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For Committees and Owners

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As the effects of COVID-19 keep progressing, SSKB is committed to going above and beyond to assist your community in navigating these difficult times.  

Monday 7 September Update 

Victoria 

 

Following the announcement from the Premier yesterday afternoon, Victoria’s stage 4 restrictions have been extended. The current lockdown will be extended for two weeks beyond the original date of September 13, with some minor changes coming into effect from September 28.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that the state government would consider bringing forward the current predicted dates for reopening if the daily case numbers significantly reduced. Under the current reopening plan, restrictions are currently set to ease significantly from October 23. This date will be brought forward if the 14-day average of case numbers falls below five. The 14-day average reported today was 95.5.

You can view the road map to reopening Victoria here.

COVID-19 restrictions roadmap Metro Melboune

COVID-19 restrictions roadmap regional

Following the announcement from the Premier yesterday afternoon, Victoria’s stage 4 restrictions have been extended. The current lockdown will be extended for two weeks beyond the original date of September 13, with some minor changes coming into effect from September 28.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that the state government would consider bringing forward the current predicted dates for reopening if the daily case numbers significantly reduced. Under the current reopening plan, restrictions are currently set to ease significantly from October 23. This date will be brought forward if the 14-day average of case numbers falls below five. The 14-day average reported today was 95.5.

You can view the road map to reopening Victoria here.

https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-roadmap-metro-melbourne

https://www.vic.gov.au/restrictions-roadmap-regional-victoria


There will be some changes to the stage 4 restrictions as of September 13.

For Melbourne Metropolitan:

Step 1 – from September 13

  • Most restrictions will continue with a small number of restrictions being eased.
  • The changes will be:
    • Residents are required to stay within 5 kilometers of their homes and will still only be able to leave home for shopping, exercise, care-giving purposes and permitted work.
    • The curfew will be extended to 9:00pm rather than the current 8:00pm curfew.
    • Residents will be able to exercise for up to two hours per day from the current one hour.
    • People living alone and single parents with children under the age of 18 will be able to nominate one visitor to attend their homes.
    • Work, hospitality and retail restrictions will remain the same.

Step 2 – from September 28

  • If Melbourne reaches an average daily case rate of 30-50 over the previous 14 days, it will move to a second stage of restrictions.
  • The changes will be:
    • Outdoor public gatherings of up to five people from two households will be allowed
    • Childcare and early education will reopen
    • More workplaces will be permitted to reopen (TBC)
    • Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and warehousing and postal distribution centres will all move from being heavily restricted industries to restricted industries.
    • outdoor pools would reopen and personal training for up to two people would be allowed, but gyms would remain closed.
    • Outdoor religious ceremonies will be allowed for up to five people and one religious leader.

Step 3 – from October 26

  • If the state records an average of fewer than five daily new cases and five mystery cases on average over a two-week period, Melbourne can move to this step 3 from October 26
  • There will be no curfew and no restrictions on residents to leave home
  • Five people from one household will be able to visit another household
  • Retail and hairdressing will reopen (beauty will remain closed)
  • Cafes, restaurants and bars will reopen for on-site dining (outdoors) with limits capped at 10.
  • Melburnians will be able to travel across the state.
  • People will still be encouraged to work from home if possible.
  • Up to 10 people at weddings and 20 people at funerals.
  • Real estate will be available for private inspections by appointment only and outdoor auctions will have numbering limits.
  • Indoor facilities such as gyms will reopen with strict restrictions.

For Regional Victoria:

From 11:59pm on September 13, all of regional Victoria will jump straight into a more relaxed version of stage 3 restrictions.

The changes will be:

  • Schools will start to return to onsite learning for all students in term 4.
  • Public gatherings of up to five people from up to two households will be allowed.
  • Outdoor religious gatherings of up to give people will be allowed.
  • Outdoor playgrounds and outdoor pools will be allowed to open.
  • Many restrictions will stay the same.

Regional Victoria will be allowed to move into the next phase when it meets two conditions:

  • a 14-day average of fewer than five new cases per day
  • zero cases with an unknown source over 14 days

The changes will be:

  • No restrictions on leaving home
  • Up to 10 people allowed to gather outdoors
  • Hospitality venues will be allowed to have up to 10 seated patrons (outdoors)
  • Interstate travel will be allowed against regional Victoria.
  • Real estate inspections will be allowed by appointment only.

Final state before ‘COVID normal’

  • Further restrictions will ease on November 23 if no new cases are recorded for a two-week period.
  • Public gatherings will expand to 50 people
  • Households will be able to have 20 visitors
  • Hospitality venues will have a group limit of 20 with a total cap of 50.
  • Real estate will operate as normal with safety measures in place.
  • Weddings and funerals will be able to have 50 people.

Cases
Victoria recorded 41 news cases overnight and sadly, a further nine Victorians have died, which takes the total number of deaths to 675.

What does this mean for Owner’s Corporations?
With the continuing increase of COVID-19 cases in Victoria, it is important that your Owners Corporation continues to practice good hygiene and continues to wear masks when leaving your home as per state regulations. Currently, the restrictions will still limit the use of common areas etc. Feel free to reach out to your SSKB Manager for any clarification or concerns specific to your building.

Your complex/building are urged to ensure all residents are extra cautious and continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene.

Living in a high-density apartment block can seem daunting in the current environment. We encourage all of our clients to take a community approach and do the right thing, for the health and safety of all residents. Following all public health directives is vital.

  • Regularly wash/sanitise your hands;
  • Do not use common areas that are closed for safety (pools, gyms, BBQ areas);
  • Follow all directives on no visitors;
  • Follow any number limits on lifts.

SSKB are here to assist you during this time

It all may feel very overwhelming so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Owners Corporation Manager for any questions or concerns with your building.

If you require additional support there is a dedicated coronavirus mental wellbeing support service that you can/should reach out to if you need.

ictoria

https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-roadmap-metro-melbourne

https://www.vic.gov.au/restrictions-roadmap-regional-victoria


There will be some changes to the stage 4 restrictions as of September 13.

For Melbourne Metropolitan:

Step 1 – from September 13

  • Most restrictions will continue with a small number of restrictions being eased.
  • The changes will be:
    • Residents are required to stay within 5 kilometers of their homes and will still only be able to leave home for shopping, exercise, care-giving purposes and permitted work.
    • The curfew will be extended to 9:00pm rather than the current 8:00pm curfew.
    • Residents will be able to exercise for up to two hours per day from the current one hour.
    • People living alone and single parents with children under the age of 18 will be able to nominate one visitor to attend their homes.
    • Work, hospitality and retail restrictions will remain the same.

Step 2 – from September 28

  • If Melbourne reaches an average daily case rate of 30-50 over the previous 14 days, it will move to a second stage of restrictions.
  • The changes will be:
    • Outdoor public gatherings of up to five people from two households will be allowed
    • Childcare and early education will reopen
    • More workplaces will be permitted to reopen (TBC)
    • Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and warehousing and postal distribution centres will all move from being heavily restricted industries to restricted industries.
    • outdoor pools would reopen and personal training for up to two people would be allowed, but gyms would remain closed.
    • Outdoor religious ceremonies will be allowed for up to five people and one religious leader.

Step 3 – from October 26

  • If the state records an average of fewer than five daily new cases and five mystery cases on average over a two-week period, Melbourne can move to this step 3 from October 26
  • There will be no curfew and no restrictions on residents to leave home
  • Five people from one household will be able to visit another household
  • Retail and hairdressing will reopen (beauty will remain closed)
  • Cafes, restaurants and bars will reopen for on-site dining (outdoors) with limits capped at 10.
  • Melburnians will be able to travel across the state.
  • People will still be encouraged to work from home if possible.
  • Up to 10 people at weddings and 20 people at funerals.
  • Real estate will be available for private inspections by appointment only and outdoor auctions will have numbering limits.
  • Indoor facilities such as gyms will reopen with strict restrictions.

For Regional Victoria:

From 11:59pm on September 13, all of regional Victoria will jump straight into a more relaxed version of stage 3 restrictions.

The changes will be:

  • Schools will start to return to onsite learning for all students in term 4.
  • Public gatherings of up to five people from up to two households will be allowed.
  • Outdoor religious gatherings of up to give people will be allowed.
  • Outdoor playgrounds and outdoor pools will be allowed to open.
  • Many restrictions will stay the same.

Regional Victoria will be allowed to move into the next phase when it meets two conditions:

  • a 14-day average of fewer than five new cases per day
  • zero cases with an unknown source over 14 days

The changes will be:

  • No restrictions on leaving home
  • Up to 10 people allowed to gather outdoors
  • Hospitality venues will be allowed to have up to 10 seated patrons (outdoors)
  • Interstate travel will be allowed against regional Victoria.
  • Real estate inspections will be allowed by appointment only.

Final state before ‘COVID normal’

  • Further restrictions will ease on November 23 if no new cases are recorded for a two-week period.
  • Public gatherings will expand to 50 people
  • Households will be able to have 20 visitors
  • Hospitality venues will have a group limit of 20 with a total cap of 50.
  • Real estate will operate as normal with safety measures in place.
  • Weddings and funerals will be able to have 50 people.

Cases
Victoria recorded 41 news cases overnight and sadly, a further nine Victorians have died, which takes the total number of deaths to 675.

What does this mean for Owner’s Corporations?
With the continuing increase of COVID-19 cases in Victoria, it is important that your Owners Corporation continues to practice good hygiene and continues to wear masks when leaving your home as per state regulations. Currently, the restrictions will still limit the use of common areas etc. Feel free to reach out to your SSKB Manager for any clarification or concerns specific to your building.

Your complex/building are urged to ensure all residents are extra cautious and continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene.

Living in a high-density apartment block can seem daunting in the current environment. We encourage all of our clients to take a community approach and do the right thing, for the health and safety of all residents. Following all public health directives is vital.

  • Regularly wash/sanitise your hands;
  • Do not use common areas that are closed for safety (pools, gyms, BBQ areas);
  • Follow all directives on no visitors;
  • Follow any number limits on lifts.

SSKB are here to assist you during this time

It all may feel very overwhelming so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Owners Corporation Manager for any questions or concerns with your building.

If you require additional support there is a dedicated coronavirus mental wellbeing support service that you can/should reach out to if you need.


Monday 24 August Update 

Queensland 

New COVID-19 restrictions have been implemented in Queensland in response to the recent positive cases. These measures are now enforceable as of August 22. Future updates regarding these restrictions and how they relate to your community will be shared as they are announced.  
 
The following Local Government Areas have been listed as restricted areas:  

What changes are in place for residents in these restricted areas? 

What this means for Bodies Corporate

With many suburbs in Queensland now being listed as a restricted area, it is important that all residents continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing measures. If you are feeling unwell please try to minimise your time spent in common areas and ensure you get tested if you are presenting with any of the COVID symptoms.  

Please ensure you are sticking to the new number limits within your lot to ensure the safety and compliance of all residents in your community.  

As of the current time, we understand that pools and gyms can remain open, as long as they are following the relevant COVID-Safe industry plans and guidelines. If we become aware of any further information or clarification surrounding this we will update clients immediately.

Read More 

Wednesday 4 August Update 

Victoria 

We are consistently monitoring the situation and providing updates and information via newsletters, social media and our COVID-19 web page. Our Community Managers are well equipped to inform and support the communities they manage. We will update you on how each of the public health directives will impact the running and operations of your building and provide as many resources as possible. 

We understand this continued period of financial uncertainty carries with it a level of stress and financial hardship for many of our clients. SSKB is here to assist our communities both now and into the future. Our priorities remain the health and safety of all residents and the continued operation of your building. 

Updates – please note, there will be progressive updates from the Premier each day over the next few days. The Premier stated that there will never be 100% certainty as the situation is rapidly evolving.  
 
Yesterday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed which industries will be shut down to reduce the spread of COVID19You can read the update here. This is further to the stage 4 restrictions announced for individuals. 
The restrictions have beeseparated into three groups and apply to Metro Melbourne. Regional Victoria is currently on stage three restrictions, which can be found here. 
 
The first group is businesses that will remain open for onsite work: 

The key inclusions are: 

  • Supermarkets (People are encouraged not to panic buy as stores remain open). 
  • Grocery stores 
  • Bottle shops 
  • Pharmacies 
  • Petrol stations 
  • Banks  
  • News agencies 
  • Post offices 

The second group will be impacted and expected to close for onsite work from midnight this coming Wednesday (05/08/2020) for 6 weeks. 
 
The key inclusions in this group are 

  • Retail 
  • Some manufacturing 
  • Administration 

The third group of businesses will have to scale back the way they work.  
 
Some businesses will be able to stay open but operate very differently from midnight Friday: 

  • The meat industry workforce will be scaled back to two-thirds. This will apply to abattoirs in Melbourne and across the state. 
  • Warehousing and distribution centers in Melbourne will be limited to no more than two-thirds the normal workforce allowed onsite at any one time. 
  • Our construction sector will also move to pilot-light levels. For major construction sites, that means the absolute minimum required for safety – but no more than 25% of the normal workforce onsite. Small-scale construction will be limited to a maximum of 5 people onsite. 

 

Additionally, other operations will be impacted, such as: 

  • Reduced public transport.  
  • The need for COVID-Safe plans for every industry. 

Support for employees and businesses  
Job Keeper and Job Seeker will remain well into September, this is well past the six-week window that businesses are required to be closed and reduce employees for.  
 
Any businesses that are forced to close in regional Victoria can get a $5000 grant from the state government, adding a further $5000 to the grants already in action in metro Melbourne ($10,000 total).  

Follow this link for more information on financial support for businesses. 

What this means for your Owners Corporation: 

  • Accomodation should be closed for onsite work which includes pubs, taverns and bars, clubs and nightclubs. Accommodation that provides a permanent or temporary place of residence, emergency accommodation, for work purposes and for people subject to direction.  
  • If your building has retail or commercial lots within the scheme, please note that the newest restrictions may apply to you and lot owners should ensure they are doing the right thing.  
  • The construction industry will be faced with new restrictions and any renovations or major works may be impacted by this. We will work closely with all contractors etc should this apply to your building. 
  • There will be an increased number of people present in residential apartment blocks at any given time. Living in a high-density apartment block can seem daunting in the current environment. We encourage all our clients to take a community approach and do the right thing, for the health and safety of all residents. Following all public health directives is vital. 
  • Regularly wash/sanitise your hands 
  • Do not use common areas that are closed for safety (pools, gyms, BBQ areas) 
  • Follow all directives on no visitors 
  • Follow any number limits on lifts 
  • If you live in an area that has a curfew, please do the right thing and stay in your apartment during this time.  

It all may feel very overwhelming so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Owners Corporation Manager for any questions or concerns with your building.  

If you are not coping well there is a dedicated coronavirus mental wellbeing support service that you can/should reach out to if you need. 

https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/ 

https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 

https://mensline.org.au/ 

Wednesday 1 July Update

Queensland

Yesterday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Queensland’s borders will remain closed to Victoria but open to all other states and territories, including NSW. The Queensland Premier made the announcement saying she had ‘very deep concerns’ about community transmission in Victoria. Stage 3 of QLD reopening will also commence 3 July 2020.

Summary:

  • Visitors from other states including NSW, SA, ACT, Tasmania and NT would be able to enter Queensland from July 10 after signing a border declaration form to declare that they had not recently visited Victoria.
  • But anyone who has travelled from Victoria, including Queenslanders, will be banned from entering or forced to quarantine at a hotel at their own expense.
  • Queensland has continued to report no new cases overnight and has just two active cases.
  • Victoria, which caused the biggest concerns over reopening the border, has recorded 64 new cases in the same period.
  • Tougher measures will come into effect from this Friday 3 July for anyone who has travelled through Victoria.

What this means for Bodies Corporate

It is vital that Bodies Corporate are following all public health directives with more Queenslanders travelling interstate and more visitors entering Queensland. This is for the safety of residents, as well as the wider community. If you have any concerns at all about the operations of your building, please don’t hesitate to reach out to SSKB for further assistance.

  • Saunas can open with a COVID Safe Plan
  • Maximum numbers are now determined by a 4 square meter rule.
  • COVID-Safe industry plans will continue to apply with revisions to reflect changes in stage 3
  • Private and non-commercial gatherings of up to 100 people now allowed.

If your building offers short term accommodation
“All accommodation providers must follow social distancing guidelines and public health directions. This means that some accommodation providers to have a health management plan in place to reopen. This plan will outline what they’re doing to keep guests and staff safe, including heightened vigilance about the frequency of cleaning the accommodation, particularly high-contact surfaces and communal areas including kitchens and bathrooms.”

Read More Here

Victoria

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has released a statement this afternoon in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

In Summary

  • It has been discovered that the main source of the recent spike has been from the operation of the hotel quarantine program, which will now be under inquiry.
  • Premier Daniel Andrews has asked the Prime Minister to divert flights to other cities for the next two weeks while they reset the program under the supervision of Corrections Victoria.
  • If you are a business that was previously eligible for a Business Support Fund grant or a payroll tax refund, you will be able to access an initial $5000 support. We will provide more information when this is released.
  • From 11:59PM on Wednesday July 1, postcodes linked to the outbreaks will go into local lockdown in a return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions. Until then, the “hot zones” postcodes included are 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021, 3046.
  • There are only 4 reasons to leave these postcodes – shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and to study or work (if these can’t be done from home)
  • It is expected that schools will return as planned from 13 July.
  • If these “hot zone” lockdowns are successful in containing the spread, the Premier stated that these restrictions may again be lifted in 4 weeks.

Important Information for Owners Corporations:

  • If your building is included in the lockdown areas, pools, gyms and similar MUST be closed in order to follow the new restrictions. You will risk large fines and put residents at risk by failing to do so. If this applies to you, our Owners Corporation Managers will be able to assist you with all necessary steps.
  • Businesses and facilities in these “hot zones” will again be restricted and may be eligible for a Business Support Fund grant or payroll tax refund.
  • If you see people in your building breaking the new restrictions, please note this is a police issue, not an Owners Corporation issue.

Whether you live in one of the hotspots or not – the same social distancing in lifts/shared facilities still apply and will be a big part to help slow the spread. Please ensure you are following these recommendations, as well as proper hand hygiene to help protect your community.

Wednesday 24 June Update

Queensland

With the number of active cases in QLD remaining low, the state government is still targeting a further relaxation of restrictions on the 10th July as outlined in the Roadmap to easing Queensland’s restrictions. This, however, is subject to review closer to the date and the opening of the Qld border may yet be influenced by the recent spike in Victoria.  We undertsand this continued period of financial uncertainty carries with it a level of stress and financial hardship for many of our clients. SSKB is here to assist our communities both now and into the future. Our priorities remain the health and safety of all residents and the continued operation of your building. 

We are consistently monitoring the situation and providing updates and information via newsletters, social media and our COVID-19 web page. Our Managers are well equipped to support the communities they manage.

There have been no new cases in Queensland in the past 24 hours. Across Queensland, community transmission is still extremely low and the number of active cases continues to decline.

Reminder: The following restrictions are still in place and directly impact bodies corporate as of the time of sending (24th of June 2020). This is applicable until stage 3 on the 10th of July (pending review) unless otherwise updated by the QLD Government. 

Gatherings in a single residence are restricted to 20 people and social distancing is required (1.5metres apart, hand hygeine, avoid contact) 

Social distancing is required in all shared facilities and high-touch areas (lifts, common areas, pools, gyms, reception etc.) 

Pools can be opened and must also follow the same 20 person limit and all users must adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Gyms can be open but have some tighter restrictions: 

  • 20 people limit but with the 4 square meter rule 
  • Bring your own equipment such as gym/yoga mats 
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting 
  • Supervision to enforce social distancing and conduct regular cleaning 
  • No spectators 
  • Minimal use of showers, change rooms and other communal facilities 

Saunas should remain closed 

Short term rentals and short term accommodation CAN operate and social distancing should be observed to the extent possible.  

  • Health management plan is not required unless there is a shared bathroom or shared kitchen facilities.  
  • Contact information about all guests must be kept  

It is vital that Bodies Corporate are following all public health directives. This is for the safety of residents, as well as the wider community. If you have any concerns at all about the operations of your building, please don’t hesitate to reach out to SSKB for further assistance.  

New South Wales

There have been two new cases in NSW in the past 24 hours. Across NSW, community transmission is still extremely low and the number of active cases continues to decline. 

Reminder: The following restrictions are still in place and directly impact Owners Corporations 
 

Visiting family and friends 

  • Up to 20 visitors may visit another household at any one time. The total number of visitors includes adults and children. 
  • There is no daily limit to visitors to your home, so long as you don’t have more than 20 visitors at any one time. 

 Sports and recreation 

  • Public gatherings of up to 20 people. 
  • Use of outdoor equipment in public places, with caution. 
  • Indoor recreation facilities such as squash courts, gyms, table tennis centres, health studios, bowling alleys and ice rinks can reopen with restrictions. 
  • Any class or organised event can have 20 or less participants (excluding staff). 
  • There can be no more than one person per four square metres (including staff) on the premises. 
  • Operators must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Swimming pools can open with restrictions. 
  • Capacity must not exceed one person per 4 square metres
  • Operators must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan

Hotels and accommodation 

  • Accommodation services are able to be offered without restriction, except holiday rentals which are subject to restrictions

It is vital that Owners Corporations are following all public health directives. This is for the safety of all residents, as well as the wider community. If you have any concerns at all about the operations of your building, please don’t hesitate to reach out to SSKB for further assistance.  

Monday 22 June Update

Victoria

Due to Victoria’s unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic relapse, the state’s health authorities have decided to tighten up restrictions again.  

Premier Daniel Andrews said that Victoria’s case numbers had hit the highest they had been in more than two months and the situation was now at a “tipping point”. 
 
25 new cases were reported in Victoria on Saturday, 13 on Friday, 18 on Thursday and 21 on Wednesday. This came after a period were little to no cases were recorded from June 6 to June 10.  

On the back of the recent increase in cases the AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee) says it “strongly discourages travel to and from” the areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin. The state government has flagged the possibility of local lockdowns over the weekend, and it will be up to the Victorian Government to determine how the new advice is applied, particularly with the approaching school holidays. 
 
What are the changes? 
From June 22:  

Gatherings 

  • Public gatherings will be limited to 10 people. 
  • The number of visitors to a home will reduce to 5 visitors. 
  • Private worship or small religious ceremonies will be limited to 20 people plus those reasonably required for the ceremony. 
  • Auction houses, real estate auctions, open house inspections and community facilities remain limited at 20 people plus those reasonably required to facilitate the auction/inspection/facility. 
  • Remember to always maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres from those you don’t live with. 

Restaurants, cafes and pubs 

  • Patron limits in restaurants, cafes and pubs will remain, with up to 20 seated patrons per space (indoor or outdoor). A maximum group size of 10 people applies. 
  • Bars and clubs can have up to 20 seated patrons per space. A maximum group size of 10 people applies. 
  • Seated service of alcohol without food will be allowed. 
  • Retail TABs will be able to reopen in line with rules on retail businesses while TAB facilities inside licensed premises will need to observe density and patron limits that apply to those venues.

Culture and entertainment 

  • Patron limits in galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, outdoor amusement parks, zoos and outdoor arcades will remain, with up to 20 patrons per indoor space. 
  • Indoor cinemas, movie theatres, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums can open with up to 20 seated patrons per space. 

Sports and recreation 

  • Indoor sports centers and venues can open, with up to 20 people per space, with a limit of up to 10 people per group/activity at any one time for those aged over 18 years old. 
  • Full-contact training and competition (indoors and outdoors) for people 18 years old and under. 
  • Non-contact competition (indoors and outdoors) for people over 18 years old. 
  • Changing rooms and showers can open for sporting and recreational facilities, including swimming pools. 
  • The limit on 3 per lane in swimming pools will no longer apply. 
  • Ski season will open. 
  • Shared facilities at camping and tourist accommodation can open, with increasing screening and safeguards in place. Indoor play centers and toy libraries will be able to open with 20 people per space. 

Please click here for more information.  

The limit on households and outside gatherings had previously been increased to 20 people.  
 
Limits on restaurants, pubs, auction halls, community halls, libraries, museums and places of worship were due to be relaxed today however, those venues will now continue to only be able to host up to 20 people.  
 
What this means for Owners Corporations 
With the restrictions becoming further enforced in Victoria, your complex/building are urged to ensure all residents are extra cautious and continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene. At time of writing, pools, gyms and other shared facilities in your buildings can remain open, but with restrictions. Please ensure you are following number limits, social distancing and proper hygiene measures.  

SSKB will keep you updated as soon as any updates are announced and how it will impact your communities. 

Wednesday 17 June Update

Queensland

QLD Case Summary 
There have been no new cases in Queensland in the past 24 hours. Across the country, community transmission is still extremely low and the number of national active cases continues to decline. 

 
What about the borders, you ask? 

Queensland’s border will likely reopen on July 10 after Prime Minister Scott Morrison pressed the issue at National Cabinet in Canberra on Friday. 

The Prime Minister revealed he was pleased the Queensland government had reached a date of reopening, despite the state’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk making the official announcement. 

Coming out of COVID-19 
 
On 1 June, 2020, stage 2 of Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing Restrictions came into effect. Changes include: 

  • Queenslanders can travel within Queensland, with no limit on distance except for discrete First nations communities restricted under the Restricted Access to Remote Communities Direction 
  • Queenslanders can stay overnight or longer at a place that is not your home. 

This easing of restrictions does not apply to restricted zones for indigenous communities. 

For further information on other Stage 2 changes that also came into effect on 1 June, visit the Queensland Government’s roadmap to easing restrictions webpage. 
 
Updates for Hotels 
 
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer approved the Industry COVID Safe Plans for:  
• Queensland Hotels and Clubs; and 
• Food Services – Restaurants Cafes and Caterers  
to operate under stage 2 and 3 of the Queensland Government’s Roadmap to easing Queensland’s restrictions. 
 
Click here for more information  

Return to work 
Stage 2 of the plan to ease coronavirus (COVID-19) business restrictions ensures businesses can reopen in a way that increases business activity but does not compromise the health of customers, staff and the community. 

Stage 2 eased restrictions came into effect at 12 noon on Monday 1 June 2020 and venues covered by an industry COVID Safe plan are able to access additional easing of restrictions from 5 June 2020

Read the Chief Health Officer’s businesses, activities and undertakings directive for more details on business restrictions. 

Property Prices 
COVID-19 will decrease house prices in Queensland making it a great time for first time buyers, investors and homeowners.  
 
The decrease in property prices is also complemented by the Federal Governments announcement that it will give eligible Australians $25,000 to build or substantially renovate their homes, in an effort to boost demand in the construction sector and keep builders employed. 
 
Tourism Potential 
Queensland has many tourist destinations, including (but not limited to) Gold Coast, Daintree National Park, Fraser Island, Port Douglas, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, and the Australia Zoo. 
 
If you’re one of the many Queenslanders who travel overseas frequently to go on holiday, there are many tourist destinations that you can visit in Queensland.  
 
Queensland is open for Queenslanders which means the thousands of dollars spent by individuals travelling overseas can be spent in Queensland supporting local businesses all while seeing tourist destinations that people travel all over the world for.  
 
Government assistance 

New South Wales

NSW Case Summary 

 Updates 
Changes to the rules 

The NSW Government has eased certain restrictions. 

On compassionate grounds, restrictions on funerals will immediately be eased to allow the four square metre rule to apply. 

For business owners, having a COVID-19 Safety Plan is either mandatory or recommended to ensure you manage and meet your obligations around community and staff safety. You can also register your business as COVID Safe to show your commitment to helping stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Find out more about what has changed and read answers to common questions
 
Current restrictions 

For businesses that can open, each business owner can make decisions about what makes the most sense for their situation. Employers must allow employees to work from home where it is reasonably practical to do so. 

COVID-19 Safety Plans 

Find out about developing a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your business. 
 
What this means for Owners Corporations 

With the restrictions starting to ease, your complex/building may start to see a rise in movement in the lifts, lobbies, shared facilities etc. We urge you to continue practicing social distancing, hygiene and limiting the number of people in lifts to just two. SSKB will keep you updated as soon as there are more easing of restrictions announced and how it will impact your communities. 
 
Government assistance 

Victoria

Easing of restrictions from 11:59pm on Sunday 21 June 

 The Victorian Government has announced the gradual easing of restrictions from 11:59pm on Sunday 21 June 2020. 

In line with the most up-to-date advice of the Chief Health Officer, the following changes will take place. 

Restaurants, cafes and pubs 

  • Increased number of patrons in restaurants, cafes and pubs to open to up to 50 seated patrons per space. Maximum group size of 20 applies. 
  • Bars and clubs can have up to 50 patrons per space. Maximum group size of 20 applies. 
  • Seated service of alcohol without food. 
  • Pub TABs and Retail TABs to open, followed by electronic gaming areas in pubs, clubs, casinos and hotels on 20 July. 

Culture and entertainment 

Increased number of patrons in galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, outdoor amusement parks, zoos and outdoor arcades to up to 50 patrons per indoor space. Density quotient is applied to the entire venue. 

Indoor cinemas, movie theatres, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums to open with up to 50 seated patrons per space. 

Gatherings 

Private worship or small religious ceremonies can include up to 50 people plus people reasonably required for the ceremony. Group size limited to 20. 

Auction houses, real estate auctions and open house inspections and community facilities increase to 50 people plus those reasonably required to facilitate/run the auction. 

Sports and recreation 

  • Indoor sports centres and venues can open with up to 20 people per space, with a limit of up to 10 people per group/activity at any one time for those aged over 18 years old.  
  • A staggered approach to the return of community sport will begin from 11:59pm on 21 June: 
  • Resumption of full-contact training and competition for people 18 years and under 
  • Resumption of non-contact competition for people aged over 18 years (indoors and outdoors) 
  • From 13 July: resumption of full-contact training for adults 
  • From 20 July: resumption of competition for adults 
  • Changing rooms and showers can open for sporting and recreational facilities, including swimming pools 
  • The limit on 3 per lane in swimming pools will no longer apply 
  • Ski season to open 
  • Shared facilities at camping and tourist accommodation can open 
  • Indoor play centres and toy libraries will be able to open with 20 people per space 

VIC Case Summary 

  • As of 15 June 2020, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 1,732, an increase of 12 since yesterday’s report.
  • 12 new cases have been reported. Nine cases are linked to two outbreaks, one case was detected in hotel quarantine, one case identified through routine testing, and one case is under investigation. 
  • 184 cases have been acquired in Victoria where the source of infection is unknown.
  •  1,661 people have recovered.
  • Of the total 1,732 cases, there have been 1,443 in metropolitan Melbourne and 239 in regional Victoria. Several cases remain under investigation.
  • More than 594,000 test results have been received by the department since 1 January 2020.
  • Up-to-date epidemiological data 

 Key messages for the community 

  • Maintain physical distance from others and avoid crowds, wash your hands regularly and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, stay home and get tested if you’re unwell.  
  • Victoria’s State of Emergency has been extended to 11.59pm on 21 June 2020, but some restrictions have been eased. 
  • The restrictions are being cautiously eased to reduce the risk of a second wave of coronavirus cases. The also means the number of people who can gather or participate in an activity is being increased slowly. 
  • As restrictions ease, it remains important that if you can work from home, you should do so. 
  • More information on current restrictions and how to stay safe can be viewed at Coronavirus (COVID-19) page

More information 
 

Clinical information 

Latest coronavirus information for Victorian health services and general practice 

Consumer information 

Victoria’s current restrictions 

Latest coronavirus information from the World Health Organization 

Latest travel advice from Smartraveller 

What this means for Owners Corporations 

With the restrictions starting to ease, your complex/building may start to see a rise in movement in the lifts, lobbies, shared facilities etc. We urge you to continue practicing social distancing, hygiene and limiting the number of people in lifts to just two. SSKB will keep you updated as soon as there are more easing of restrictions announced and how it will impact your communities. 
 
Government assistance 

Wednesday 10 June Update

The Federal Government has announced that it will give eligible Australians $25,000 to build or substantially renovate their homes, in an effort to boost demand in the construction sector and keep builders employed. 
 
The grants will be means-tested to exclude couples making more than $200,000 per year and individuals making more than $125,000 per year, while limits will also be placed on the value of the property the grants go towards. 
 
The scheme will not apply to investment properties or owners who intend on building or renovating on their own without the help of builders. 
 
Information on when and how you will be able to apply will become available through the relevant State or Territory revenue office in due course. 
 
Renovations  
Eligibility for the Government’s program will be restricted to substantial renovations with recipients required to spend at least $150,000 on their renovation to be eligible. 
 
Renovations can cost anywhere between $150,000 and $750,000, but will only be subsidised if the house being altered is valued at less than $1.5 million. 
 
Renovations costs do not include pools, tennis courts or anything outside of the home. To qualify, renovations must be inside the house.  
 
New Builds  
New builds will be capped at $750,000.  
 
First homebuyers can access a combined $40,000 if they also take advantage of the State Government’s First Home Owners Grant. 
 
Click here for more information.  
 
What this means for Strata 
For those living in a strata property who are considering taking advantage of the renovation grant, it is important to seek approval from the committee for any renovations you may undertake. 
 
When renovating and making alterations to an individual lot, the Body Corporate and Community Management Act does not restrict the changes or improvements which an owner can make.  Generally, lot owners can make improvements to elements of the lot which are the responsibility of the owner. However there may be further requirements under your community’s by-laws. 
 
Most by-laws will require approval to be sought for any structural alterations, the installation of hard flooring and any change to the appearance of your property which can be seen from outside. Some by-laws also outline the hours that tradespeople can be on site and lift access requirements. Generally, by-laws allow committees to impose reasonable conditions on approval. 

If you are considering making improvements, you should consider whether your changes will affect common property. This will require approval and may even be required to go to a general meeting. Before you start, check with your building or community manager to ensure that you have the right approvals in place. 

Click here to read more. 

Monday 1 June Update

Queensland

There have been no new cases for 5 consecutive days in Qld and the number of active cases is down to just 5 across the state. The QLD Government has reacted by announcing that Stage 2 of the COVID-safe plan has been moved forward to the 1st of June (12 noon) though the Qld border remains closed at this time. This relaxation of restrictions will see many businesses able to re-open and allow more Queenslanders to return to work. We have summarised these Stage 2 relaxations and what these mean for strata below.  

Stage 2 as of 1st June (12 noon): 

  • Gyms can reopen with number limits of 20 people and must be 4 square meters per person. 
  • Pools now have a number limit of 20 people.  
  • Unlimited travel and stays within QLD (Including for school holidays *except restricted areas) 
  • 20 visitors permitted (can be from different households) 
  • Gatherings have increased to 20 people at any one time. This includes weddings, pools, public spaces, outdoor gyms, libraries, hiking, places of worship, non-contact indoor and outdoor community sport, personal training, playground equipment, museums, art galleries, historic sites, gyms, health clubs and yoga studios. 

For Businesses 

  • Hairdressers open 
  • Retail shopping permitted 
  • Concert venues, theatres, arenas and auditoriums (20 people at any one time) 
  • Outdoor amusement parks, tourism experiences, zoos and arcades (20 people at any one time) 
  • Tanning, tattoo parlors and spas (with COVID SAFE Checklist) 
  • Beauty therapy and nail salons (with COVID Safe Checklist) 
  • Indoor cinemas (20 people at any one time) 
  • Open homes and auctions 
  • Dining in or seated drinks in restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered or licensed clubs, RSL Clubs, hotels and casinos (no gaming) – Up to 20 patrons per room or per defined area (indoors or outdoors) for a venue (when following a COVID Safe Industry Plan) 

The public health rules to maintain 

  • Physical distancing 
  • 4 square metres per person when indoors 
  • Hand hygiene 
  • Respiratory hygiene 
  • Frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection 

For detailed information regarding the safe reopening of pools and gyms, please read more here. 

Further relaxations in the coming weeks will be subject to ongoing assessment by the QLD Government and Health authorities and SSKB will be sure to update you when these decisions are made. 

What this means for Strata 

  • If your Body Corporate has a pool, the number limits are now 20. Please continue to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines when using the pools. It is the responsibility of individual owners/occupiers to be following the guidelines for the reopening of this facility. 
  • If your Body Corporate has a gym, please ensure you follow all number restrictions, continue to practice social distancing, ensure you are showering before and after, wipe down any surfaces after using and please refrain from using the gym if you are sick or caring for someone who is sick.  
  • With an increase in movement around the facilities, please continue to be mindful of others and keep 1.5m apart and practice hand hygiene. 

Committees should revisit the environmental cleaning guidelines with their Caretaker/Facilities Manager/Cleaner to ensure they are still following all recommendations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Community Manager for assistance with this. 

Wednesday 27 May Update

Queensland

The Government has made some temporary (the 25th of May until the 31st of December) adjustments to the BCCM and BUGTA legislation to assist Bodies Corporate in dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. We will work closely with your Committees and Body Corporate to ensure you continue to be compliant with legislation. If you would like to read these in more detail click the link below. 

Click here to read the full amendment bill. 
 
Job Maker plan 
As the nation continues to move out of lockdown, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has stated the government will now focus on rebuilding the economy and ‘winning the battle’ for jobs. The PM unveiled his ‘Job Maker’ plan to overhaul vocational education and training (VET) and to secure jobs for Australia’s future. 

The program will encourage small, medium and large businesses and the Prime Minister flagged changes to the funding model which sees $1.5 billion of VET funding flow to state governments annually for skills and training. Young Australians aren’t being enrolled in courses which will fill the jobs of the future, he argues, citing the complexity of the “clunky”, “unresponsive”, and “fundamentally flawed” vocational education and training (VET) system as a barrier. Tax and industrial relations are also on the ‘Job Maker’ agenda. 

Over the next three to five years, the Prime Minister stated the federal government will work with state and territory leaders to make sweeping changes but has not increased funding in the short term. 

Coronavirus Active Case Numbers continue to Dive 

In Queensland there are currently only 14 active COVID-19 cases and the national total is below 500. 
 
Most Queenslanders who have contracted COVID-19 have experienced mild symptoms. Currently, four of the 14 active confirmed cases are in hospital, with one of these in intensive care. The remainder of active cases are currently recovering at home. There remains some risk of a secondary wave as we move from lockdown status and as such Health and Government authorities stress the need to remain vigilant with social distancing and hand hygiene practices. 

A total of 1,041 Queenslanders (98 per cent of total cases) have now recovered from COVID-19.  

Click here for more information.  

New South Wales

From Monday 1 June 2020, the following will be allowed: 

Rules that continue to apply include 

Victoria

  • From 26 May have schools gradually resumed classroom learning. 
  • From 1 June a gradual easing of restrictions is planned for social events and ceremonies, fitness, sport and recreation, personal services, cafes and restaurants, travel and leisure, culture and entertainment. 
  • From 22 June a further easing of restrictions is planned. 
  • All eased restrictions and the proposed dates are subject to the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the continued and effective management of the spread of COVID-19. 

Wednesday 20 May Update

Queensland

Updates 

  • Pools and shared facilities  
  • From Friday 15 May, pools and shared facilities in Queensland were able to re-open with a maximum of 10 people allowed. 
  • For the health and safety of all residents in your building, we urge you to take precautionary measures when using the pool facilities.  
  • Continue to practice social distancing by keeping 1.5m apart and following hygiene measures.  
  • If you are sick or caring for someone who is sick, we strongly recommend not to use the pool or shared facilities.  
  • Gyms 
  • Gyms should not be open until the second stage of easing restrictions on 12 June pending review.   
  • Please note – gyms have many high-contact surfaces. If your building has a gym, health club or yoga studio, we recommend that once open you take extra precautions to ensure surfaces are cleaned frequently and to a high standard. 
  • Queensland Borders 
  • Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that Queensland’s border with New South Wales could remain closed until at least September but the closure would be reviewed monthly.  
  • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says borders remain closed “based on the best health advice”. 
  • Entry into Queensland for essential travel is only permitted to persons who are eligible for an exemption and who have a Queensland Entry Pass.  
  • A separate application is required for each individual, including children, and all travelers in your party must be eligible for an exemption. 
  • If you require to travel across the Queensland Border you can apply for a boarder pass by selecting the relevant pass below:  

What this means for Bodies Corporate 

With the restrictions starting to ease, your complex/building may start to see a rise in movement in the lifts, lobbies, shared facilities etc. We urge you to continue practicing social distancing, hygiene and limiting the number of people in lifts to just two. SSKB will keep you updated as soon as there are more easing of restrictions announced and how it will impact your communities. 

New South Wales

Updates 
 
Schools 

  • Students across New South Wales will be back in school as of next week. 
  • Regular lessons will go ahead as of Monday May 25, with all students expected to return to the classroom in a full-time capacity. 
  • The NSW Government has made the decision based on the success of part-time classes and is confident that safeguards will remain in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between returning students. 

Reminder that only outdoor pools with a limit of 10 people are allowed to be open. There is also a maximum of 5 people allowed for indoor gatherings. The NSW Government will closely monitor COVID-19 rates, especially community transmissions, and use this to guide the further easing of restrictions. 

Victoria

Updates 

  • Victoria’s State of Emergency has been extended to 31 May, but some restrictions have been eased. 
  • There are now five (5) reasons to leave your home:  
  • Shopping for food and supplies that you need 
  • Care and caregiving 
  • Exercise and outdoor recreation 
  • Work and education – if you can’t do it from home 
  • Visiting friends and family – if you really need to. 
  • The Victorian Government has announced its plan for the gradual re-opening of cafes and restaurants to dine-in customers from 1 June. Under the proposed plan, restaurants and cafes will be able to resume: 
  • From 1 June with up to 20 patrons per enclosed space 
  • From 22 June with up to 50 patrons per enclosed space 
  • With up to 100 patrons per enclosed space during the second half of July 
  • For more information, see information about the gradual easing of restrictions

Wednesday 13 May Update

Queensland

Following encouraging signs of flattening the curve, some restrictions will ease in Queensland from Saturday the 2nd of May. The Queensland Government are allowing some recreational activities and extending the distance you can travel from home, however, social distancing rules still apply.   

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced on the 8th of May the “COVID safe” plan for the easing of restrictions, with a goal of happening by July 2020. This outlines the steps that businesses and activities can reopen.

 Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced it will gradually ease restrictions. 

This announcement builds on new investments to further boost the ability to test, trace and monitor the virus in the community, with rapid response outbreak squads, expanded testing and support for additional research. 

These measures – combined with the commitment shown by Victorians – has given health authorities vital insight and information, allowing some restrictions to be safely and cautiously lifted. 

Under the changes, it means that there will be five reasons to leave your home: 

  • shopping for food and supplies that you need 
  • care and caregiving 
  • exercise and outdoor recreation 
  • work and education – if you can’t do it from home 
  • visiting friends and family – if you really need to 

These new arrangements came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday the 12th of May. 

Aligning with the outcomes of National Cabinet, that means: 

  • outdoor gatherings being permitted with up to 10 people 
  • indoor gatherings at home are permitted, with 5 visitors able to visit the normal residents of a household 
  • the ability to leave the house for exercise will be expanded to include outdoor recreational activities. These activities can occur in groups of up to 10 people outside, but the requirements on physical distancing remain 
  • for weddings 10 guests are allowed, plus the couple and the celebrant 
  • for funerals, 20 people will be allowed at an indoor ceremony and 30 people at an outside ceremony. This is in addition to the minimum people required to conduct the funeral 
  • religious gatherings and ceremonies will be permitted with up to 10 people, plus those required to perform the ceremony 

Back to school:  

  • State school students in prep and grades one, two, 11 and 12 will resume classroom learning on May the 26th
  • Grades three to 10 will return to school campuses on June the 9th
  • All specialist schools will fully reopen on May the 26th.  

New South Wales

After assessing the new framework from National Cabinet, the NSW Government has announced a further easing of restrictions from the 15th of May.  

This will allow more businesses to open and more people to stay in work. 

As NSW takes the next step, we need to keep up our high rates of testing, and continue to practise physical distancing and good handwashing hygiene. If you have even the mildest symptoms, you should stay at home. 

From Friday the 15th of May, the following will be allowed in NSW: 

  • outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people 
  • cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time 
  • up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time 
  • weddings up to 10 guests 
  • indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30 
  • religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshippers 
  • use of outdoor equipment with caution 
  • outdoor pools open with restrictions. 

The NSW Government will closely monitor COVID-19 rates, especially community transmissions, and use this to guide the further easing of restrictions. 

Click here to find out more. 

SSKB is working closely with the Committees and Building Managers to effectively manage the reopening of shared facilities. We understand that people will be keen to start using pools and gyms again, but please follow all number limits and continue to practice social distancing. We want to thank everyone who has worked together as a community to follow all public health directives and will continue to do so.  


 
‪From Saturday the 2nd of May, you can:‬   

  • Go for a drive (within 50km of home)  
  • Ride a motorbike, jetski or boat for recreation  
  • Have a picnic  
  • Visit a national park  
  • Shop for non-essential items  

What this means for Body Corporate: 

You may see a bit of a rise in movement around your complex, so please continue to practice social distancing in receptions areas, lifts etc. Please note, while outdoor picnics with members of your household, or yourself and on other individual will no longer be restricted – the limits on number of people for indoor and outdoor gatherings will remain in place. This means people should not be having more than 2 guests in their lot. 

COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020 for Strata 

Amendments have been passed for COVID-19 which affect Bodies Corporate and residential tenancies.  
Below is a summary: 

  • Allow Body Corporate meetings to be held using audio visual technology or instead be held by the circulation of materials upon which a vote is conducted. 
  • Allow documents to be served by email where appropriate.  
  • Allow requirements to be suspended and alternative arrangements to be put in place.  
  • The Bill provides for a regulation-making power to give effect to the National Cabinet decision of 29th of March 2020 to impose a moratorium on evictions for residential tenants and residents who are in financial distress and are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the COVID-19 emergency.  
  • The Bill also removes obligations for owners and providers to undertake routine repairs and inspections where they are incompatible with social distancing and other community health objectives. 

Click here to read the full COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020. 

What this means for Body Corporate: 

It is a positive step for Bodies Corporate meetings, as this bill provides clarity that when more social distancing measures are lifted, Bodies Corporates will not face any implications from utilising technology to conduct meetings. We have seen some great engagement via virtual meetings, and it will be interesting to see how many people want to continue to utilise this service once social distancing measures have been lifted. 

COVIDSafe app 

The COVIDSafe app is part of the Australian Governments work to slow the spread of COVID-19.  The COVIDSafe app helps find close contacts of COVID-19 cases. The app helps state and territory health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The COVIDSafe app speeds up the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. This means you’ll be contacted more quickly if you are at risk. This reduces the chances of you passing on the virus to your family, friends and other people in the community. 

s part of the Australian Governments work to slow the spread of COVID-19.  
The COVIDSafe app helps find close contacts of COVID-19 cases. The app helps state and territory health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The COVIDSafe app speeds up the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. This means you’ll be contacted more quickly if you are at risk. This reduces the chances of you passing on the virus to your family, friends and other people in the community. 

Click here to read COVIDSafe app FAQ’s. 

Useful links 

Queensland Residential Tenancies and COVID-19

Amendments to the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act were originally set to be introduced to parliament on Wednesday 22 April. However, amendments had to be changed due to a negative response from property investors throughout Queensland.  
 
REIQ suggested that the proposed measures could have seriously harmed over 600,000 property owners who provide the vast majority of rental housing supply to 35% of Queensland’s population who rent. 
 
Minister for housing and public works Mick de Brenni has informed that the government worked with industry stakeholders. This enabled the government to consider the concerns from Queensland property owners and tenants.  

COVID-19 Rent Guideline Summary  

  • The threshold criteria to qualify for the COVID-19 rental response includes a 25% reduction in income or rent exceeds 30% of the tenant’s income.  
  • Tenants can be asked to provide property managers with the same proof of finances as they would when starting a tenancy.  
  • There is a 75% income loss threshold before a tenant can end a tenancy with a 7-day cap on break lease fees. 
  • A fixed term tenancy will be automatically extended to 30 September 2020 unless the owner and tenant agree otherwise or there is an appropriate ground to end a tenancy.  
  • The Government will provide clear guidance to ensure access for essential repairs and maintenance, the sale of a property and virtual inspections. 
  • Tenants and property owners are being asked to work together where a tenant is experiencing COVID-19 related financial challenges to negotiate a new temporary and sensible amount.  
  • The Queensland Government have established a $20 million dollar rental grant fund to complement existing Centrelink support.  

The Residential Tenancies Practice Guide COVID-19 will be published on the Queensland Government’s new Coronavirus website.  

Victorian Residential Tenancies and Covid-19

The Victorian Parliament will be recalled on 23 April 2020 to pass legislation in response to the following residential and commercial tenancy reforms agreed to by the National Cabinet: 

  • A temporary ban on evictions for residential and commercial tenancies for small to medium-sized businesses 
  • Pausing rental increases for 6 months 
  • Implementing the National cabinet’s mandatory code of conduct for tenancies  
  • A $420 million package for landlords and rent relief for tenants experiencing financial hardship 
  • An $80 million rental assistance fund for renters facing hardship 

Below is a summary of the Victorian Premiers media release: 

  • Partnerships will have to be formed between landlords and tenants to get through the crisis 
  • For landlords who provide tenants impacted by the Coronavirus with rent relief. This includes a 25% discount on their land tax and any remaining land tax can be deferred until March 2021 
  • A Coronavirus Relief Deputy Commissioner will be established at the State Revenue Office to manage the land tac relief claims 

Click here to find out more.  

What to do if someone in your building tests positive for COVID-19

Do they need to alert the entire Body Corporate/Owners Corporation?

It would need to be made a by-law if the Committee wish to make a ruling that owners need to notify the Body Corporate of being infected with COVID-19 (From BCCM). There is no government recommendation or requirement that we have seen that states a resident would have to notify the BC or committee of a positive diagnosis.

If you are notified of a positive diagnosis, we encourage you to only disclose to people that need to be made aware. Do not provide any confidential information such as lot number or the identity of the person and ensure that reasonable steps are taken to keep personal information secure and those  who are informed are on a ‘need to know basis’.

Who are the parties that need to know?

  • Any contractors who service the building should be made aware so that they can make necessary precautions (PPE).
  • The Community Manager and Building Manager should be advised of which apartment so they can be aware in case of any emergencies.
  • Information should be provided to the affected resident regarding deliveries, rubbish, restrictions and any other important information relevant for your particular building.

For further information in regard to your obligations and adherence to the Privacy Act (1988) in reference to Covid-19, go to oaic.gov.au/updates/news-and-media/covid-19/.

Who is responsible for cleaning the common area?

It is a requirement that the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation must maintain any common property in good condition. This may include cleaning common property if it becomes contaminated. For information around cleaning shared areas see this link.

What if they do not follow self-quarantine restrictions:

This is a police matter, not a Body Corporate/Owners Corporation issue. If someone is required to be in quarantine and does not, it is a criminal offence. This should not be actioned at all by the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation, instead alert Police (with evidence).

Government information for hotels:

  • What if hotel patrons need to self-isolate? If hotel patrons need to self-isolate in a hotel, it is important staff take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The risk to staff should be low if they wash their hands well and the patrons do not have symptoms. Staff should avoid close contact with these guests, but it is safe to be in the same room (at a distance) without protective equipment when delivering food, which we recommend guests have in their room.
  • If a person who has self-isolated begins to develop symptoms, they should be seen urgently by a doctor at a hospital and the relevant state or territory public health authority should be contacted. It is important to phone ahead to the hospital or doctor to get advice. Staff should avoid contact with guests who become unwell and seek appropriate medical advice if this occurs.

New Announcements/Updates – Queensland  

We have had a number of questions and confusion around whether or not Bodies Corporate are expected to close their pools (and other shared facilities). We have received relevant information from Government sources, as well as liaising with an insurance broker regarding the issue. 

SSKB recommends that all Bodies Corporate close the shared facilities which are specifically referred to in the State Government health directives.  

There has been an update to the wording for the QLD Public Health Direction, which outlines the following is restricted: 

“Swimming pools including public pools and pools in shared facilities such as hotels and apartments” 

Following the consideration of insurance advice, the Body Corporate Committee needs to ensure all Government directives are being followed and failure to do so could jeopardise the cover under their Body Corporate insurance policy (which may result in any claim incident in respect of this being declined).  

SSKB recommend that in accordance with the Qld Public Health Directions that any common property shared areas that have been closed should have relevant signage installed so that residents are aware of the closure of the facility.  Ie Gyms, BBQ areas, swimming pools etc. If Committees need assistance with this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Community Manager.  

We understand that exercise is an integral part of people’s health and wellbeing and that the closures like this can have a negative impact, so we have included a few links below for information regarding exercise and mental health.  

We are still waiting on further information regarding commercial and residential tenancies and how the state governments will act, we will update as soon as information is available.  

New Announcements/Updates – Victoria

We have had a number of questions and confusion around whether or not Owners Corporations are expected to close their pools (and other shared facilities). We have received relevant information from Government sources, as well as liaising with an insurance broker regarding the issue. 

SSKB recommend that all Owners Corporations close certain shared facilities, specifically pools and gyms in accordance with both Federal and State directives.  

The Victorian Department of Health refers to the restriction as: 

“swimming pools, both public and shared” 

Following the consideration of insurance advice, the Owners Corporation Committee needs to ensure all Government directives are being followed, otherwise it could jeopardise the cover under their policy (which may result in any claim incident in respect of this being declined).  

SSKB recommend that in accordance with the Victoria Public Health Directions that any common property shared areas that have been closed should have relevant signage installed so that residents are aware of the closure of the facility.  Ie Gyms, BBQ areas, swimming pools etc. If Committees need assistance with this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Owners Corporation Manager.  

We understand that exercise is an integral part of people’s health and wellbeing and that the closures like this can have a negative impact, so we have included a few links below for information regarding exercise and mental health.  

We are still waiting on further information regarding commercial and residential tenancies and how the state governments will act, we will update as soon as information is available. 

Helpful Links 

https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/be-healthy/exercise-covid-19

BCCM COVID-19 FAQs 

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/be-active-during-covid-19

https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19 
 
https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19 

https://www.makehealthynormal.nsw.gov.au/activity/workouts

Last night (29th March) the Prime Minister announced further restrictions on social gatherings and a six-month moratorium on evictions of commercial and residential tenancies. There were also other general updates which we have summarised below and how they will impact bodies corporate and owners corporations.

What the Latest Updates mean for Strata (29th March) 

  • There was an announcement from the Prime Minister regarding a moratorium of evictions on commercial and residential tenancies. We have included more information below and encourage you speak with your Letting Agent if this applies to you. Further details will come to light in the following days in regard to how each state and territory will enforce this. 
  • The Prime Minister strongly advised all individuals should stay at home unless they are collecting essential items from the supermarket or pharmacy, seeking medical assistance or are unable to work/learn from home. This means we will see another increase in the number of residents working from home. If you are utilising more data for work, online learning and streaming services, you may want to revisit your mobile and data plans to understand your options. 
  • The Prime Minister also advised anyone aged over 70yo, aged 60yo+ and with a pre-existing respiratory condition and Indigenous people aged 50yo+ should also stay at home at all times for their own safety as they are considered in the high-risk category. If this means you have difficulties getting essential items, consider the home delivery services of supermarket chains, home delivery food services such as ‘ubereats’ or ‘deliveroo’ as well as some ready-to-cook delivery services such as ‘Markey Spoon’ or ‘Hello Fresh’. (provide links) 
  • Public gatherings have been reduced to a maximum of 2 people (excluding people from the same household). What this means is you can meet or exercise with only one other support person or friend (again excluding household members). This includes Personal Trainers who can now only do 1:1 sessions with clients. Various exercise programs are available online if you are in quarantine or self-isolation. 

 A Few Recommendations 

Social Distancing and practising good personal hygiene are continually referenced by experts as the keys to ‘flattening the curve’.  

We encourage buildings with lifts to impose that they introduce a 2 person limit on people using the lifts and increased cleaning on high touch areas. A risk which has been identified is touching infected surfaces and then rubbing eyes or other parts of the face so try to push buttons with your elbows or the tip of an umbrella. Place a sign up next to the elevator informing people. 

Another precaution Committees can take is to limit the number of people allowed in other shared facilities which remain open – for example, limiting use of a rooftop area to 1 household/family unit at a time and ensuring surfaces are regularly cleaned after use. 

Latest Updates from the Prime Minister (29th March) 

The below information is directly from an official Federal Government site –  https://www.pm.gov.au/media/national-cabinet-statement 

Indoor and Outdoor Public gatherings 

National Cabinet agreed to limit both indoor and outdoor gatherings to two persons only.  

Exceptions to this limit include: 

  • People of the same household going out together; 
  • Funerals – a maximum of 10 people;  
  • Wedding – a maximum of 5 people; 
  • Family units.  

National Cabinet’s strong guidance to all Australians is to stay home unless for: 

  • shopping for what you need – food and necessary supplies; 
  • medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements; 
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements; 
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely. 

National Cabinet agreed that playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms in public places will be closed. Bootcamps will be reduced to two persons, including the trainer.  

These measures will be in place from midnight 30th March 

Commercial and residential tenancies 

As part of its work on helping businesses hibernate, National Cabinet agreed that short-term intervention is needed for commercial tenancies. Work on this has begun, but there is more to do, including for residential tenancies.  

National Cabinet agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus.  

Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to sit down together to find a way through to ensure that businesses can survive and be there on the other side. As part of this, National Cabinet agreed to a common set of principles, endorsed by Treasurers, to underpin and govern intervention to aid commercial tenancies as follows: 

  • a short term, temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent to be applied across commercial tenancies impacted by severe rental distress due to coronavirus; 
  • tenants and landlords are encouraged to agree on rent relief or temporary amendments to the lease; 
  • the reduction or waiver of rental payment for a defined period for impacted tenants; 
  • the ability for tenants to terminate leases and/or seek mediation or conciliation on the grounds of financial distress; 
  • commercial property owners should ensure that any benefits received in respect of their properties should also benefit their tenants in proportion to the economic impact caused by coronavirus; 
  • landlords and tenants not significantly affected by coronavirus are expected to honour their lease and rental agreements; and 
  • cost-sharing or deferral of losses between landlords and tenants, with Commonwealth, state and territory governments, local government and financial institutions to consider mechanisms to provide assistance. 

School Update (26th March) 

QLD 
On Thursday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that starting Monday 30 March schools in Queensland will be pupil free for a period of one week. This period will allow teachers to receive training in distance learning and using online resources.  
 
NSW  
Schools in New South Wales remain unaffected. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has expressed to parents/ guardians that they should keep children home if possible.  
 
The Government said that all schools in NSW were providing online learning options for the remainder of term one for parents that have chosen to keep their children home.  
 
VIC  
Schools in Victoria have already started their school holidays following the decision by Premier Daniel Andrews to bring the break forward.  
 
Term 2 is scheduled to begin on April 14 however, Mr Andrews expresses that they would not recommence if medical advice said they should not.  
 
With more students at home this means more people will be in Strata complexes. Therefore, it is important to ensure you are practicing the recommended hygiene procedures frequently. 
 
Click here for more information about each Australian state.  
 

Latest Updates – 24th March

The Prime Minster made a further public announcement last night (24th March) in which he addressed the concerning rise of community transmission of the Covid-19 virus and to stress that rigorous adherence to the previously announced social distancing requirements is the only way to ‘flatten the curve’ of infections. He also outlined that if this was not successful there may be further restrictions in the coming days and weeks. 

The Prime Minister also announced further nationwide restrictions on top of those announced on 22nd March. Some of these restrictions will have a direct impact on you, your families and your community. We are here to assist you so please do not hesitate to reach out to SSKB if you are feeling overwhelmed or confused. This is a fluid situation and if more changes and restrictions are made in the coming days and weeks, we will communicate these to you in a timely fashion.  

What that means for Strata 

We have read the Prime Minister’s Statement and the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) who advise our National Cabinet. Our recommendations are: 

  • All Bodies Corporate or Owners Corporation should close any shared facilities that come under the new Government restrictions. This includes gyms, indoor and outdoor pools and sporting activities. This will apply to apartment blocks and we encourage all owners follow these new restrictions. Your Building Manager or Community Manager will be able to assist in locking these facilities, sending correspondence to owners or putting signs up if required.  
  • If your community has any shared facilities not included in the restrictions, we highly encourage all owners to follow social distancing guidelines and sanitize high touch areas such as elevator lifts regularly. As more and more restrictions come in place, we will start to see more people in your communities working from home or in self-isolation so there may be an increased number of people using lifts etc. We encourage Committees to work closely with their Community Manager on a case by case basis.  
  • If you are currently in the process of selling your lot, Real estate auctions and open house inspections are included in the newest restrictions. Your Real Estate agent should be in contact with you regarding the same. Private inspections are currently allowed. 

We acknowledge that all buildings are different and have different facilities and spaces. Our general advice is to follow ALL government restrictions (gyms, pools, etc.), increase cleaning of high-touch areas (reception, foyers, lifts), follow social distancing recommendations and keep in regular contact with the community. Other considerations should be on a case by case basis so please don’t hesitate to reach out for advice. SSKB can utilise industry contacts if further advice is required.  

CLICK HERE TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OFFICIAL RESTRICTIONS 

Below is a list of the additional closures and restrictions announced to take effect from 25th March at 11:59p.m. 

To close 

  • Beauty, nail, massage (excluding health related) and tattoo shops 
  • Real estate auctions and inspections 
  • Amusement parks, arcades, play centers 
  • Yoga, pilates, gyms, wellness centers 
  • Pools and sporting activities  
  • Galleries, libraries, community and recreational centers 

Open with restrictions  

  • Food courts in shopping centres – takeaway only 
  • Hairdressers and barbers – strict social distancing rules and 30 minutes per client  
  • Bootcamps and Personal Training sessions – Limited to 10 people with strict social distancing 
  • Weddings – a maximum attendance of 5 (celebrant, couple and witnesses) 
  • Funerals – a maximum attendance of 10  

Other 

  • Stay at home unless for – groceries, medial needs, exercise, work (if you are unable to work from home) 
  • Schools remain open until further notice 

For information on the total list of required closures and restrictions, click here 

Cases in Australia 

The Prime Minister media statement announced that Australia are leading the world in testing with more than 161,000 Australians tested and around 2,000 results coming back positive.  
 
The Prime Minister has stated that we will be living with this virus worldwide for at least 6 months, therefore it is imperative that each individual is taking the necessary precautions to reduce the spread of the virus.  

National cabinet has noted that there has been a significant spike in the amount of positive cases therefore, taking the advice from the government and health authorities is more important than ever.  

Ban on Travel 

Entry to Australia  

Leaders announced that the Commonwealth Government will implement a ‘do not travel’ ban on Australians travelling overseas under the Biosecurity ACT 2015.  

This rule has been implementing to decrease the amount of positive cases coming to Australia from overseas countries and to slow the spread worldwide.  
 
There are however exemptions for travelers including citizens ordinarily resident overseas, where travel is essential or necessary, where travel is in our national interest, and on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. This will be monitored by the Australian Boarder Force.  

We know that this is a time of great concern for many with the impacts of Covid-19 being felt across the world. It is important at this time that we continue to communicate with you, and we will be doing this frequently to comfort you that we are here to help and will be of service however we can.

Update from Prime Minister and How it impacts Strata – made 22nd March 2020 

The Prime Minister recently (March 22nd) announced that the following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday local time March 23, 2020: 

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation) 
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues 
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs 
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery 
  • Places of worship and religious gatherings. (There is an exception for small funerals and weddings, provided they adhere to the 1 person per 4 square metre rule.)

We appreciate that many Bodies Corporate and Owners Corporations have a common property gym and we identify the above-mentioned Federal Government position where the Body Corporate gym can no longer be utilised. Other common property assets such as tennis courts, swimming pools, spas and saunas are not specifically mentioned however, we would conclude that spas, saunas and indoor pools fall under the definition of ‘indoor sporting venues’ whilst outdoor pools, tennis courts and other outdoor amenities fall outside this definition.  

Outdoor Pools 

  • It is our interpretation that outdoor swimming pools can remain open but note that they can still be regarded as a place of non-essential gathering and therefore must only have 1 person per 4sqm. 
  • According to centers for disease control and prevention, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g. with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.  
  • Obviously, if you are required to self-quarantine, you should not be using shared areas such as a pool.

For the full statement made by the Prime Minister click here.

Letting pools and management rights advice 

Considerations may include: 

  • Reminding all residents, workers and guests of the importance of practicing appropriate hygiene (such as handwashing) and social distancing. 
  • Asking residents diagnosed with COVID-19—or who are required to self-isolate—to alert the body corporate so other residents can be informed and take appropriate precautions. You need to balance the requirement for reducing others’ exposure with the individual’s right to privacy. 
  • Airbnb has a section on their website about coronavirus. It recommends all hosts send an email to their prospective guests. The text can be found on their website – click here. 
  • Hand sanitiser stations are recommended. Some other preventative measures could be to provide gloves to prevent the spread of germs in the lifts and common areas or recommended to residents to use their knuckles when pressing lift buttons.  
  • It is also recommended to increase the cleaning of common areas. 

Tourism ban 

  • From 9pm 20 March 2020, all non-residents will be denied entry to Australia, in a bid to stop the spread of corona virus.  
  • There are however exemptions to the travel restrictions. You can travel to Australia is you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually residing in Australia. If you are an immediate family member who holds a temporary visa, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship. If you are travelling for a compassionate or compelling reason to Australia, you can apply for an exemption. 
  • While it’s changing everyday currently QLD, SA, NT, WA have closed their borders. So only residents can enter and are required to quarantine for 14 days upon return.  

With travel bans and strict restrictions in place, we understand that a lot of our clients will be negatively impacted by loss of income from the tourism industry.  We direct you to the following for more information and advice: 

There will be various issues that arise throughout the course of this pandemic and SSKB will seek to update our clients with any strata related advice and information from Government or professional sources. If you have any concerns, questions or wish for us to discuss a specific topic, please contact sskb@sskb.com.au and use the subject line “SSKB COVID-19 COMMUNICATION”.  

Helpful Links 

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

SSKB 

During this global coronavirus pandemic, our focus is on protecting the health and safety of our people and those in the communities in which we manage. We have a business continuity plan in place to ensure we are well placed to service our clients while protecting the health of our people. 

Meetings 

We will be actively reducing the number of face to face meetings and strongly encourage committees to use teleconference facilities to conduct their meetings. 

Other considerations are:  

  • Video conference; 
  • Committee votes outside the Committee Meeting (via email for VIC or *voc for QLD)
  • Postponing the meeting. 

Committee meetings 

  • It may be prudent for committees to avoid face-to-face meetings unless they are essential, and to practice appropriate hygiene and social distancing when meetings are held. 
  • There is no legislative reason why meetings cannot be held remotely; for example, by telephone, video conference (e.g via Microsoft Teams, skype and similar technologies). 
  • The need for a quorum at meetings does not mean that committee members need to be present in the same room. 
  • A committee can also decide to vote outside committee meetings. 

General meetings 

  • Bodies corporate, particularly in larger schemes, can consider deferring calling general meetings unless there is urgent or essential business to consider. 
  • Bodies corporate are able to seek approval from an adjudicator for annual general meetings to be held outside the legislative timeframe, and this may be an option to consider. Please read Practice Direction 19 (See paragraphs 17 – 19) for further information. 
  • Where meetings are held, it may be appropriate to encourage owners to submit a Proxy form or to submit voting papers rather than attending the meeting personally. 
  • While the legislation requires a minimum number of persons to be ‘present personally’ at a general meeting to form a quorum, this will generally only be one or two persons (depending on the size of the scheme). 
  • All other voters could submit written votes and potentially also participate in the meeting remotely (for example, by telephone, video conference, skype or similar technologies) if the body corporate is able to facilitate such participation. 
  • Provided that bodies corporate make reasonable endeavours to comply with the legislative requirements for holding general meetings, instances of non-compliance that do not affect the voting outcomes will be unlikely to affect the validity of meetings. 
  • The statutory capacity to approve expenditure above the committee spending limit with the written consent of all owners, may reduce the need to call a general meeting in some cases, particularly in smaller schemes. 
  • In schemes registered under the Small Schemes and Commercial Modules there is also a capacity to approve any general meeting motion with a vote outside a meeting. 

Relevant state specific information:

From SCA Victoria 

Click here for a link to the full recommendations on meetings from the SCA Victoria. 

From SCA New South Wales

Click here for a link to the full recommendations on meetings from the SCA New South Wales.

From SCA Queensland

Click here for a link to the full recommendations on meetings from the SCA Queensland.

Some Member Companies have already made the decision to defer AGMs or move to online technology to conduct meetings, but at some professional risk – SCAV is liaising with CAV and regulators on this. 

 As the number of cases of coronavirus increase and as Government advises social distancing, each Owners Corporation will need to consider mitigating risk factors, through cancellation or postponement of AGMs.  Factor in: 

  • Demographics and vulnerability of the attendees. 
  • Presence of confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus in the OC community. 
  • The ability to arrange for social distancing in the venue of choice; and 
  • The expected number of attendees at the AGM etc. 

Some meetings may be considered a low risk and OC Committees may decide to proceed as planned. If so, then your risk management should start with a COVID-19 Health Notice to be included in the meeting pack and for display at the meeting venue. 

If meetings do occur, we encourage members to implement preventative measures and precautions to ensure both staff and attendees are not infected. This is a necessary precaution to reduce the risk of virus spread, particularly in circumstances where attendees at meetings may be infected or vulnerable. We also note this is a rapidly escalating issue and it may be appropriate at a time to consider deferring all face to face meetings. 

Strata Committee Meetings 

We are aware of member businesses introducing precautionary policies to defer any non-essential meetings. This directly relates to strata committee and general meetings held on site or at office venues. Based on best practice proactive advice and preventative policies, we are encouraging our members to assess meetings on a case by case basis with a risk assessment and give consideration to deferring or arranging alternative attendance methods for face to face meetings if there is a risk of contamination. 

If meetings do occur, we encourage members to implement preventive measures and precautions to ensure both staff and attendees are not infected. This is a necessary precaution to reduce the risk of virus spread, particularly in circumstances where attendees at meetings may be infected or vulnerable. We also note this is a rapidly escalating issue and it may be appropriate at a time to consider deferring all face to face meetings. 

SCA (NSW) has briefed NSW Fair Trading on the potential impacts that may result from deferring meetings. We are also holding ongoing discussions regarding the broader impact on service providers and services to strata schemes. 

Self-Isolation 

We have worked with some communities who have organised volunteers to drop off groceries or other essential items to elderly or people in self-isolation in their building. If you would like to implement something like this, contact your Community Manager to work out the logistics. 

We encourage all owners to notify the committee or building manager if you are in self-isolation as a precautionary measure and to reach out if you are left without any support and need something like groceries. 

What if someone is not self-isolating if they should be? 

  • If someone is required to be in quarantine and does not, it is a criminal offence. This should be a Police issue, not a Body Corporate/Owners Corporation issue. A $13,000 find can be issued by the Police if someone does not self-isolate.  
  • You should try to provide evidence when calling the Police, don’t just call them because you think someone is breaking the rules.  

Precautions that can be taken in your building 

It is a legislative requirement in Queensland that Bodies Corporate must act responsibly. Similar legislation applies in Victoria and New South Wales. It is recommended that all Committees work on the basis that there may be someone infected within the building and take any necessary precautions. Individuals are urged to take a large amount of responsibility in following government guidelines. 

  • Install hand sanitizer at all lifts, reception areas etc. We understand supply is hard to get at the moment and are working on finding solutions/suppliers for our clients; 
  • If possible, use knuckles or elbows to press elevator buttons and to open doors; 
  • Install signs in the lifts, lobbies etc. (there are a number of free government downloads that can be printed and put up); 
  • Ensure all roll information is up to date. Give notices in the mailbox, under the door, via email etc. that outlines what precautions are being put in place by the Committee (hand sanitiser, extra cleaning, signs in the lifts). 

Useful information from BCCM 

https://www.vision6.com.au/em/message/email/view?a=55581&id=1476836&k=vM8psi6GzvlWP6_ZPPvT0qU8YXStWtYBQM6T1CcDX4c

Common Areas 

We encourage all owners to minimize use of any common areas or shared facilities to protect themselves and protect the community from the spread of the virus.  

The common property must still be maintained and in good condition.  

Cleaning 

The following document is the Australian Government Department of Health Cleaning guide. We highly encourage all cleaners, caretakers, building managers, strata managers to reference this when discussing cleaning plans. 

If Committees are concerned, ask your cleaning company to: 

  • Increase number of cleans, length of clean, what gets cleaned; and 
  • Send you their Coronavirus cleaning plan that outlines how they are handling the situation. 

Contractors 

Contractors, site inspections etc. may still be going and there is no set answer as each company appears to have a different response. 

We highly encourage all building managers, caretakers, facilities managers or strata managers to communicate with any contractors, trades etc. and advise of the following: 

  • Ask them to avoid close personal contact with any one on site; 
  • Sanitize hands and equipment if they are coming on site before and after conducting their duties; 
  • If they have been overseas or are feeling unwell, contact immediately and postpone the works – they should not attend the site; 
  • Bring their own pens/pencils if any signatures etc. are required; 
  • Avoid shaking hands; 

Finances 

  • Have conversations with owners if they can’t pay their levies before issuing demands. Some owners may have lost their jobs or only minimal hours each week or may rely on income from Airbnb and short-term letting guests.  You may wish to work with Committees and Owners to work out a payment plan or if waiving Penalty Interest / missed Discounts if appropriate at this time .  
  • If a large number of owners in your building’s income is largely impacted, it may be a good idea to postpone any non-essential major works as they will not have funds to pay levies. 

Building Manager 

  • If the Building Manager needs to self-isolate it would most likely be considered sick leave. They may have to organise a contractor to complete necessary work.  
  • Building managers should try to advise their buildings of any precautions they want to put in place, such as no contact, deliveries, extra cleaning etc.  

Airbnb 

Airbnb has a section on their website about coronavirus, it recommends all hosts send an email to their prospective guests. The text can be found on their website - click here.  

A message from SSKB regarding COVID-19

With the continued spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the likelihood it will continue for a period of time, we would like to assure you that SSKB is well prepared for a range of outcomes to ensure our ongoing service delivery to our valued clients. The health and wellbeing of our staff and clients is paramount and we have already taken various measures to preserve this already and will continue to do so.

  • We are informing our staff daily via our intranet with any updates from the World Health Organisation and Australian Government
  • We have shared vital information about novel coronavirus, its symptoms, tips for reducing the likelihood of contracting the virus and reinforced the requirement for the practice of handwashing and general hygiene
  • We have advised any staff who feel at all unwell to remain at home
  • We are limiting domestic travel to essential travel only and advising our staff who do not feel comfortable to travel that they are not required to do so and we will assist them to find an alternative means to ensure service continuity such as teleconference or video conference
  • We have advised that we will enforce self-quarantine protocols for two weeks for any staff retuning from overseas holidays
  • We have informed clients with upcoming meetings that SSKB has the capacity to hold meetings via teleconference and video conference

We have a business continuity plan which has various levels and functions (such as remote working). We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep our staff and clients informed via email, our facebook page and our website with any changes in our operations.

Best regards

Daniel Herbert

Tips for Committees, Building Managers and Owners

  •  Install sanitiser outside all elevators and reception;
  •  Make disinfecting wipes available;
  •  Regular cleaning of common areas;
  •  Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue
  • –throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  •  Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  •  If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  •  If visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.

SSKB Precautions

SSKB are taking the following precautions to ensure the health of our staff and clients is protected.

From a company perspective, we would like to ensure the health and safety of all our team members at all times.

With that in mind, each of our employees that return from travelling to a ‘hot spot’ city will be required to work from home for 2 weeks to ensure no symptoms appear.

Meeting Tips

SSKB cares for our clients and we wish to take a cautious position regarding the spread of the Coronavirus disease with respect to our scheduled meetings. We have respectfully asked that if clients have travelled overseas or are aware of being in contact with someone who has travelled overseas in the last 14 days that you make alternative arrangements to attending upcoming meetings.

Alternatives to personally attending the meeting can be:

  • Appointing a proxy;
  • Join the meeting via telephone;
  • Send an email to your Community Manager/Owners Corporation Manager containing issues; you want to raise that may be able to be considered via a VOC in the future;
  • Postponing the meeting;

If you will not be attending an upcoming meeting, please let your Community Manager/Owners Corporation Manager know at your earliest convenience.

Insurance for Hotels and Businesses Impacted

Hotels and other accommodation facilities see many tourists and guests checking in and out on a daily basis. Due to this, some hotels may have a case where a guest becomes infected with the virus.

In some instances, hotels may be required to temporarily close certain levels of the building to ensure the virus does not spread.

If this situation occurs, it is important to check with your insurer to see if your policy includes covers relating to Business Interruption such as Loss of Profits.

Tips for those in self-quarantine

The Australian Government Department of health have released the following instructions: “If you have been in, or transited through, mainland China, Iran, South Korea or Italy you need to self-quarantine for 14 days.”

We suggest the following for those in quarantine:

• Arrange with your employer if it is possible to work from home;

• If your child is self-quarantined ask if their school can email their school work;

• Keep to your normal daily routine as much as possible;

• Seek immediate medical attention if you begin to feel unwell;

• Keep in regular contact with others via phone or email.

If you become unwell and suspect you may have symptoms of coronavirus; you must seek medical attention.

Useful Links

If you wish to discuss any concerns further with your Community Manager, please do not hesitate to contact them at your earliest convenience or undertake your own research on this matter. Below are some useful links if you would like to conduct further research.

Australian Department of Health

Australian Department of Health – Simplified Chinese

Smart Traveler

Health Direct

Queensland Government

As always, SSKB is here to help your community navigate such an uncertain time to the best ability. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager or email us at sskb@sskb.com.au



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