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Shed Resource Guide: Getting back to the Shed after COVID-19

Click here to download a pdf version of this Guide

With National Cabinet’s release of a three-step framework to ‘reopen’ Australia, our State Governments are now implementing this framework to gradually remove baseline restrictions and make Australia ‘COVIDsafe’.

As this looks different in each state, it means that the operation of Sheds across Australia will differ from state to state. We advise you to contact the authorities relevant to your state to ensure any steps you take to reopen are appropriate and within the easing of restrictions.

We will support your Shed and continue to provide information as we embark on this journey. We have put together our Getting Back to the Shed Guide to help you navigate the process of reopening safely and legally.

You can download a copy of the Guide, or view the information below. The Guide contains:

Coronavirus Contacts

For the latest information on current restrictions please view the advice from your State Government.

NATIONAL 1800 020 080 (24/7)  /

NEW SOUTH WALES 13 77 88  /

VICTORIA 1800 675 398  /

TASMANIA 1800 671 738  /


SOUTH AUSTRALIA 1800 253 787 (8am-8pm)  /

QUEENSLAND 1800 173 349  /

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY 02 6207 7244 (8am-8pm)  /

NORTHERN TERRITORY 1800 518 055  /

Shed Insurance

For Sheds who are covered by the AMSA Group Insurance Scheme, it is up to the Committee members to ensure the Shed is complying with the relevant legislation of their locality prior to allowing activities of any description to resume. If members are acting legally, then subject to the terms and conditions of each policy, you can expect coverage of the relevant insurance policy to afford protection.

For Sheds with other insurance coverage, we recommend you contact your insurer for further information.

Making the decision to reopen your Men’s Shed – Step by Step

  1. Committee decision to investigate reopening

As a committee, make an informed decision as to whether you believe it is right for your shed to investigate reopening. In making this decision the Management Committee needs to take into consideration that it is safe and legal to do so.

  1. Check state government regulations

Review the latest information available from your State Government as to the easing of restrictions to determine whether your Shed may be allowed to re-open.

If you need clarification on the restriction guidelines contact your relevant COVID-19 information line for assistance.

Do not assume what may define a Men’s Shed under the ease of restrictions. If you have any doubt, please check as there are significant fines and penalties in place for breaches of the regulations.

  1. Contact the Trustee or owner of the Shed

The vast majority of Men’s Sheds are located on public or Crown Land, or third party property such as Church, Community Centre or other Government buildings.

The Trustee of the Land (or landlords) being in most cases local government will more than likely be key in granting permission for public assets such as Men’s Sheds in re-opening. A measure of this would be with indoor facilities like Community Halls, Museums, libraries etc.

We recommend that you contact your local Council or trustees for more information before opening the Sheds preferably via email so you have a record of the advice received.

  1. Committee decision to reopen

The Management Committee is required to meet and to make the decision on re-opening the Shed. In making this decision the Management Committee needs to take into consideration whether it is safe and legal to do so.

The Management Committee is also required to put in place operational procedures to ensure the safety of the Shed members.

  1. Communication to members

Once the Committee has confirmed that the Shed is able to re-open and the decision has been made, communicate this information to your members along with the new operating procedures and rules for attending the Shed.

Operational Guidelines for reopening your Men’s Shed


Ensure that all kitchen and bathroom facilities are cleaned regularly. You may want to consider appointing a Shed Hygiene Officer to coordinate this operation.

  • Provide hand sanitizer stations and ensure that members use them.
  • All kitchen surfaces to be regularly cleaned and dishes etc. washed immediately after use, you may wish to consider using disposable coffee cups and plate for the interim period but make sure that you still practice safe handling to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Bathrooms to be cleaned regularly and supplied with hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays.
  • Provide disinfectant wipes or similar for members to wipe tools and machinery before and after use.
  • Evaluate risk area such as small or confined spaces and limit the number of people allowed in these areas or consider closing these areas for the interim period.


As restrictions are eased each State will have rules on how many people per square metre and how many maximum can participate in indoor activities. These may vary from State to State but the general rule being applied is one person per four square metres.

  • To ensure that the Shed in not over populated increasing risk to everyone, AMSA recommends that Sheds apply the following. Note that it is important to manage Shed attendance numbers to remain within the guidelines- this is a matter of public safety and there are significant fines in place for breaches of the regulations.
  • Develop a registration roster for members wishing to attend the Shed. Not everyone will be able to attend the Shed at once (especially in larger Sheds). By applying a pre attendance registration the Management Committee can control daily attendances to prevent overcrowding.
  • This can be as simple as developing a timetable or spreadsheet and members phoning ahead to book in times. Some Sheds may wish to do this via electronic means such as email and Facebook.
  • Maintain a log of all people who attend the Shed. All Sheds should have a sign in sheet for people attending the Shed and these needs to be enforced- all Shed members and visitors are recorded by date of attendance time in and out and provision of contact details.
  • Be mindful of the needs of your members. The last few months have been a difficult time for all of us, some more than others. Some of your members may need the Shed now more than ever. Be mindful of those in need and ensure that they are being given adequate access to the Shed. Also bear in mind that not all members may wish to come back to the Shed throughout this period and may choose to wait longer until the situation is clearer or they consider it safe to do so.
  • Attendance is an individual choice and no pressure should be placed on any person to attend the Shed.
  • Hours of operation- to cater to the needs of members and limits of numbers attending the Shed at any one time. The Management Committee may wish to extend the operating hours of the Sheds to fulfil these needs. If necessary the Committee may need to check if there are any limitations on extending operational hours with the Trustee or landlord.

Coronavirus general information and resources


COVID-19 presents a more serious risk to

  • people aged 70 years and over
  • people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions
  • people with a compromised immune system
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions.

If you are in one of these groups you should self-isolate and practice social distancing when out.

In public:

Social distancing in public means people:

  • stay at home and only go out if it is absolutely essential
  • keep 1.5 metres away from others
  • avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
  • use tap and go instead of cash
  • travel at quiet times and avoid crowds
  • avoid public gatherings and at risk groups like older people

Everyone must practise good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading.

Good hygiene:

  • cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • put used tissues straight into the bin
  • wash your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitisers
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
  • clean and disinfect frequently used objects such as mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes
  • increase the amount of fresh air available by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.


Coronacast is a podcast that helps to answer your questions about coronavirus or COVID19.

The podcast breaks down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through an epidemic.

Click here to visit more information about Coronacast. 


Download a suite of resources provided by the Federal Department of Health:


National Cabinet continue to encourage Australians to download the COVIDSafe app to ensure that we can protect Australians and reset baseline restrictions. More than 5.3 million Australians have already downloaded the COVIDSafe app.

Download the COVIDSafe app for iPhone

Download the COVIDSafe app for Android


AMSA has developed a suite of posters and information sheets to help you stop the spread in the Shed: