State and Territory COVID Restrictions for Nightclubs and Music Events in Australia

Last Update: 08 October, 2020

New South Wales

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

From Monday 28 September 2020, entertainment facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and can sell tickets for seated events at 50% of capacity, to a maximum of 1,000 tickets, or they can use the 4 square metre rule to calculate capacity with no maximum number of people.

Events must be ticketed with assigned seating areas for the 50% capacity (maximum of 1,000 people).

Alternatively, entertainment facilities may allow one person per 4 square metres on the premises, with no maximum capacity.

Nightclubs and music venues are still restricted from dancing.

Alcohol can only be consumed by seated customers.

NSW Venues (Pubs, Clubs, Small Bars) must complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan and also register as COVID Safe. Venues with separate areas can have up to 300 people in each separate area, or one person per 4 square metres. To be a ‘separate area’, the area must:

  •       be separate from other areas on the premises,
  •       if food and drink services are being provided in the area, have staff that are providing food and drink service only in that area, and
  •       not allow persons gathering in different separate areas of the venue to mingle.
  •       Venues may need to review current NSW Health guidance on the following areas before completing their plan:

For seated events, a maximum of 10 people per booking (or table) is permitted. There is also a maximum of 10 people on a group entering or being on the premises.

Seated groups or individuals must also be separated by 1–2 empty seats on both sides. Other COVID measures are also required including QR ID scanning, dedicated hygiene marshal, etc.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Music events and festivals within the meaning of the Music Festivals Act 2019 and including a music festival attended by fewer than 2,000 people are not permitted.

NSW State Government Website:

Victoria

Metropolitan Melbourne is in the ‘Second Step’ stage to recovery, while Regional Victoria is in the ‘Third Step’ stage to recovery.

Metropolitan Melbourne was expected to move to the ‘Third Step’ stage to recovery on 26 October 2020. However, this date has now been removed from the Victoria Govt. website and is contingent on:

  • daily average number of cases in the last 14 days being less than 5 state-wide; and
  • there being less than 5 cases with an unknown source in the last 14 days (state-wide total).

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

All nightclubs and venues are closed in Victoria.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Music events and festivals are not permitted in Victoria.

*Victoria Roadmap to Recovery:

-        Metro Melb. (28 Sept.^): Social bubbles, phased return of some workforces and education.

-        Regional Victoria (13 September): Social bubbles, visitors and staged return of education.

-        Metro Melb. (previously 26 Oct. - but now no set date): Major industries return, increased reopening for education, sport, recreation, ceremonies and special occasions.

-        Regional Vic. (16 Sept.): Increased reopening sport, recreation, ceremonies, special occasions.

-        Statewide: entertainment - indoor and outdoor venues open with density quotient and patron caps. Staged return to events with seated spectators. Large events treated on an individual basis based on requirements and epidemiology at the time

-        Last Step will not occur until there are no new cases for 14 days AND the number of active cases are low based on a public health review.

-        Statewide (date unknown^): No restrictions for gatherings, visitors, hospitality or sport.

^ subject to trigger points and public health advice

Victoria State Government Website:

Queensland

From Thursday 1 October 2020 Stage 4 of the Queensland Roadmap is in effect, allowing:

  •       up to 1,000 people at outdoor events with a COVID Safe Events Checklist;
  •       standing eating and drinking at indoor and outdoor venues with a COVID Safe Plan (from 02/20);
  •       relaxed outdoor density requirements to one person per 2 square metres and a COVID Safe Plan;
  •       an increase in seated capacity of outdoor stadiums/amphitheatres to 75% with a COVID Safe Plan.
  •       all businesses can now have one person per 4 square metres indoors, or one person per 2 square metres outdoors. Businesses with a floor space less than 200 square metres can have one person per 2 square metres, up to 50 people at a time.
  •       Physical distancing rules still apply - wherever possible people should remain 1.5 metres away from others (except if they are in the same group).

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

QLD dancefloor must remain closed. Nightclubs can choose to use their dancefloor space for dining or drinking, as long as they have a COVID Safe Plan. Dancing is also restricted for other music venues. Patrons must be seated while drinking. Venues must also collect information of all people who visit. Number restrictions are based on conditions listed below#.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

1,000 attendees are permitted per event at outdoor* events with a COVID Safe Events Checklist.

Multi-day events are dependent on number of attendees ‘per day’. For example, a 3-day outdoor event with 1,000 attendees per day.

Updates are being made to the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events and fact sheets and will be made available soon. Please continue to use the current framework with consideration of these changes.

Indoor Events# must be hosted in accordance with the following conditions:

Outdoor Events# must be hosted in accordance with the following conditions:

Organisers of events larger than 500 (indoors) / 1000 (outdoor*) people and operating in compliance with an Approved Plan other than a COVID Safe Event Plan must notify the Public Health Unit of the event a minimum of 10 business days before the event by emailing COVID-19.Industryplans@health.qld.gov.au.

Additional Information from Queensland State Government Website:

COVID Safe Industry Plans are constantly being revised. COVID Safe Checklists continue to apply.

South Australia

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

In South Australian, operational requirements for a nightclub to re-open include:

  •      Ensuring there is no dancing and drinking;
  •      1 person per 2 square metres – with reasonable steps to maintain 1.5m physical distancing;
  •      food/beverages must be ordered/served at a seated table;
  •      COVID marshal from 21/08/20;
  •      no communal food or beverage areas;
  •       COVID Safe Plan required for gatherings under 1,000.
  •       COVID Management Plan required for gatherings over 1,000.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

No large-scale music events or festivals are permitted in South Australia at present.

For any concert and live performance with more than 1,000 people in attendance a COVID Management Plan is required. However from 24 August 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in Victoria and NSW and the risk they pose to South Australia, assessment and approval of certain activities and venues that require a COVID Management Plan are temporarily paused while the risks are being assessed.

South Australia State Government Website:

Western Australia

Western Australia is now in Phase 4 (which started on 27 June, 2020) of the State’s road to recovery from COVID plan and is working towards the removal of all restrictions.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs and live music venues can re-open and dancing is permitted!! However this is subject to a 2 square metre rule and 50% capacity for major venues. For larger venues that hold over 500 people, the 2 square metre rule includes staff. No requirement to maintain patron register.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

All events are permitted in WA except for music festivals. Western Australians must continue to keep up physical distancing - 2 square metre rule – and for entertainment venues there’s also a 50% capacity cap.

Music festivals are restricted under Phase 4 based on advice from the Federal Government’s peak decision-making committee for public health emergency management (the AHPPC) and WA health experts. The AHPPC has identified music festivals as a very high-risk environment for the transmission of COVID-19, and this has been evident in other countries. A music festival is defined in the Closure and Restriction (Limit the Spread) Directions (no 5).

WA is expected to further relax its COVID restrictions and move to Phase 5 with a tentative start date: 24 October 2020. This will see the removal of WA’s 2 square metre rule and the 50% capacity for major venues. A final decision on whether Phase 5 can proceed on this date, or if it can be brought forward, will be decided sometime in October.

Western Australia State Government Website:

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Government has implemented a staged lifting of restrictions. The recommencement of events and public gatherings is founded upon physical distancing and hygiene principles to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs in the Northern Territory can re-open and dancing is permitted with physical distancing. Groups who do not know each other must abide by a 1.5m rule.

Gatherings of over 500 people requires a separately approved COVID-19 Safety Plan.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Events with less than 100 peopledon’t require a checklist or safety plan. Physical distancing is encouraged - with attendees to remain 1.5 metres apart from other groups. Hygiene principles should also be in place.

Events of 100 to 500 people must complete a COVID-19 safety checklist. They must also consider and implement physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Major events and public gatherings of over 500 people must submit a COVID-19 Event Safety Plan and receive formal approval from the Chief Health Officer prior to the event proceeding. If the Chief Health Officer does not approve the plan, the event cannot proceed.

Event organisers must stay informed about the Directions of the Chief Health Officer and any restrictions that relate to activities they may want to undertake.

Northern Territory Government Website:

Tasmania

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

All Tasmanian venues are required to implement measures to meet the minimum COVID-19 safety standards as outlined in the SA government’s  COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework.

People must be seated in Tasmanian venues where alcohol is sold, meaning nightclubs with dancing cannot re-open.

Where practicable, people should maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from each other.

Live music events also have a maximum ‘density limit’ of one person per 2 square metres and a ‘gathering limit’ of:

  •       250 people for an undivided space in an indoor venue; and
  •       500 people in an undivided space outdoors.

Where the number of people permitted according to the ‘density limit’ is less than the ‘gathering limit’, the lower number applies.

For mixed use venues with multiple indoor or outdoor spaces, the gathering limit applies separately to each single undivided space. For example, a large hotel with multiple, separate indoor spaces (e.g. conference room, bar, restaurant, foyer, beer garden), is permitted to have up to 250 people for each of these spaces (the density limit applies).

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

No large-scale music events or festivals (over 500 people) are permitted in Tasmania.

Tasmanian State Government Website:

Australian Capital Territory

Step 3.2 restrictions come into effect in the ACT at 9am Friday 9 October 2020. The ACT’s COVID-19 easing of restrictions road map aligns with the Australian Government’s Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Dancing is still not permitted in the ACT to ensure physical distancing, which should be maintained at 1.5 metres.

Nightclubs, bars and pubs can have a maximum of 200 people across the premises, for venues with a total usable space over 200 square metres in each indoor and outdoor space, or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.

For smaller venues can have a maximum of:

  •       50 people across the premises, for venues with a total usable space of 101-200 square metres;
  •       25 people across the premises, for venues with less than 100 square meters of usable space;

Staff are excluded from both the patron limit and the 4 square metre rule.

Venues are required to collect information for contact tracing.

Live music can be performed, however performers should try to maintain physical distancing requirements wherever possible.  Singers should try to stand at least 2 metres away from other band members as well as audience members.

There are no limits on the size of group bookings, but venues must have a COVID Safety Plan.

For large indoor seated venues – ticketed events up to 50% capacity, up to 1,000 people

For enclosed outdoor venues with permanent tiered seating/grandstands – ticketed events up to 50% capacity, up to 1,000 people.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Music festivals are not permitted.

Australian Capital Territory Government Website:


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