, so any face covering requirements in your workplace (and therefore in your Covid-Safe Plan) must reflect that.

Organisations with multiple worksites must complete a COVIDSafe Plan for each worksite.

Click here for more information.

Circuit Breaker Support Package

The Victorian Government has launched a $250 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package to assist small to medium businesses and sole traders who have been impacted by the circuit breaker restrictions announced on 27 May 2021.

The package will support businesses unable to operate due to the lockdown.

Including:

  • Second Round of the Business Costs Assistance Program
  • New round of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund
  • A new $20 million in targeted support for the events industry.

Business Costs Assistance Program

The program provides $2,500 grants for eligible employing and non-employing businesses in sectors most impacted. This includes businesses operating in an industry that cannot operate under the circuit breaker restrictions and which cannot work remotely.

The program will open for applications on Wednesday 2 June 2021 and will remain open for applications for three weeks.

More information will be available soon on the Business Victoria website. We recommend you get in touch with us for advice regarding government grants and other help available before you apply.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021

The $40.7 million Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 program provides businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate with a $3,500 grant per premises.

The program will open for applications on Wednesday 2 June 2021 and will remain open for applications for three weeks.

More information will be available soon on the Business Victoria website.

Victorian Events Support Package

The $20 million package dedicated to supporting operators in the events industry who have incurred losses due to the circuit-breaker restrictions.

More information will be available soon on the Business Victoria website.

Worker Support Scheme & Extension

Under the current scheme, a one-off payment of $1,500 is available to workers who are unable to work during their isolation, have no income during this period, and are not entitled to any paid sick leave, special pandemic leave or other income support.

The Government will now extend the scheme to ensure that as soon as a person is tested, they will be eligible for a $300 support payment from the Victorian Government – as long as they meet the eligibility of the existing scheme.

This will ensure workers don’t have to pay the price for following health advice while they are waiting for their results – meaning they can afford to isolate immediately and avoid spreading the virus further through workplaces.

More information available on the DHHS website. 

Victorian COVIDSafe Deep Clean Rebate

The COVIDSafe Deep Cleaning Rebate is to help eligible Victorian businesses cover the cost of hiring professional cleaning services to conduct a ‘decontamination clean’ of their premises.

The rebate will cover up to 80% of the cleaning costs (per worksite), capped at a grant of $10,000.

It will be available for small and medium businesses where anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been on the premises when they may have been infectious.

Eligible businesses:

  • operate from a worksite or premises in Victoria where a person suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19) has been on site when they may have been infectious
  • have undertaken a ‘deep clean’ or ‘decontamination clean’ of the affected worksite by a professional cleaning service
  • have evidence of the expenditure incurred for the cost of the decontamination cleaning at the affected worksite and payment of the expenditure
  • hold a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have an annual payroll of less than $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
  • be registered with WorkSafe if employing people
  • be registered as a trading business with the responsible federal or state regulator.

Businesses that have received funding from other initiatives under the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival Package and Business Support Package are also eligible to apply for this program.

More information and business eligibility criteria is available on the Business Victoria website.

Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

Under the existing Scheme, the Government is providing support to SMEs by guaranteeing 50% of new unsecured loans.

The next phase of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will help businesses move out of hibernation and successfully adapt to the new COVID-safe economy.

Key changes to the Scheme include:

  • Extending the purpose of loans able to be provided beyond working capital, such that a wider range of investment can be funded;
  • Permitting secured lending (excluding commercial or residential property);
  • Increasing the maximum loan size to $1 million (from $250,000) per borrower;
  • Increasing the maximum loan term to five years (from three years); and
  • Allowing lenders the discretion to offer a repayment holiday period.

The expanded Scheme will provide access to working capital to help businesses stay afloat. And will also give businesses more affordable and longer-term credit so that they can invest for their future.

The initial phase of the Scheme remains available for new loans issued by eligible lenders until 30 September 2020. The second phase of the Scheme will start on 1 October 2020 and will be available until 30 June 2021.

Find out more here.

Minimum Pension Withdrawal Extended

As part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government reduced the superannuation minimum drawdown rates by 50% for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years, due to end on 30 June 2021. This has now ben extended until 30 June 2022, and will apply for the 2021-22 income year.

AgeDefault minimum drawdown rates (%)Reduced rates by 50%
< 6542
65-7452.5
75-7963
80-8473.5
85-8994.5
90-94115.5
95 +147

Example from Government Fact Sheet:

Mike is a 66 year old retiree with a superannuation account-based pension.

The value of Mike’s account-based pension at 1 July 2019 was $200,000. Under current minimum drawdown requirements, Mike is required by legislation to drawdown 5 per cent of his account balance over the course of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.

This means Mike has to drawdown $10,000 by 30 June 2020 to comply with the minimum drawdown requirements. Following the temporary reduction in minimum drawdown requirements, Mike will now only be required to drawdown 2.5 per cent of his account balance, that is, $5,000, by 30 June 2020.

If Mike has already withdrawn over $5,000 for 2019-20, he is not able to put the amount above $5,000 back into his superannuation account. 2 On 1 July 2020 the value of Mike’s account-based pension is $180,000 (after drawdowns and investment losses).

During 2020-21, Mike is required to drawdown 2.5 per cent of his account balance, which is $4,500, instead of $9,000. As a result of this change to minimum drawdown requirements, Mike is able to preserve his capital while still drawing an income from his superannuation. 


Please contact our Superannuation Administrator, Anne Burridge, with any questions or concerns regarding your superannuation.

Helpline for Businesses during Coronavirus

Call the business helpine: 13 28 46
The Morrison Government’s business hotline will give more support to SMEs impacted by the Coronavirus

pandemic.
The 13 28 46 Contact Centre opening hours will increase to seven days per week, answering calls from 7am to 11pm AEST. 

Other Financial Hardship Helplines

Click here for a detailed hardship guide broken down by lender.

Lender NameFinancial Hardship Phone Number  
Adelaide Bank1300 652 146
AMP1300 130 191
ANZ1800 252 845
Auswide Bank1300 138 831
Bank of China1800 095 566
Bank of Melbourne 1300 630 266
Bank of Sydney13 95 00
Bankfirst03 9834 8530
Bankwest1300 787 144
Better Choice1300 334 336
Beyond Bank13 25 85
Bluestone13 25 83
Choicelend1300 144 554
Citibank1800 722 879
Commonwealth Bank1300 720 814
Firstmac13 12 20
Heritage Bank1800 222 030
ING1300 349 166
LaTrobe Financial1800 620 639
Liberty13 11 33
Macquarie1300 363 330
ME Bank1300 500 520
MyState13 80 01
NAB1800 701 599
Pepper Money1800 356 383
RedZed1300 722 462
Resimac1800 701 599
St George1800 629 795
Suncorp1800 225 223
Virgin Money1800 701 997
Westpac1800 067 497

Mental Health Resources 

These are some tips from Beyond Blue for managing your mental health during this time of uncertainty. Please click here for their more detailed advice page.

General advice:

  • Try to maintain perspective
  • Find a healthy balance in relation to media coverage
  • Access good quality information
  • Try to maintain a practical and calm approach
  • Try not to make assumptions

Managing your mental health during Coronavirus lockdowns:

There are a number of ways to support your mental health during periods of lockdown, self-isolation or quarantine.

  • Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus.
  • Remember that your effort is helping others in the community avoid contracting the virus.
  • Stay connected with friends, family and colleagues via email, social media, video conferencing or telephone.
  • Connect with others via the Beyond Blue forums thread: Coping during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.
  • Keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy foods.
  • Try to maintain physical activity.
  • Establish routines as best possible and try to view this period as a new experience that can bring health benefits.
  • For those working from home, try to maintain a healthy balance by allocating specific work hours, taking regular breaks and, if possible, establishing a dedicated work space.
  • Avoid news and social media if you find it distressing.

Seek support

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed by the news of the Coronavirus outbreak. We encourage people who have experienced mental health issues in the past to:

  • activate your support network
  • acknowledge feelings of distress
  • seek professional support early if you’re having difficulties.

For those already managing mental health issues, continue with your treatment plan and monitor for any new symptoms. Acknowledge feelings of distress and seek further professional support if required.

The Beyond Blue Support Service offers short term counselling and referrals by phone and webchat on 1300 22 4636.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Coronavirus Jobs Hub

For those who have found themselves unexpectedly unemployeed due to the Coronavirus impact. 
There are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers during this COVID-19 crisis, including health and care sectors, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors. 

The Jobs Hub is a Government website to help people find advertised vacancies.

Click here to find out more. 

Australia’s Vaccine Rollout

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines will become available in phases, beginning with priority groups such as quarantine workers, frontline healthcare providers, aged care workers and patients, elderly residents and those with high risk medical conditions.

Full details are on the Department of Health website.

National Coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline

If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app, you can call the national helpline on: 1800 020 080.



We’ll bring you more details as soon as they become available. We recommend subscribing to our mailing list to stay in the loop.

You can also contact us at admin@aintreegroup.com.au. We encourage you to get in touch if you are concerned about the impact of Coronavirus on your business or personal affairs.

Click here to find out how we’re handling Coronavirus at Aintree Group.

Click here to see our specialist Coronavirus Consultation options.

Stay safe and well!