Print and Visual Communication CEO Andrew Macaulay has commended the federal government for its economic survival measures to defend against COVID-19 but has fired a broadside at state leaders for creating confusion about shutdowns.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced late on Sunday night that places of significant social gathering including bars, clubs, cinemas, indoor sports venues and gyms would be shutdown from midday yesterday to reduce the number of people contracting COVID-19 and in doing so take the pressure of hospital systems.
These announcements were made after state leaders including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian called for a complete shutdown of non-essential services which understandably raised concern among print businesses that they too would be part of this closure.
As of Monday afternoon, the latest advice was that businesses are permitted to operate so long as they meet social distancing guidelines of keeping people 1.5 metres apart and ensuring a four square metre per person of space is available. There is also a ban on having more than 100 people indoors.
“Probably 50 per cent of the calls we have had this morning have started with ‘is our business covered by the shutdown’ or ‘are we required to shutdown’. We are having webinars for members on a regular basis because the information is changing rapidly,” Macaulay told Sprinter on Monday.
Macaulay said the PVCA’s IR hotline is “running hot” and its legal services division had been in strong demand.
To help businesses navigate this current state of affairs, the PVCA is running webinars for members to help with any issues they may be having.
“There is really three levels of support we are offering. There is the direct, private and confidential service through the IR hotline, there is the broader informational confidence gathering process of the webinars and then there’s the legal services team,” Macaulay said.
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