Safe Keeping Policy

Download our Visual Covid Safe Plan

COVID-19 Operating and Safety Procedures 

Last updated: Wednesday 2 December 2020

Official Statement

Our venue is committed to ensuring that the venue and its patrons/clients follow the advice of public health authorities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. As such the following measures will be included for visits to HostCo.

  • HostCo will acting in compliance with social gathering guidelines set in place by the NSW government, as such booking size and timing limitations may apply to your visit.
  • We ask that patrons/clients visiting HostCo;
    • Practice social distancing by maintaining a minimum of 1.5m distances from others
    • Follow directions on any floor markings or signs
    • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Cough and sneeze into a cloth or tissue, or if unavailable, into one’s elbow
    • Do not engage in any unnecessary physical contact. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
    • Most importantly, please stay at home if you feel unwell or display symptoms, such as coughing or fever.


Located within the heritage grounds of Sydney University, HostCo is a bespoke catering and events company, delivering memorable experiences for every type of event, from weddings, conferences and gala dinners to intimate gatherings. We've been doing events for over 40 years

Headquartered within the Holme Building on campus, but can host and cater at any of the University’s unique spaces, e.g. the Great Hall. Additionally, HostCo can hold events at offsite locations and at other venues; some memorable locations include Bennelong Lawn and the lower Hawkesbury River. HostCo can cater from an intimate dinner for 10, through to large scale events of 2,000+.


This guidance has been prepared for staff and community within the university to reduce the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in our venue and food service environments during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

HostCo is located in the University and as Universities are considered essential, activities should continue with appropriate risk mitigation measures in place. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) supports the re-activation of the on campus environment with the following principles:

  • help stop the spread and stay healthy;
  • stay informed and continue to support physical distancing in accordance with the Australian Government and State/Territory guidelines; and
  • apply specific sector-based guidelines to all entities on campus where relevant (e.g. child care centres, schools, sporting facilities, cafes etc.)

Universities are complex entities and many operate like small cities with multiple activities and lines of work and many stakeholders.

Universities should continue to support all measures to stop the spread and to stay healthy. Universities will encourage their university communities to download and utilise the COVIDSafe app to assist in contact tracing, recognising that it is an individual’s choice

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, and shortness of breath.

The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene and physical distancing can reduce the risk of infection. For most people, COVID-19 is experienced as a mild disease. The focus on reducing transmission is to ease the burden on our health system, rather than eliminate the spread.

If you, your staff, your students, or your community and business visitors are sick and think you have symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical advice. If you want to talk to someone about your symptoms, or are seeking information, call the National Coronavirus Hotline for advice on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  For online updates refer to: 



All HostCo staff have a number of certifications and training accreditations in health and safety. These include but are not limited to:

  1. HostCo’s food safety compliance is managed through a HACCP accreditation. 
    1. The business also has a 100% compliant audit history through the NSW Food Authority with a 5-star rating. 
  2. COVID19 - The Novel Coronavirus training through:


Keeping Safe

Personal/ Good Hygiene
Reduce the spread by having good hygiene.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This includes before and after eating and after going to the toilet. (refer to the following link how to wash your hands properly
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers when you can’t use soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

Cleaning and disinfecting
Coronaviruses, including COVID-19, can survive on surfaces for many hours but are readily inactivated by cleaning and disinfection.

To reduce the spread of viruses or germs in HostCo’s venues and Universities through environmental cleaning, arrangements will be in place with our cleaning contractor to ensure:

  • clean and disinfect frequently used high touch surfaces such as benchtops, desks, doorknobs, taps and handrails with a detergent solution or detergent/disinfectant wipes;
  • clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as shared computers, photocopiers and sports equipment with a detergent solution or detergent/disinfectant wipes;
  • clean and disinfect outdoor equipment a detergent solution or detergent/disinfectant wipes;
  • increase the amount of fresh air available indoors by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning where it is appropriate to do so; and
  • provide regular cleaning of toilets, showers and bathroom facilities

Areas not service by our cleaning contractor, such as Kitchens (back of house, front of house) our Operational staff will undertake these activities. 

How do I clean?
Use the following steps to clean an environment:

  1. Wear gloves when cleaning. Gloves should be discarded after each clean. If it is necessary to use reusable gloves, gloves should only be used for COVID-19 related cleaning and should not be used for other purposes or shared between workers. Wash reusable gloves with detergent and water after use and leave to dry. Clean hands immediately after removing gloves using soap and water or hand sanitiser.
  2. Thoroughly clean surfaces using detergent and water. Always clean from the cleanest surfaces to the dirtiest surfaces. This stops the transfer of germs to cleaner surfaces and allows you to physically remove and dispose of the largest possible amount of germs.
  3. If you need to use a disinfectant, clean the surface first using detergent then apply a disinfectant or use a combined detergent and disinfectant (see next section). A disinfectant will not kill germs if the surface has not been cleaned first. Apply disinfectant to surfaces using disposable paper towels or a disposable cloth. If non-disposable cloths are used, ensure they are laundered and dried before reusing.
  4. Allow the disinfectant to remain on the surface for the period of time required to kill the virus (contact time) as specified by the manufacturer. If no time is specified, leave for 10 minutes.

How should I clean if someone at my workplace is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19?
If a person who has been at your workplace is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, you must thoroughly clean and disinfect all areas of suspected contamination.

Clean and disinfect all areas (for example, offices, bathrooms and common areas) that were used by the suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. Close off the affected area before cleaning and disinfection. Open outside doors and windows if possible to increase air circulation and then commence cleaning and disinfection.

  • clean and disinfect hard surfaces using either: a physical clean using detergent and water followed by a clean with 1,000 ppm bleach solution (2-step clean), for example, household bleach or hospital-grade bleach solutions that are readily available from retail stores. Bleach solutions should be made fresh daily.
  • a physical clean using a combined detergent and 1,000 ppm bleach solution (2-in-1 clean) made up daily from a concentrated solution (refer to the Department of Health website for more information on achieving the correct bleach solution).

Maintain physical distancing
Physical distancing should be followed at all times to keep customers and staff safe.
Businesses can put systems in place to encourage physical distance between customers:

  • Encourage customers to call ahead to reserve tables, rather than gathering out the front of venues to queue.
  • Place queue markers outside your premises, at checkouts and at counters.
  • Install screens where staff and customers interact.
  • Encourage cashless payments to reduce contact.
  • Encourage good hand hygiene by making hand sanitisers available for customers when they enter your premises and displaying posters.

Venue Capacity has been reduced in the venue to allow for the 4-square-metre and 2-square-metre bubble per person rule. The 2sqm rule will be in place from the 7th December 2020. 

Venue Size 4sqm Rule 2sqm Rule
Refectory 298 sqm 75 pax 149 pax
Cullen 171 sqm 42 pax 84 pax
Sutherland 168 sqm 42 pax 84 pax
Drawing Room 125 sqm 31 pax 62 pax
Chancellors Room 55 sqm 13 pax 27 pax (18 at the Chancellors Table)
Colonnade / Level 4 Terrace 102 sqm 26 pax 51 pax
Cottage Lawns 239 sqm 59 pax 120 pax

Food Hygiene
The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect your business is through good hygiene practices. At a minimum, businesses must adhere to existing requirements of food laws, specifically:

  • Maintain and practice frequent hand washing when preparing foods, after going to the bathroom, and after touching the face or hair
  • Maintain thorough cleaning and sanitising of facilities, equipment, and transport vehicles (including food contact surfaces and equipment, but also door handles, light switches, floors, walls, and other 'high touch' areas)
    • Thoroughly cleaning surfaces with water and detergent and applying used cleaning agents is sufficient
    • Consider whether aspects of the Australian Government guidelines for cleaning will add anything to your standard procedures for cleaning and disinfection of the premises
  • Maintain strict requirements around worker health and hygiene. All staff should be trained in personal hygiene and how to wash their hands properly. Posters are available to display at handwashing stations in your business.
  • Any worker with a suspected communicable disease (such as coughing, sneezing, flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal illness) MUST be excluded from the workplace. It is recommended that the health of all employees is reviewed on a daily basis and any workers showing these symptoms are sent home or advised not to come to work.
  • Follow the NSW Health recommendations regarding self-quarantine of individuals who are considered a risk.
  • Consider if there are any higher risk activities in your business that need to be managed and implement appropriate risk management strategies. For example, if you have face-to-face contact with customers, encourage social distancing and have hand sanitiser available for use.


Make sure all workers comply with COVID-19 health advice.
Daily screening questions can be considered as workers enter the workplace, such as whether they have:

  • experienced cold or flu-like symptoms
  • a temperature
  • been in contact with anyone that is confirmed to have COVID-19.

If the answer is 'yes' to any of the above questions, the worker should not be allowed entry to the workplace and should be directed to return home and seek medical advice.
Important to have temperature checks

Patrons / Clients
Same practice as above. Event organisers to screen and temperature check guests. Provide a contact list of all attendance.

PPE alone will not protect workers. You must implement a range of control measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including good hygiene, physical distancing and cleaning and disinfecting. The type of PPE you provide will depend on your workplace and the outcomes of consultation with staff and your risk assessment.

Managing customer aggression
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to increased fear and anxiety among the public.
All hospitality businesses have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for workers.
Consult with workers to identify the situations where there’s a risk of verbal, aggressive or violent behaviour.

Then implement solutions, which can include:

  • manage customer expectations
  • promote a zero tolerance policy
  • provide instruction, training and supervision to de-escalate aggressive behaviour.

Making our venue & services COVID safe
A risk assessment will help you determine:

  • the likelihood of a customer or worker being exposed to COVID-19 and why
  • whether your existing control measures are effective
  • if there are additional control measures that could be implemented

We will include an additional clause for COVIDSafe / Pandemic terms and liability on our contract for our clients to abide by Clause 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d:

Clause 1a
Cancellation due to pandemic, we are able to postpone or provide a credit for you to use toward future events or catering, valid within 12 months of the original booking. Initial deposit is not refundable.

Clause 1b
Client to comply with the accordance of each Australian Government and State/Territory guidelines under the Public Health Act 2020 

In addition agree with our Keeping safe practice above

Clause 1c
We will not operate an event if we feel it’s unsafe to do so, this includes but is not limited to the following:

  • If attendee numbers are not in the accordance with Australian Government and State/Territory guidelines
  • If any guest does not comply with our Keeping safe practice such as
    • The guest is sick and/or feeling unwell
    • If guest deliberately sneeze/cough on a staff member

Clause 1d – External Venues
The client is accountable and will comply in accordance with both Australian Government and State/Territory guidelines and will provide a COVIDSafe plan for each venue the event is held in.