COVID-19 Alert Level 2

Operating at Alert Level 2

Good news for retailers, cinemas, cafes, restaurants, beauty and personal services and gyms, amongst other businesses who are now able to open to customers at Alert Level 2. Businesses who can operate safely under strict public health guidelines will be able to open to the public. This includes things like physical distancing, hand hygiene, and sanitisation of frequently touches services.

Specific guidance is still being developed by WorkSafe for specific environments or situations. We will keep this page updated as that advice becomes available over the coming days.

Retail shops and malls

You need to consider how you will:

  • maintain a two metre social distancing requirement between fellow customers, and between customers and staff
  • maintain a one metre distancing requirement between staff members
  • limit the number of people in your premises so distancing can be maintained
  • provide appropriate handwashing facilities if food or drink is being consumed
  • regularly disinfect shared surfaces like doors, tables, EFTPOS terminals
  • make sure workers who have cold or flu symptoms stay home
  • ask customers who appear to have cold or flu symptoms to come back after they have been symptom free for 48 hours, and call Healthline for advice if you think workers or other people were exposed.

In your Safety Plan, you may want to consider the following things:

  • continuing to operate a click and collect service if already in place
  • how you'll encourage customers to use contactless forms of payment
  • how you'll make the return and refund process as simple as possible, eliminating contact between customers and workers
  • how you'll disinfect or sanitise returned items and clothing customers have tried on
  • making hand sanitiser available for workers and customers
  • how you'll discourage customers from touching and picking up items they don't intend to buy.

Keep up to date with specific guidance from WorkSafe.

Cafes, restaurants and bars

At Alert Level 2 cafes, restaurants and bars can open, and have customers on their premises. However, there are requirements to make sure that everyone is kept safe. Hospitality businesses should keep groups seated, separated, and use a single server if possible. This means each group has one server, though servers can each serve more than one table.

  • Your workers should still stay 1 metre apart from each other where practicable.
  • One server for each group, and keep the same servers throughout.
  • Everyone in your venue must be seated.
  • Different groups must be kept 1 metre apart.
  • You will need to the limit the number of people inside to a maximum of 100 people at any time so that physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Make sure that people don't need to queue near other people to enter, pay, or go to the bathroom.
  • Provide good facilities for people to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly.
  • Maintain a contact register with details of everyone that has entered your premises.
  • You can still do delivery, drive-through or contactless pick up by customers. Try to avoid having people queue, and if they are queueing make sure they're able to maintain physical distancing.

Each business can decide if they will allow customers to use reusable cups and containers. If they allow it, they must manage food safety risks and adhere to food safety requirements. This applies to all reusable containers, including:

  • personal keep cups
  • in-house reusable coffee cup programmes used by coffee shops.

Check for updates from WorkSafe on keeping staff and customers safe at Alert Level 2.

Beauty therapists, hairdressers and personal services

For those businesses who work in close proximity to their customers/clients, there are a few other health requirements that must be followed including the use of appropriate PPE gear where necessary. Here are some requirements that you need to consider into your Safety Plan:

  • Although you may need to be close to your clients, workers need to keep 1 metre apart from each other, when possible.
  • If possible, separate work stations by at least 1 metre.
  • Sanitise surfaces, workstations, basins, screens and other equipment between use.
  • Use disposable equipment when possible.

Continue to check for updates from WorkSafe.

Alert Level 2 resources for your business

For advice about operating online at Alert Level 2, you can learn more here.

If you have questions, take a look at our FAQ's page, or get in touch with our Advice Service on 0800 472 472 (1800 128 086 from Australia) or email us on

Keep up to date with advice and guidance on COVID-19 on our website.

Updated on 13th May 2020.