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COVID-19

Ausdance NSW is committed to the safety of our staff, artists, members and associated organisations. We have been and will continue to monitor the issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and how to minimise the spread of the virus.

LATEST UPDATES:

Updated 16th August 2021

Financial Assistance 

NSW Stay at home order

What lockdown means for the Dance Sector

Insurance

Health Information and Links

Mental Health Resources


Stay at home orders for all of NSW:

View the Public Health Order here>>

To minimise movement and protect the community from the evolving COVID situation in Sydney, NSW will extend the current lockdown in Greater Sydney until Thursday 30 September 2021, and introduce new rules targeting the local government areas of concern, where the vast majority of new cases are emerging. The lockdown measures in Regional NSW will remain in place until at least 28 August 2021.

The NSW Government is asking everyone to minimise travel at this time. The new order replaces existing rules in the regions and means that everyone must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave.

Other restrictions include:

  • All hospitality venues must be closed to the public, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, except for takeaway.
  • Critical retail shops such as supermarkets may remain open to the public. Other retail shops must be closed except for ‘click and collect’ or home delivery services.
  • Service stations, banks, post offices, laundromats and drycleaners and other non-retail premises can remain open.
  • Anyone who leaves their home must always carry a mask. Masks must be worn in all indoor areas of non-residential premises, and when outside near shops or when queuing for goods or services.
  • There will be a one-day ‘grace period’ for planned weddings and funerals in the regional areas that have not already been subject to a lockdown. Those events may go ahead until 12:01am on Monday 16 August.

Full details of the additional restrictions are available here>>

A reasonable excuse to leave home is if you need to:

  • obtain food or other goods and services locally
  • leave home to go to work if
    • you cannot reasonably work from home and
    • the business is allowed to be open
  • leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home
  • exercise and take outdoor recreation in the local government area you live in or 10km from your home (5km from Monday, 16 August 2021)
  • go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • See the list of other reasonable excuses.

Reduction to the 10km rule:

From 12.01am Monday, August 16, shopping, exercise and outdoor recreation is to be done in a person’s local government area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within 5 kilometres of home. LGAs of concern must still exercise and shop within five kilometres from home only. 

Additional rules for the LGAs of concern:

From 12.01am Monday 23 August the following additional rules will apply in the LGAs of concern:

  • Curfews will be introduced from 9pm to 5am (except for authorised workers, emergencies or medical care) to help reduce the movement of young people
  • Outdoor exercise (including supervision of children at play) is limited to one hour per day
  • The following retail premises must closed to the general public, except for click and collect and home delivery: garden centres and plant nurseries, office supplies, hardware and building supplies, landscaping material supplies, rural supplies, and pet supplies. Tradespeople and business customers are allowed to shop in-store.
  • All exams and other education or professional development related activities will move online, not including the HSC. The government will provide further information on its educati­­on plan in due course.

The following new restrictions around workplaces and authorised workers from the LGAs of concern will be introduced:

  • Childcare workers and disability support workers who live or work in the LGAs of concern must have their first vaccination dose by 30 August 2021.
  • Authorised workers who work outside their LGA of concern are only permitted to work if rapid antigen testing is implemented at their worksite or they have had their first vaccination dose by 30 August 2021.

From Saturday 28 August 2021:

  • Authorised workers from the LGAs of concern are required to carry a permit from Service NSW declaring that they are an authorised worker and cannot work from home.
  • Anyone entering an LGA of concern for the purposes of work must carry a worker permit issued by Service NSW.

Advice on how to apply for worker permits for these reasons will be circulated once available.

From 12.01am Monday 23 August, workers from the Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland and Fairfield LGAs will no longer have to be tested for COVID-19 in the previous 72 hours to work outside their LGA.

Mandatory mask wearing for Greater Sydney (including regional NSW until at least 28 August)

From 12.01am Monday 23 August, residents in Greater Sydney must wear a mask when outside your home, except when exercising.

All restrictions for Greater Sydney can be found here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney

Permits required for travel to Regional NSW

From 12.01am Saturday 21 August 2021, travel from Greater Sydney (no longer including Shellharbour and the Central Coast) to Regional NSW will require a permit.

Registration for these permits will be available online from Saturday 21 August 2021 via Service NSW.

Special powers will also be given to the NSW Police Force in­­cluding:

  • Power for the Commissioner of Police to lockdo­­wn apartment blocks while health assesses the COVID risk
  • Power for the Commissioner of Police to declare a residential premise a COVID-risk premise and require all people to present to police during compliance checks
  • Powers to allow police to direct a person who has been issued with an infringement notice to return to their place of residence
  • If a person from outside an LGA of concern is found to be in an LGA of concern without a reasonable excuse, they will be fined $1,000 and required to isolate at home for 14 days.

Increased penalties:

From the beginning of Monday 16 August, there will be increased fines for Public Health Order breaches.

  • $5,000 on the spot fine for breaching self-isolation rules
  • $5,000 on the spot fine for lying on a permit application (already a criminal offence)
  • $5,000 on the spot fine for lying to a contact tracer (already a criminal offence)
  • $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching the two-person public gathering rule
  • $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching rules around entry into regional NSW for authorised work, inspecting real estate and travelling to your second home.

What lockdown means for the Dance Sector:

Currently, as long as you are working within the Public Health Orders and taking all the COVID-safe measures you can, advice from NSW Health is that behind-the-scenes work may continue. However, we ask that schedules are reviewed and anything that can be postponed while the stay-at-home Order is in place, is postponed. Where work must continue, it should continue with the utmost caution and use only essential personnel.

We have also received confirmation from Service NSW that if there is not an appropriate space for you to teach at home, a dance teacher can go into their dance studio to teach an online class from the studio. They can do this if there is only one teacher going in, with no students there and no access to the public and all COVID-19 precautions and protocols followed. If you are asked why you are in the studio you just need to state what you are doing, such as: “I am here teaching an online class as I have no space to do this at home, there are no other people here and there is no access to the public. Service NSW has told me that I can do this”. This is still permitted even if your studio is over 5km from your place of residence as there is no limit to how far you can travel for work, as long as it does not exceed 50km outside of Greater Sydney or sends you to Regional NSW.  

At this time, staff who are residents of Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith are not permitted to leave these LGAs for work.


Financial Assistance

Financial support is the number one concern for dance workers right now, please see information on financial support currently available:

NSW FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PACKAGES ANNOUNCED 13 JULY 2021:

Below is a summary of the packages announced: More information will be given about this as it comes.

PLEASE NOTE: all support is available to people from all areas of NSW that are affected and can show eligibility, not just Greater Sydney. 

  • Micro-Business Support Grant 
    • A fortnightly payment of $1,500 for small businesses and sole traders with a turnover between $30K and $75K that have experienced a revenue decline of 30% or more. Eligible businesses also must provide the primary source of income for a person associated with the business. Applications are set to open on the 26th July. 
      More information and applications can be found here >>
  • Business Support Grant
    • A one-off grant of up to $15,000 is available for NSW businesses and sole traders who had a turnover of more than $75K per annum for the year ending 30 June 2020. Different grant amounts are available depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions. Applications for this are now open. 
      More information and applications can be found here >>
  • JobSaver
    • A fortnightly payment is available to help maintain employee headcount and provide cashflow support to businesses with a turnover between $75K and $50 million that have experienced a revenue decline of 30% or more. The fortnightly payment amount is determined for employing businesses by 40% of their weekly payroll (minimum payment of $1,500 and maximum payment of $10,000 per week). For non-employing businesses, the fortnightly payment is $1000 a week. Applications open in late July, with no date currently specified.
      More information and applications can be found here >>

NSW PERFORMING ARTS SUPPORT PACKAGE:

The aim of this package is to provide urgent financial support to performing arts venues, producers and promoters impacted by the cancellation or postponement of performances resulting from the NSW Government COVID-19 Public Health Orders from 26 June 2021. The package is also designed to provide certainty to performing arts venues, producers and promoters of what assistance will be available if further COVID-19 Public Health Orders result in further cancellation of performances or restrictions in audience numbers. An eligible venue, producer or promoter of an eligible performance can apply through Create NSW Smarty Grants.
More information and applications can be found here >>

COVID-19 DISASTER PAYMENT:

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a one-off cash payment for each period of lockdown, from the federal government (Services Australia). If you've lost from 8-20 hours of work, you can now receive $375 (increased from $325). If you lost 20 hours or more of work, you can now receive $600 (increased from $500). Previously, this was only available to people for people with less than $10K of liquid assets and people from the Greater Sydney but this threshold has now been waved and is now available to anyone in NSW losing hours of work. You just need a centerlink account attached to your mygov account (you can set this up if you don’t have one already).
If you have lost hours of work you can call Service Australia on: 180 22 66 

SUPPORT ACT - COVID-19 CRISIS RELIEF GRANTS:

With continued funding support from the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, Support Act is offering cash grants of $2,000 ($2,700 to families with dependent children) to music and performing arts workers called COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants (formerly known as MusicKeeper/CrewKeeper). These grants are not a wage subsidy but a one off payment to help pay the rent/mortgage, put food on the table, keep connected by paying power or phone bills, registering or servicing the car, paying medical expenses and so on.
More information on this grant including eligibility and applications>>

SMALL BUSINESS FEES AND CHARGES REBATE:

A rebate worth $1500 is available from the NSW Government to help small businesses and sole traders pay for government fees and charges. To be eligible for this rebate, small businesses (including non-employing sole traders) and not-for-profit organisations must have a total of Australian wages below the NSW Government 2020-2021 payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million and have an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in NSW and/or have business premises physically located and operating in NSW. Only one $1500 rebate is available for each ABN. You can apply for this rebate through Service NSW.

INSURANCE

AON Insurance, Ausdance insurance partner has set up a page full of resources on COVID-19. Topics include Understanding COVID-19 Coronavirus, Response and Planning Perspectives, Health and Duty of Care, Communications Plans, Planning Ahead – Aon Thought Leadership and Insurance and Alternative Risk Perspectives. For more information and to download the resources head to the AON website here.


HEALTH INFORMATION AND LINKS

Australian Government Department of Health - Current Status

What you can do

Key Health Information for People with disability 

  • The National Disability Insurance Agency has published Easy Read advice and information about COVID-19 that’s relevant for people with disability or who are Deaf. Click here for the NDIS response>>>
  • Accessible Arts are the peak arts and disability organisation across New South Wales Head to their website here Accessible Arts or you can contact them at info@aarts.net.au

Mental Health Support 


DANCE SPECIFIC COVID-19 INFORMATION

Please note this advice is currently not in effect due to the increased restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

All dance activities must be conducted in accordance with Public Health Orders, whether they occur in a dance studio, community hall or other venue.

Dance studios and classes

  • Under Public Health Orders, dance studio and venue operators are required to develop and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
    See the COVID Safety Plan and upload your plan to become a COVID Safe Business here.
  • Dance Studios are currently permitted to have 1 person per 4 square metres within the venue, with no additional limit on class sizes.
  • Ensure participants maintain 1.5 metres physical distance where practical.
  • Ausdance NSW has released Re-Opening in Dance in NSW COVID-19 Guidance Notes in order to assist Dance Studio Owners and Teachers in maintaining a COVID Safe studio, we recommend consulting this when writing your COVID Safety Plan and procedures for your Dance Studio.
    See the Reopening in Dance Guidance Notes here.

Dance sport competitions and training activities (including cheerleading)

  • For dance sport activities, groups of more than 20 are permitted under the Public Health Orders, provided the activity organiser implements a community sport COVID-19 Safety Plan.

General advice for dance activities

  • The NSW Chief Health Officer strongly recommends wearing a face mask:
    • if it is hard to maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance from others
    • in indoor venues with a higher risk of transmission, where practical.

Wearing a face mask in these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended.

It is also recommended that rotation of partners is avoided in partnered dancing, and additional planning is recommended for high energy dance. For example, changing partners may be necessary for dance instruction or where a class has an uneven number of participants, but should be minimised.

For more information, visit the NSW Office for Sport Website, or contact Ausdance NSW admin@dance.net.au