Which businesses will close tonight?

By Sarah Stowe | 25 Mar 2020 View comments

Australian businesses face escalating restrictions and closures as the National Cabinet releases daily measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Last night the Prime Minister announced a swathe of new limitations on business, with another meeting today expected to move the country closer to lockdown.

The changes are coming so fast, business owners have barely had time to adjust to the Stage 1 implementations which came into force on Monday.

Which businesses will close tonight?

A decreasing number of businesses will be trading on 26 March as the new restrictions come into play, and anyone able to work from home is encouraged to do so.

As of midnight tonight businesses restricted from trading include:

  • Beauty, nails, waxing and tanning salons
  • Tattoo parlours
  • Wellness centres and spas, health clubs, saunas
  • Fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities
  • Swimming pools and social sporting activities
  • Play centres
  • Community centres
  • Auction houses

The government has placed stringent restrictions on other business sectors which must be observing strict social distancing rules:

  • Hairdressers and barbers (clients to be in venue for no longer than 30 minutes and one person per 4sqm)
  • Personal trainers and boot camps operating outside are limited to 10 people
  • Real estate cannot operate open house inspections
  • Food court cafes can serve takeaway only

Each state and territory is making decisions on caravan parks and camping facilities.

Industry reactions to closures

However, the response to the list of shutdowns is mixed.

The Australian Hairdressing Council issued a statement suggesting the government’s decision to keep hairdressers and barbers shops open was putting about 40,000 hairdressers and barbers at risk.

“This decision is outrageous,” says Australian Hairdressing Council CEO Sandy Chong. “Around 40,000 hairdressers and barbers continue to be at risk of as they are directly exposed to large members of the public. Why beauty was shut down but hairdressing wasn’t, I don’t understand.

“The Fair Work Act, as it stands, makes it costly for businesses if they choose to stand down without the Government’s directive.

“As for the 30 minute appointment rule, that cuts out most services that salons offer their clients, particularly colour. Whilst many barbers can do a male haircut within that time frame, it really isn’t feasible for a majority of hairdressing salons.”

In contrast, Ray White Group MD Dan White saw opportunities for the real estate industry to continue.

“While these restrictions will no doubt provide us with some challenges, we view them as necessary to face the current crisis and welcome the opportunity to continue to support the many Australians who rely on us to support them in renting, buying, selling and managing their homes. We are well prepared to do this.

‘No other restrictions were announced for either property management or sales businesses, subject to other restrictions on physical distancing and hygiene.

“We can take heart from the statement that ‘all workers in the economy are essential’ and we will carefully adhere to the latest restrictions.”

Fitness Australia has welcomed clarification from the government on what is allowed and not allowed when it comes to gyms and exercise.

A one-page guidelines on delivering outdoor training in line with the latest government announcement has been provided to all members and is available on the Fitness Australia website and Facebook page.

In a statement Fitness Australia said “As we continue to work together through this changing environment, a unified industry is a strong industry that will survive these trying times.”