Questions and answers
Why do we need guidelines to resume member run activities?
We are concerned for the safety of you, our members and your loved ones; the safety of your customers and clients; and the safety of your local communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation. It remains unclear if people can build a protective immunity against COVID-19 and there is no vaccine. We all need to prepare for the fact we will be returning to a different environment, including maintaining our physical distance from our friends and families, and adjustments to how everyday activities are undertaken.
Red Cross has a duty to put safety first. We are exercising caution and adopting a phased approach to the return to all Red Cross activities. Before member run activities can resume, they need to be safe.
We have developed the Guidelines and the Checklist to support safe resumption of member run activities that meet Safe Work Australia’s nation-wide safety advice, and relevant State or Territory legislation and safety requirements.
We will continuously review and adjust our guidelines based on organisational updates, and member feedback.
Federal and/or State and Territory authorities allow people to gather in groups and resume most activities (cafes, restaurants, shops, etc.). Why does Red Cross not allow for member-run activities to resume before 30 June?
For Red Cross, the safety of our people is the highest priority and we also have a duty of care to our people. We are exercising caution and adopting a phased approach to the return to all Red Cross activities.
A phased approach to resuming Red Cross activities means we can best manage the risks and support the safety of Red Cross people and their communities. The time until 30 June will allow us to review guidelines, complete checklists and ensure we have everything in place before we resume.
Other charities as well as some Red Cross Retail Shops have reopened their stores, why can’t we open our member-run stores before 30 June?
We are phasing the reopening our Red Cross Retail Shops with support from paid staff who manage the stores. This is an intensive undertaking to ensure all work health and safety measures are in place and the store is compliant with relevant safety requirements.
We have trialled reopening some of our larger shops where we have paid staff on hand to support. The success of this trial means we will be able to open some of our other larger Red Cross Shops with staff support in the coming weeks. The learning will help us to support more Retail stores and member-run stores to open when possible.
We are and will continue to take into account local circumstances, and to monitor what is happening in our Retail stores. Learning and tools from Retail store reopening will inform reopening of member run shops.
Why are we taking a staged and cautious approach to resuming member-run activities?
We need to remain vigilant. The pandemic is not over and a second wave of infections is a real risk.
To this end we need to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place before resuming member activities, including reopening member-run stores. We will be considered, only making changes where we can ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people, those we support and the community.
As restrictions are eased, we are reviewing how changes are impacting infection rates and responding accordingly. We are conscious that many of our members are older and at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. We will continue to adapt, to review arrangements regularly and if stronger restrictions return we’ll respond using our pandemic plan and business continuity plans.
Now that restrictions are easing, what guidelines do I follow in regards to Branch/Unit meetings after 30 June?
Guidelines and checklists are available above.
Can I use the lunchroom and communal spaces?
To reduce the risk of infection by COVID-19, the lunchroom should only be used for food preparation and where possible the number of people using the area at the same time be reduced.
Where possible, people should be encouraged to bring food that doesn’t need to be prepared in the kitchen, and to eat at their desk or outside, taking care to physically distance from others and practice good hygiene.
Do I need to have my temperature checked, use a mask or have a screening test?
Australian Red Cross does not recommend temperature checks at the entrance of the site, because people can transmit the disease 48 hours before having symptoms, and it could give a false sense of safety for people in the workplace.
Australian Red Cross does not recommend people wear a mask. Masks must be kept for people who are sick (suspected and confirmed COVID-19) and for people who are regularly in direct contact with the public when physical distance cannot be maintained.
Australian Red Cross does not recommend the use of any test before returning to the workplace. PCR/antigen tests give information about current infection. These tests are not developed to test people without symptoms and would only give information about the day of the test. A person can be infected the next day, and the test done the day before is of no use. People who assume that they are immune to a second infection because they have received a positive test result may ignore public health advice.
What if I am unclear about an activity or struggle to complete the COVID-19 Member Site and Activity Readiness Checklist?
Talk to your State/Territory Mobilisation Hub.