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Commercial vessels

Develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your commercial vessel or party bus, including tours, functions, parties or similar recreational activities to help you create and maintain a safe environment for you, your workers and your visitors.

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Party buses are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan

From 26 August 2020 owners and operators of party buses are required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

This safety plan must include the checklist items from the COVID-19 Safety Plan for commercial vessels.

A party bus is a vehicle being used on a commercial basis for the purposes of a party, whether or not the party takes place during transportation between locations.

Under Public Health Orders you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how your business will keep your customers and workers safe.

You can either:

Updating your plan

You may need to update the plan in the future, as restrictions and advice changes.

The plan available on this page will always be the most recent.

If you have registered as a COVID Safe business online and you update your safety plan, you do not need to register again.

Checklist of matters to be addressed in your COVID-19 Safety Plan

  • Exclude staff and customers who are unwell.
  • Provide staff with information and training on COVID-19, including when to get tested, physical distancing and cleaning.
  • Make staff aware of their leave entitlements if they are sick or required to self-isolate.
  • Consider whether appropriate cancellation or flexible booking is available where customers cancel due to COVID-19 factors (such as being unwell or awaiting test results).
  • Display conditions of entry (website, social media, email, reception).
  • Vessels hosting functions should ensure they have also completed a COVID-19 Safety Plan for conference and function venues.

  • If the vessel is being used for commercial scuba diving, snorkeling or marine animal watching tours, the total number of customers should be no more than 50 (excluding crew) provided non-household contacts maintain 1.5 metres physical distance, or one customer per 4 square metres of space, whichever is greater.

  • If the vessel is being used for hosting other functions or tours the total number of people should not exceed one customer per 4 square metres of space.

  • Use contactless check-in where reasonably practical to reduce the movement of customers and the number of surfaces touched. If signatures are required, clean pens between customer use with a disinfectant solution or wipe.
  • Move or remove tables and seating as required, including in waiting areas, to support 1.5 metres of physical distance where possible. Members of the same household are not required to physically distance.
  • Reduce crowding wherever possible and promote physical distancing with markers on the floor in areas where people are asked to queue, such as tour meeting points.
  • Where reasonably practical, ensure staff always maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing, including at meal breaks and in office or meeting rooms. 
  • Use telephone or video for essential meetings where practical.
  • Stagger start times and breaks for staff members to minimise the risk of close contact, where reasonably practical.
  • Review regular deliveries and request contactless delivery and invoicing where practical.
  • Have strategies in place to manage gatherings that may occur immediately outside the vessel, such as wharf or jetty pick up or drop off zones.

  • Adopt good hand hygiene practices and ensure hand hygiene facilities are available to customers and staff.
  • Ensure bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels or hand dryers.
  • Consider strategies to reduce the number of surfaces touched by customers where possible.
  • Clean public areas frequented by staff or customers at least daily with detergent/disinfectant. Frequently touched areas and surfaces must be cleaned several times per day with a detergent/disinfectant solution or wipe.
  • Disinfectant solutions need to be maintained at an appropriate strength and used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions. 
  • Ensure items used in the preparation of food or for eating are washed thoroughly with hot water and a detergent solution between use, or preferably with a dishwasher if available. Where possible, customers should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, and eating utensils.
  • Ensure processes are in place to launder towels between use if provided. Customers should not share towels unless household contacts.
  • Staff are to wear gloves when cleaning and wash hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water.
  • Limit the use of cash transactions by encouraging contactless payment options.

  • Keep a record of name and a mobile number or email address for all staff, customers and contractors for a period of at least 28 days. For group bookings, one contact is sufficient to support contact tracing. Ensure records are used only for the purposes of tracing COVID-19 infections and are stored confidentially and securely.
  • Make your staff aware of the COVIDSafe app and its benefits to support contact tracing if required.
  • Cooperate with NSW Health if contacted in relation to a positive case of COVID-19 at your workplace, and notify SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.

It's free to become a COVID Safe business

Step 1

Download your COVID-19 Safety plan

Download, print and complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan: commercial vessels (PDF, 193.02 KB) for your business.

Step 2

Register as a COVID Safe business 

If you've completed and downloaded your COVID-19 Safety Plan, you can register your business as COVID Safe.

Register a COVID Safe business

Last updated: 26 August 2020

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