Stage 2 Shutdown – Places of Social Gatherings

The Stage 1 restrictions on social gatherings imposed at midday, 23 March 2020 will remain in place., with Stage 2 restrictions on social gatherings also now be imposed from 11.59pm today, Wednesday, 25 March 2020.

Stage 2

  • Cafes – limited to takeaway and home delivery services, as well as canteens in hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons, military, homeless and workplaces;
  • Auction houses, real estate auctions and open house inspections – except for private appointments for inspection;
  • Outdoor and indoor markets – as determined by each State and Territory, food markets will continue to operate in all States and Territories;
  • Beauty and personal care services – hairdressers and barber shops (up to 30 minute appointments only, with the 1 person per 4 square metre rule), beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas and massage parlours;
  • Entertainment venues – including cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, gaming and gambling, strip clubs, brothels, concert venues, theatre, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums (except for live streaming of a performance by a small group with social distancing observed), amusement park and arcades, as well as indoor and outdoor play centres;
  • Leisure and recreation centres – health and fitness clubs, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres;
  • Boot camps, personal training operating inside and outside (except for outside events limited to no more than 10 people and social distancing observed);
  • Social sporting based activities and swimming pools;
  • Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast, campsites, caravan parks, boarding houses – as determined by each State and Territory (excluding permanent residents and workers);
  • Outdoor recreation –caravan and camping parks – as determined by each State and Territory;
  • Non-residential institutions –galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites, libraries, community and youth centres, local government non-essential facilities and services such as a libraries and pools, community facilities such as community halls, clubs, RSLs and PCYCs; and
  • Places of worship – weddings (no more than 5 people, where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies) and funerals – (no more than 10 people, where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule also applies).

Stay Home

People are encouraged by the Government to stay home. However, workplaces (other than those listed in Stages 1 and 2) may still open and operate at this stage with the appropriate COVID-19 safety measures in place.


Schools (other than Victoria where school holidays have commenced early) remain open until the scheduled Easter break.

How long will Stages 1 and 2 be in place?

These restrictions will be reviewed on a monthly basis and other facilities not already impacted will be considered under the Stage 2 restrictions, if necessary. Government is expecting these measures to be in place for at least 6 months.

There is a real risk that a Stage 3 will be imposed at some stage soon as the rate of infections increase.

What does this mean for Stage 1 and Stage 2 businesses and their employees?

We recommend you obtain advice on whether the stand down provisions can be used by your business if you are impacted, as they are not automatic and if they are used incorrectly, they can result in orders for salaries and wages to be repaid to impacted employees.

However, businesses directly impacted by these Enforceable Government Directions which prevent your business from opening or operating, and your employees from working in any capacity, are expected to trigger the stand down provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), or a relevant Enterprise Agreement or Employment Contract.

To be a lawful stand down, there has to be:

  • a stoppage of work;
  • for a cause which the Employer cannot reasonably be held responsible; and
  • the Employer cannot usefully employ its employees because of that stoppage.

Stand downs can be without pay, however remember that employees can still use their paid leave entitlements. Employee service related entitlements will still continue to accrue.

Are there other options for Employers?

There are a number of options, including stand downs, available to Employers impacted by COVID-19. We recommend you obtain legal advice on the most cost effective and suitable options for your business, depending on the impact of COVID-19 in your business.

Need More Advice?

If you need urgent advice or assistance in managing the impact of COVID-19 in your business, please contact Rouse Lawyers on (07) 3648 9900 or contact us by email at [email protected]
These steps are not a substitute for legal advice and are for information only. Employers should obtain advice that is specific to their circumstances and business operations, and not rely on this publication as legal advice.