COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.   

A key way you can protect workers and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by requiring workers and others to practice good hygiene. Below are measures to ensure good hygiene in your workplace.  

Remember, you must consult with workers and health and safety representatives on health and safety matters relating to COVID-19, including what control measures to put in place in your workplace.  

Worker and customer hygiene 

You must direct your workers, customers and others in the workplace to practice good hygiene while at the workplace. Good hygiene requires everyone to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them completely, preferably with clean, single-use paper towels. If paper towels are unavailable, other methods such as electric hand dryers can be used, however, hands will still need to be dried completely.

Everyone must wash and dry their hands: 

  • before and after eating 
  • after coughing or sneezing 
  • after going to the toilet, and  
  • when changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.  

An alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions when it is not possible to wash hands. 

Good hygiene also requires everyone at the workplace to, at all times: 

  • cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbow or a clean tissue (and no spitting) 
  • avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth 
  • dispose of tissues and cigarette butts hygienically, e.g. in closed bins 
  • wash and dry their hands completely before and after smoking a cigarette  
  • wash and dry their hands completely before and after interacting with customers
  • clean and disinfect shared equipment and plant after use, including the basin area
  • wash body, hair (including facial hair) and clothes thoroughly every day 
  • have no intentional physical contact, for example, shaking hands and patting backs. Workers should tie hair back to prevent it touching the customer.

You should implement processes to ensure customers do not enter the workplace if they: 

  • are experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, or
  • have been in close contact with someone who is confirmed as having COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19.

Inform customers of these expectations when making reservations. If customers are making a reservation over the phone, have a template written out for workers to read to the customer. If booking online, add additional text to the booking confirmation setting out your expectations. 

You should also display signs in your front window (or other appropriate place) informing customers of your expectations and not to enter if they or a close contact is unwell.

To enhance good hygiene outcomes:  

  • develop infection control policies in consultation with your workers and in accordance with food safety standards. These policies should outline measures in place to prevent the spread of infectious diseases at the workplace. Communicate these policies to workers 
  • review and amend current policies, procedures and risk assessments in relation to food handling to ensure that they are still relevant and apply to the COVID-19 environment
  • train workers on the importance of washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them correctly, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, before entering and exiting a common area 
  • place signage and posters near handwashing facilities showing how to correctly wash and dry hands (for example, if hand dryers are used, place posters advising that hands should be dried completely before finishing) and clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitiser 
  • inform workers of workplace hygiene standards that are expected when utilising common areas (cleaning up after yourself, placing rubbish in bins provided, avoiding putting items such as phones on meal surfaces, etc.)
  • where personal protective equipment (PPE) is usually worn by workers, provide workers with their own PPE, or if not practicable, ensure all reusable PPE is cleaned appropriately after every use
  • encourage contactless payment where possible 
  • provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser in appropriate locations for customers and workers to use, such as entries and exits. If possible, install automated or enclosed hand sanitiser dispensers to ensure it cannot be accidently ingested or misused 
  • if fans are used to reduce heat, position them in a way so that air is not blown directly from one person to another
  • inform customers of workplace hygiene standards that are expected when they attend the venue. This includes:
    • washing and drying their hands completely or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser upon arrival, only touching food items they are interested in purchasing, and
    • staying at home if they feel unwell or if directed by health authorities to self-quarantine or self-isolate.

Good hygiene measures should be supported by appropriate cleaning measures. Refer to the Hospitality cleaning page for information.

The additional measures set out below can also be applied to support good hygiene, depending on the specific services offered by your business:

For dine-in/sit-down services:

  • publish menus online and display large easy to read menus on boards or screens around the dining/seating area. Where individual menus are required, use laminated menus that can be easily cleaned between each use or disposable menus   
  • remove all tableware after a customer leaves and replace with clean tableware - set cutlery, table water and glassware on tables for each sitting rather than having communal areas for patrons to collect their own. Use disposable napkins and tablecloths where practicable, if not practicable, remove after each service and launder
  • provide individual serving-sizes of condiments on each table for each sitting instead of multi-use condiment containers, or if not practicable, ensure condiments are cleaned after each service
  • clean tables and the backs and sides of chairs after each sitting
  • present shared menu items on individual plates, rather than one sharing plate
  • allocate a specific area for used dishes and cutlery awaiting cleaning and ensure this area is separate from food preparation and other areas, and
  • do not offer coat room services.

For takeaway services:

  • publish menus online and display large easy to read menus on boards or screens around the dining/seating area. Where individual menus are required, use laminated menus that can be easily cleaned between each use or disposable menus   
  • remove seats from waiting areas, and any self-serve serviettes, condiments and cutlery and only provide to customers as requested. Staff should place these on the counter for customers to collect when requested, and
  • refuse to accept keep-cups, BYO alcohol bottles or containers for safety reasons 
    • if accepting keep-cups, ensure a safe system of work is in place – e.g. have customer insert the keep cup into a cardboard cup carrier on the bench and the worker fill the cup without handling it (ensure other risks are minimised e.g. unstable cups increasing the risk of burns and scalds to workers).

You should put processes in place to regularly monitor and review the implementation of hygiene measures to ensure they are being followed and remain effective.

What do I need to consider when providing hygiene facilities?

You must ensure there are adequate and accessible facilities to achieve good hygiene and that they are in good working order, are clean and are otherwise safe.

You may need to provide additional washing facilities, change rooms and dining facilities. You must also consider whether there are an adequate number of hand washing and drying stations, in convenient locations, to sustain the increase in workers practicing good hygiene. You may need to provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser in appropriate locations, such as entry and exits, if there are limited hand washing facilities available. 

Washroom facilities must be properly stocked and have adequate supplies of toilet paper, soap, water, and drying facilities (preferably single-use paper towels). They must also be kept clean and in good working order. 

When determining what facilities you need, consider the number of workers and customers on site, the shift arrangements and when access to these facilities is required. If you have temporarily down-sized worker numbers in response to COVID-19 and these will now be increased, you must take this into account to determine the facilities you need with increased numbers. 

I need to create a new eating or common area. What should I consider when making these new areas?

If creating a new eating or staff common area to enable physical distancing, you must ensure these areas are accessible from the workplace and adequately equipped (e.g. drinking water, rubbish bins), and protected from the elements, contaminants and hazards.  

You should also consider opening windows or adjusting air-conditioning for more ventilation in common areas and limiting or reducing recirculated air-conditioning where possible.  

For further information on providing adequate and accessible facilities, including providing facilities for a temporary, mobile or remote workplace see the Model Code of Practice: Managing the work environment and facilities.

Why are paper towels preferred over hand dryers?

Paper towels are preferable as they can reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 by drying the hands more thoroughly than hand dryers. 

Hand dryers can still be used, however, there is an increased risk of transmission if hands are not dried properly. 

I am providing paper towels in my workplace. What else should I do?

Providing paper towels to dry your hands after washing them is better than using hand dryers because they can dry your hands more thoroughly. 

If you provide single used paper towels at your workplace, remember:

  • the paper towels should be replenished as required, and
  • used paper towels should be disposed of in a waste bin that is regularly emptied to keep the area clean, tidy and safe.

Wastes (including used paper towels) should be double bagged and set aside in a safe place for at least 72 hours before disposal into general waste facilities. For further information regarding cleaning, please refer to our cleaning guide. 

What if I can’t provide paper towels?

If paper towels cannot be provided, then hand dryers may be used to dry hands. You must train workers on how to dry their hands. Placing posters near hand dryers may assist with communicating the need for hands to be dried completely. If hands are not dried completely, good hygiene will not be achieved, and the hand washing will be ineffective. 

Frequently touched areas of the hand dryers (i.e. buttons to activate the drying mechanism of the hand dryer) and the entire body of the dryer should be cleaned regularly. Nearby surfaces (such as the sink and taps) should also be cleaned regularly to remove any germs that may have been spread when drying hands. 

 

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.   

A key way you can protect workers and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by requiring workers and others to practice good hygiene. Below are measures to ensure good hygiene in your workplace.  

Remember, you must consult with workers and health and safety representatives on health and safety matters relating to COVID-19, including what control measures to put in place in your workplace.  

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.   

A key way you can protect workers and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by requiring workers and others to practice good hygiene. Below are measures to ensure good hygiene in your workplace.  

Remember, you must consult with workers and health and safety representatives on health and safety matters relating to COVID-19, including what control measures to put in place in your workplace.  

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.   

A key way you can protect workers and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by requiring workers and others to practice good hygiene. Below are measures to ensure good hygiene in your workplace.  

Remember, you must consult with workers and health and safety representatives on health and safety matters relating to COVID-19, including what control measures to put in place in your workplace.  

Worker and customer hygiene 

You must direct your workers, customers and others in the workplace to practice good hygiene while at the workplace. Good hygiene requires everyone to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them completely, preferably with clean, single-use paper towels. If paper towels are unavailable, other methods such as electric hand dryers can be used, however, hands will still need to be dried completely.

Everyone must wash and dry their hands: 

  • before and after eating 
  • after coughing or sneezing 
  • after going to the toilet, and  
  • when changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.  

An alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions when it is not possible to wash hands. 

Good hygiene also requires everyone at the workplace to, at all times: 

  • cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbow or a clean tissue (and no spitting) 
  • avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth 
  • dispose of tissues and cigarette butts hygienically, e.g. in closed bins 
  • wash and dry their hands completely before and after smoking a cigarette  
  • wash and dry their hands completely before and after interacting with customers
  • clean and disinfect shared equipment and plant after use, including the basin area
  • wash body, hair (including facial hair) and clothes thoroughly every day 
  • have no intentional physical contact, for example, shaking hands and patting backs. Workers should tie hair back to prevent it touching the customer.

You should implement processes to ensure customers do not enter the workplace if they: 

  • are experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, or
  • have been in close contact with someone who is confirmed as having COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19.

Inform customers of these expectations when making reservations. If customers are making a reservation over the phone, have a template written out for workers to read to the customer. If booking online, add additional text to the booking confirmation setting out your expectations. 

You should also display signs in your front window (or other appropriate place) informing customers of your expectations and not to enter if they or a close contact is unwell.

To enhance good hygiene outcomes:  

  • develop infection control policies in consultation with your workers and in accordance with food safety standards. These policies should outline measures in place to prevent the spread of infectious diseases at the workplace. Communicate these policies to workers 
  • review and amend current policies, procedures and risk assessments in relation to food handling to ensure that they are still relevant and apply to the COVID-19 environment
  • train workers on the importance of washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them correctly, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, before entering and exiting a common area 
  • place signage and posters near handwashing facilities showing how to correctly wash and dry hands (for example, if hand dryers are used, place posters advising that hands should be dried completely before finishing) and clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitiser 
  • inform workers of workplace hygiene standards that are expected when utilising common areas (cleaning up after yourself, placing rubbish in bins provided, avoiding putting items such as phones on meal surfaces, etc.)
  • where personal protective equipment (PPE) is usually worn by workers, provide workers with their own PPE, or if not practicable, ensure all reusable PPE is cleaned appropriately after every use
  • encourage contactless payment where possible 
  • provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser in appropriate locations for customers and workers to use, such as entries and exits. If possible, install automated or enclosed hand sanitiser dispensers to ensure it cannot be accidently ingested or misused 
  • if fans are used to reduce heat, position them in a way so that air is not blown directly from one person to another
  • inform customers of workplace hygiene standards that are expected when they attend the venue. This includes:
    • washing and drying their hands completely or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser upon arrival, only touching food items they are interested in purchasing, and
    • staying at home if they feel unwell or if directed by health authorities to self-quarantine or self-isolate.

Good hygiene measures should be supported by appropriate cleaning measures. Refer to the Hospitality cleaning page for information.

The additional measures set out below can also be applied to support good hygiene, depending on the specific services offered by your business:

For dine-in/sit-down services:

  • publish menus online and display large easy to read menus on boards or screens around the dining/seating area. Where individual menus are required, use laminated menus that can be easily cleaned between each use or disposable menus   
  • remove all tableware after a customer leaves and replace with clean tableware - set cutlery, table water and glassware on tables for each sitting rather than having communal areas for patrons to collect their own. Use disposable napkins and tablecloths where practicable, if not practicable, remove after each service and launder
  • provide individual serving-sizes of condiments on each table for each sitting instead of multi-use condiment containers, or if not practicable, ensure condiments are cleaned after each service
  • clean tables and the backs and sides of chairs after each sitting
  • present shared menu items on individual plates, rather than one sharing plate
  • allocate a specific area for used dishes and cutlery awaiting cleaning and ensure this area is separate from food preparation and other areas, and
  • do not offer coat room services.

For takeaway services:

  • publish menus online and display large easy to read menus on boards or screens around the dining/seating area. Where individual menus are required, use laminated menus that can be easily cleaned between each use or disposable menus   
  • remove seats from waiting areas, and any self-serve serviettes, condiments and cutlery and only provide to customers as requested. Staff should place these on the counter for customers to collect when requested, and
  • refuse to accept keep-cups, BYO alcohol bottles or containers for safety reasons 
    • if accepting keep-cups, ensure a safe system of work is in place – e.g. have customer insert the keep cup into a cardboard cup carrier on the bench and the worker fill the cup without handling it (ensure other risks are minimised e.g. unstable cups increasing the risk of burns and scalds to workers).

You should put processes in place to regularly monitor and review the implementation of hygiene measures to ensure they are being followed and remain effective.

What do I need to consider when providing hygiene facilities?

You must ensure there are adequate and accessible facilities to achieve good hygiene and that they are in good working order, are clean and are otherwise safe.

You may need to provide additional washing facilities, change rooms and dining facilities. You must also consider whether there are an adequate number of hand washing and drying stations, in convenient locations, to sustain the increase in workers practicing good hygiene. You may need to provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser in appropriate locations, such as entry and exits, if there are limited hand washing facilities available. 

Washroom facilities must be properly stocked and have adequate supplies of toilet paper, soap, water, and drying facilities (preferably single-use paper towels). They must also be kept clean and in good working order. 

When determining what facilities you need, consider the number of workers and customers on site, the shift arrangements and when access to these facilities is required. If you have temporarily down-sized worker numbers in response to COVID-19 and these will now be increased, you must take this into account to determine the facilities you need with increased numbers. 

I need to create a new eating or common area. What should I consider when making these new areas?

If creating a new eating or staff common area to enable physical distancing, you must ensure these areas are accessible from the workplace and adequately equipped (e.g. drinking water, rubbish bins), and protected from the elements, contaminants and hazards.  

You should also consider opening windows or adjusting air-conditioning for more ventilation in common areas and limiting or reducing recirculated air-conditioning where possible.  

For further information on providing adequate and accessible facilities, including providing facilities for a temporary, mobile or remote workplace see the Model Code of Practice: Managing the work environment and facilities.

Why are paper towels preferred over hand dryers?

Paper towels are preferable as they can reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 by drying the hands more thoroughly than hand dryers. 

Hand dryers can still be used, however, there is an increased risk of transmission if hands are not dried properly. 

I am providing paper towels in my workplace. What else should I do?

Providing paper towels to dry your hands after washing them is better than using hand dryers because they can dry your hands more thoroughly. 

If you provide single used paper towels at your workplace, remember:

  • the paper towels should be replenished as required, and
  • used paper towels should be disposed of in a waste bin that is regularly emptied to keep the area clean, tidy and safe.

Wastes (including used paper towels) should be double bagged and set aside in a safe place for at least 72 hours before disposal into general waste facilities. For further information regarding cleaning, please refer to our cleaning guide. 

What if I can’t provide paper towels?

If paper towels cannot be provided, then hand dryers may be used to dry hands. You must train workers on how to dry their hands. Placing posters near hand dryers may assist with communicating the need for hands to be dried completely. If hands are not dried completely, good hygiene will not be achieved, and the hand washing will be ineffective. 

Frequently touched areas of the hand dryers (i.e. buttons to activate the drying mechanism of the hand dryer) and the entire body of the dryer should be cleaned regularly. Nearby surfaces (such as the sink and taps) should also be cleaned regularly to remove any germs that may have been spread when drying hands. 

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.   

Worker hygiene

A key way you can protect yourself, your colleagues and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by practising good hygiene.  

Good hygiene requires washing your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them with clean paper towel. You must wash and dry your hands: 

  • before and after eating 
  • after coughing or sneezing 
  • after going to the toilet, and  
  • when changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.  
  • When it is not possible to wash hands, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Good hygiene also requires you to, at all times: 

  • cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a clean tissue (and no spitting) 
  • avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth 
  • dispose of tissues and cigarette butts hygienically, e.g. in closed bins 
  • wash and dry hands completely before and after smoking a cigarette  
  • wash and dry hands completely before and after interacting with customers
  • clean and disinfect shared equipment after use
  • wash body, hair (including facial hair) and clothes thoroughly every day 
  • have no intentional physical contact, for example, shaking hands and patting backs. You should tie long hair back to prevent it touching customers, and
  • not attend work if you are feeling unwell.

For information on the measures your employer should be implementing, see our employer information for Hospitality.




     
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