Coronavirus: Auto remains open, auctions restricted

25 MARCH 2020

The National Cabinet (Prime Minister, state and territory Premiers and Chief Ministers) met on 24 March to confirm the next phase of restrictions, in a bid to help slow down the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

These new measures will apply from 11.59pm (local time) 25 March and are in addition to the Stage One restrictions that were announced on Monday.

There are no fixed timelines attached to lifting the restrictions. Unless automotive members fall into one of the below categories, they can continue to operate their businesses but with all due care taken to maximise social distancing. Where staff can work from home, employers should consider the option seriously.

VACC is lobbying the Victorian State Government – with MTAA doing the same federally – to ensure the automotive industry is classified an essential service, meaning those businesses that can and want to remain open, will.

The following businesses, premises and/or places are to be shut down:

Food and drink

  • Cafes (takeaway service and home delivery allowed; cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless, workplace canteens can provide takeaway)
  • Food courts (takeaway service and home delivery allowed)


  • Auction houses*
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections (private appointments for inspection allowed)
  • Outdoor and indoor markets will be a decision for each state and territory (food markets will continue to operate in all states and territories)

Beauty and personal care services

  • Hairdressers and barbershops (up to 30-minute appointments and the one person per four-square metre rule applies in the premises)
  • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours
  • Spas and massage parlours

Entertainment venues

  • Cinemas, nightclubs
  • Casinos, gaming or gambling venues
  • Strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues
  • Concert venues, theatre, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums (live streaming of a performance by a small group could be permissible with social distancing observed)
  • Amusement parks and arcades
  • Play centres (indoor and outdoor)

Leisure and recreation

  • Community and recreation centres (facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services)
  • Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres
  • Boot camps, personal training operating outside and inside (for outside events, limited to groups of no more than 10 people and social distancing must be exercised)
  • Social sporting-based activities
  • Swimming pools

Residential facilities

  • Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses will be a decision for each state and territory (excluding permanent residents and workers)

Outdoor recreation

  • Caravan and camping parks will be a decision for each state and territory (where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so)

Non-residential institutions

  • Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites
  • Libraries, community centres, and youth centres
  • Local government non-essential facilities and services (such as libraries and pools)
  • Community facilities (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs)
  • Places of worship, weddings and funerals (weddings with a maximum attendance of no more than five people and where the one person per four-square metre rule applies; funerals attended by a maximum of no more than 10 people and where the one person per four-square metre rule applies).

*Note: Vehicle auction houses cannot conduct public auctions but, importantly, online operations can continue. Affected VACC members should contact VACC Industrial Relations for support.

For more information, visit:
Prime Minister of Australia media release: Update on coronavirus measures

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