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

Last Updated: 21 October, 2021
Tip Published Friday 22 October 2021

New South Wales

From Monday 18 October 2021 restrictions have eased further after NSW hit the 80% (aged 16 and over) double-dose vaccination target.

Fully vaccinated people can visit venues but must:

  • carry vaccination evidence and produce it for inspection to a police officer or authorised officer if requested;
  • check-in with the Service NSW app or provide contact details to the occupier; and
  • follow the face mask rules.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Venues including pubs, registered clubs, small bars and nightclubs can reopen subject to:

  • one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside,
  • Dancing is permitted indoors and outdoors – excluding nightclubs.
  • Drinking indoors and outdoors may be seated or standing – excluding nightclubs.
  • For Nightclubs that reopen, people must remain seated to consume alcohol in indoor areas. No Dancing is Permitted in any indoor area.
  • No singing indoors (except for performers).

Entertainment facilities can open subject to:

  • 75% of fixed seating capacity of the premises; or
  • 1 person per 4 square metres.

If an occupier of an entertainment facility is relying on 75% of fixed seating capacity to calculate how many people can visit the entertainment facility:

  • admission to the premises must be by way of a ticket; and
  • all people visiting the premises will need to be assigned to specific seats (other than workers).

The occupier of an entertainment facility must:

Note, that the easing of restrictions above are only available to those people who fully vaccinated, meaning unvaccinated and single dose people will be turned away at the door.

Individuals can be fined $1,000 for breaking the rules, while businesses face penalties from $5,000 - $11,000 and closure for periods of time, if they ignore their COVID safety plans.

By mid-November, home tests are also expected to be available and in use.

From 1 December, restrictions will apply to all people in NSW, regardless of their vaccination status. At this time:

  • Nightclubs can reopen with density limits of 1 person per 4sqm.
  • Singing and dancing permitted indoors and outdoors.
  • Drinking indoors and outdoors may be seated or standing.
  • Most venues moving to the 2sqm rule.
  • No cap on the number of people attending major recreation facilities (including stadiums), subject to density limits or 100% of fixed seated capacity.
  • No person limit for entertainment facilities (including theatres and music halls), subject to density limits or 100% of fixed seated capacity.
  • No person limit for ticketed and seated outdoor public gatherings – although a COVID-19 Safety Plan is required for attendance over 1,000.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Controlled outdoor public gatherings (ie – fenced, seated ticketed) permitted for up to 3,000 people with density limit.

Major recreation facilities (including stadiums) can operate with density limits for up to 5,000 people, or by exemption.

Major music events and festivals can only look to recommence after 1 December, when restrictions in NSW are set to ease further.

NSW Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm if the recent COVID restrictions have changed what is possible in these spaces and if they are open for business.

NSW State Government Website:

Victoria

Victoria’s roadmap to reopening has been developed using expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is broken down into various phases. However, Premier Dan Andrews has not ruled out changes to the state's roadmap out of lockdown, if cases rise faster than projected.

Phase B: 70% Double Dose for people 16+ (from 26 October 2021):

In metropolitan Melbourne

  • Metropolitan pubs and clubs can open to 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors. Entertainment venues can open to 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors.
  • Metropolitan entertainment venues can open up to 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors.
  • Regional pubs, clubs and entertainment venues are open indoors to 30 fully vaccinated people.
  • Nightclubs remain closed.

Phase C: 80% double dose for people 16+ (expected to be reached by 5 November 2021):

  • All Nightclubs can reopen but must operate as a seated service only for up to 150 fully vaccinated people inside and 500 fully vaccinated people outdoors.
  • Other venues (pubs a, clubs and entertainment venues) can open for seated service only, for up-to 150 fully vaccinated people inside and 500 fully vaccinated people outdoors.
  • Outdoor seated entertainment can also operate with the lesser of 25% or up to 5,000 fully vaccinated people per venue.
  • A density quota of 1 person per 4 square metres also applies in all indoor instances and 1 person per 2 square metres outdoors.
  • Significant venues to be considered for larger crowds

Phase D: 80% double dose (12+) (Indicative date: 19 November 2021)

  • Restrictions will be aligned with the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response, agreed to by National Cabinet.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Victoria is currently in Phase B: 70% Double Dose for people 16+ - see detail above.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

All major music events and festivals are restricted.

Victoria Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

People should check with their local space/studio to confirm what is possible and if they are open for business.

Victoria State Government Website:

Queensland

From 4pm Friday 8 October 2021, Stage 3 Restrictions apply to all of Queensland, with additional mask requirements in place for South East Queensland.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Stage 3 Nightclub/Venue Restrictions include:

Entertainment venues including nightclubs can operate under the following rules:

  • Indoor Venues: one person per 2m2 or 100% allocated seated and ticketed capacity with the COVID Safe Checklist.
  • Indoors: eating and/or drinking while standing allowed.
  • Outdoor spaces: no restrictions, however people are encouraged to wear a mask when physically distancing is not possible.
  • Dancing is permitted anywhere at any venue (indoor and outdoor) without masks, subject to the one person per 2m2 rule

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Stage 3 Event/Festival Restrictions include:

  • 100% allocated seated and ticketed for stadiums
  • 100% allocated seated and ticketed capacity for indoor events or 1 person per 2m2 indoors.
  • Ticketed venues: 100% capacity with allocated seating (e.g. live music events).
  • No restrictions on outdoor events, however people are encouraged to wear a mask when physically distancing is not possible.
  • Dancing is Permitted anywhere at any venue (indoor and outdoor) without masks, subject to the one person per 2m2 rule.

Queensland Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

People should check with their local space/studio to confirm what is possible and if they are open for business.

Additional Information from Queensland State Government Website:

South Australia

South Australia is currently under Level 1 Restrictions with additional restrictions applied to particular settings.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

In South Australia Dancing is Not Permitted at Nightclubs or any licensed premises.

Other Level 1 Restrictions currently in place for nightclubs and other entertainment venues includes:

  • One person per 2 square metres for non-seated activities.
  • Three people per 4 square metres for seated activities.
  • Must take reasonable steps to maintain 1.5 m physical distancing.
  • Contact tracing required.
  • No communal food or beverage areas are permitted.
  • Seated food and beverage consumption only.
  • Masks required in high-risk settings.

Singing is permitted but when a person is singing indoors, they must wear a mask, unless:

  • the person is performing individually (not including karaoke); or
  • the person is a member of a group of performers performing or rehearsing in the premises (not including karaoke or persons performing or rehearsing as part of a choir or chorus).

Any South Australian venue located in a located currently under Level 3 Restrictions is required to maintain a density quota of 1 person per 4 square metres and must take reasonable steps to maintain 1.5m physical distancing between its patrons.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

A COVID Management Plan is required for any event of over 1,000 people. All Level 1 restrictions listed above also apply to all music events and festivals.

SA Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

All rehearsal spaces and recording studios must have a COVID-Safe Plan. Contact tracing records are also required.

The density restrictions for Level 1 areas is one person per 2 square metres for non-seated activities and three people people per 4 square metres for seated activities, with reasonable steps to maintain 1.5 m physical distancing. In Level 3 areas, 1 person per 4 square metres is permintted, but reasonable steps to maintain 1.5m physical distancing must also be taken.

Singing is permitted but when a person is singing indoors, they must wear a mask, unless:

  • the person is performing individually; or
  • the person is a member of a group of performers performing or rehearsing in the premises (not including persons performing or rehearsing as part of a choir or chorus); or
  • the premises are an educational establishment; or
  • the person is undertaking or providing an individual lesson.

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm if the most recent COVID restrictions have changed what is possible in these spaces and if they are open for business.

South Australia State Government Website:

Western Australia

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

There are no longer any capacity restrictions for venues and events. This means nightclubs, music events and concerts can go ahead at full capacity.

However, COVID measures remain in place including:

While not mandatory, patrons are encouraged to maintain 1.5 metres separation between people who are not from the same household or groups of other patrons.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Events with over 500 patrons, are required to complete a COVID Event Checklist or Plan.

All event formats in WA are permitted without patron caps or the 2sqm rule. However, COVID Event Plans, Checklists and Guidelines remain important to reduce the potential risk and spread of COVID-19.

All events must still be registered with the Department of Health, and held or conducted in accordance with the completed COVID Event Plan or Checklist.

COVID Event Checklist (less than 2,500 patrons)

A COVID Event Checklist is required for events where the anticipated number of patrons is over 500 but does not exceed 2,500.

This simplified document must be completed, signed and submitted to the local government in which the event is being held, along with all other relevant documentation required for an application to hold a public event. An authorised officer from the local government will ensure it has been completed satisfactorily before an assessment of the event application is undertaken and final event approval can be granted.

COVID-19 Event Plan (more than 2,500 patrons)

A COVID Event Plan is required for events where the anticipated number of patrons is more than 2,500.

This document must be submitted to the local government in which the event is being held, along with all other relevant documentation required for an application to hold a public event.

The document will be considered in the assessment of the event application by the local government. An overall event application approval may be withheld until the plan appropriately addresses infection prevention and control risks.

COVID Event Plans for all events exceeding 5,000 patrons must be provided to the Department of Health, for their records, a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the event occurring.

While not mandatory, patrons are encouraged to maintain 1.5 metres separation between people who are not from the same household or groups of other patrons.

For more information, see COVID Event Plans - Frequently asked questions.

WA Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

There are no longer any capacity restrictions for the number of people a rehearsal space or recording studio can accommodate.

However, you should still check with your local space/studio to confirm any COVID restrictions they may have in place and if they have reopened for business.

Western Australia State Government Website:

Northern Territory

Northern Territory live music venues and nightclubs must review their COVID-19 Safety Plan every six months, appoint a COVID Safety Supervisor and collect customer contact details to assist with contact tracing.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

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

A COVID-19 safety checklist.is required for any gathering over 500 people.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Events with less than 500 people do not require completion of 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 with 500 to 1000 people in attendance inside a major population centre do require completion of a checklist or safety plan, COVID-19 Small Event Checklist. Further to this the organiser of the event must appoint a COVID-19 Safety Supervisor and display a QR code or alternate method of checking in.

Events with 1000 or more people in attendance located inside a major population centre must submit a COVID-19 Event Safety Plan and receive formal approval from the Chief Health Officer prior to the event proceeding. Further to this the organiser of the event must appoint a COVID-19 Safety Supervisor and display a QR code or alternate method of checking in.

NT Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Recording studios and rehearsal spaces that follow the NT guidelines and checklists can reopen.

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm any additional COVID restrictions that may be in place and if they have reopened for business.

Northern Territory Government Website:

Tasmania

All businesses and workplaces are permitted to operate, but they must implement measures to meet the minimum COVID-19 safety standards and record this in a COVID-19 Safety plan as outlined in the COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs are permitted to operate and dancing is permitted in premises with a liquor licence/permit up to a maximum of 100 people dancing in indoor spaces and 250 people dancing in outdoor spaces, within current density requirements of 1 person per 2 square metres.

Standing and drinking alcohol is also permitted.

Patrons in other parts of the premises or event can also consume alcohol while sitting down, subject to density requirements.

For example, a venue with a maximum density capacity of 200 can have 100 people dancing, however the other 100 people must be seated to be drinking alcohol.

The management of risk associated with these activities must also be covered in a venue’s COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Otherwise, the maximum number of people permitted to attend any events or gatherings without applying for approval under the Framework for COVID-19 Safe Events and Activities is:

  • 250 people in an undivided space indoors
  • 1,000 people in an undivided space outdoors.

The maximum density rule of 2 square metres per person applies. If the number of people permitted according to the density limit is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Operators of entertainment venues can apply to increase patron numbers above 250 people (indoors) or 1,000 people (outdoors) through the Framework for COVID-19 Safe Events and Activities.

For indoor events without seating

Where people are moving freely and mixing, the number of people that may be permitted at any time is no more than 1 person per 2 square metres of space, and no more than 1,000 people.

For indoor seated events

Where people have to be seated most of the time, the number of people that may be permitted at any time is up to the seating capacity of the premises in all seated areas, and 1 person per 2 square metres in all unseated areas, but no more than 2,000 people.

For outdoor events without seating

Where people are moving freely and mixing, the number of people that may be permitted at any time is no more than 1 person per 2 square metres of available space, but no more than 5,000 people.

For outdoor seated events

Where people have to be seated most of the time, the number of people that may be permitted at any time is up to the seating capacity of the premises in all seated areas, and 1 person per 2 square metres in all unseated areas, but no more than 10,000 people.

Tasmanian Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Rehearsal spaces and recording studios can operate, but must implement measures to meet the minimum COVID-19 safety standards and record this in a COVID-19 Safety plan. Further details are outlined in the COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework.

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm any additional COVID restrictions that may be in place and if they have reopened for business.

Tasmanian State Government Website:

Australian Capital Territory

Restrictions will be eased with effect from 11:59pm on Thursday 21 October 2021.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs must remain closed unless they can operate as a bar and dancing is not permitted.

Licensed venues can reopen with the following restrictions:

  • 25 people across the venue or one person per four square metres, whichever is lesser (exc. staff).
  • For businesses that have over 25 people, they can have up to 50 people outdoors, or one person per four square metres, whichever is lesser. However, they must not permit patrons to be seated in an indoor space, regardless of the number of people seated outside.
  • Guests must remain seated whilst eating and drinking.
  • Dancing is not permitted in licensed venues, even if they are not a nightclub.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Organised Events/Mass Gatherings are not permitted to take place.

ACT Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm any additional COVID restrictions that may be in place and if they have reopened for business.

Australian Capital Territory Government Website: