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

Tip Published Thursday 21 January 2021

Last Update: 10 February, 2021

New South Wales

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

From 12:01am Friday, 12 February for the Greater Sydney region (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) venues including bars, registered clubs and pubs must follow:

Masks are strongly encouraged for indoor venues where social distancing is not possible and mandatory on public transport.

Also see advice for live music performances that include singing and musical instruments.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Entertainment facilities including music halls, concert halls, dance halls and the like, but not including pubs or registered clubs, can host ticketed events only. Ticketholders can be assigned to specific seats for 75% indoors and 100% outdoors, using the capacity calculation set out below:

Indoor entertainment facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and can:

Outdoor entertainment facilities must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan and can:

Also see the advice for live music performances that include singing and musical instruments.

No dancefloors are permitted.

NSW Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

No more than 5 performers should sing indoors, with 1.5m between performers and 5m between performers and the audience.

Rehearsals in outdoor settings can have a maximum of 500 people, subject to the one person per 2 square metre rule.

All singers should face forwards and not towards each other, maintaining physical distancing of 1.5 metres between each other and any other performers, and keep 5 metres distancing from all other people including the audience and conductor.

Players of non-reeded woodwind instruments (such as flutes and recorders) should maintain a physical distance of 3 metres from others in the direction of air flow, and 1.5 metres in all other directions.

Players of all other musical instruments (including reeded woodwind instruments) should maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres between each other and the audience/conductor. Ensembles and other musical groups should rehearse and perform outdoors or in large, well-ventilated indoor spaces.

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.

NSW State Government Website:

Victoria

From 11.59pm on Friday 12 February and for five days, Victorians will only be allowed to leave home for one of these four essential reasons. Victoria moves back into another Stage 4 lockdown with the five-kilometre radius rule returning along with mandatory masks in all settings.

COVIDSafe Summer restrictions now apply in Victoria.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

  • Dance floors can reopen in nightclubs, bars and pubs. The four-square metre rule must be applied to limit the number of people on the dancefloor and there can only be up to 50 people on the dancefloor at one time, if space allows.
  • For all other indoor and outdoor hospitality venues a density quotient of 1 person per 2 square metres applies.
  • Venues can have up to 25 people before the two square metre rule needs to be applied.
  • Masks are mandatory in indoor spaces, including workplaces. Masks must be worn in indoor spaces apart from when eating or drinking.
  • All venues are required to use electronic record keeping when applying the density quotient of one person per 2 square metres. There are no other limits on the number of people.
  • Live music venues can open for up to 75% of seating capacity (maximum of 1,000 patrons). This applies for both indoor and outdoor seated entertainment venues.
  • Indoor non-seated entertainment venues can open up to 50% of capacity (max. of 1,000 patrons).
  • Outdoor non-seated entertainment venues must apply the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping. If using paper-based records, the four square metre rule applies.
  • Face masks are strongly recommended throughout performances, when paying, or using facilities.
  • Performers recommended to remain two metres apart, and five metres away from the audience. 
  • Large venues that can have 500 or more people in attendance, must publish their COVIDSafe Plan on their website.  

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Victoria has three phases as part of its COVID Safe Summer plan, with a gradual easing of restrictions taking place every 14-days. Subject to public health advice these include:

COVID Safe Summer Phase 1 (current)

  • 75% of seating capacity, up to a maximum of 5,000 people seated;
  • 1 person per 2 square metres to non-fixed seated areas – e.g. grassed areas; QR codes must be used to check-in for these events.
  • Tier 3 events with fewer than 1,000 people are permitted some standing and roaming as per the Restricted Activity Directions.
  • Tier 1 and 2 events with more than 1,000 people are allocated seated events only.

COVID Safe Summer Phase 2

  • 75% of seating capacity, up to a maximum of 25,000 people seated;
  • 1 person per 2 square metres to non-fixed seated areas – e.g. grassed areas; QR codes must be used to check-in for these events.
  • Allocated seated events only. Free-standing events not permitted, unless permitted under the Restricted Activity Directions.

COVID Safe Summer Phase 3

  • gradual return to 100% of seating capacity; and
  • gradual return of free-standing events.

Other Entertainment Venues

  • Indoor and outdoor seated entertainment venues can open for up to 75% of seating capacity up to 1,000 patrons.
  • Large indoor venues, such as the NGV and Princess Theatre, can open for up to 50% of the total venue capacity (up to a maximum of 1,000 patrons).
  • For non-seated areas, venues can use the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping. If using paper-based records, the four square metre rule.
  • Outdoor non-seated entertainment venues can open and can apply the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping.
  • Indoor non-seated entertainment venues can open up to 50% of capacity (max. of 1,000 people).
  • Large venues that host over 500 people at one time must publish their COVIDSafe Plan on their website.  

Victoria Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Recommended you keep at least two metres from other people in the rehearsal or recording studio space. You must wear a fitted face mask when you are singing indoors.

If you are rehearsing at a private home, the number of musicians is limited to the household cap of 15 visitors per day.

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.

Victoria State Government Website:

Queensland

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

  • Dancing is allowed in all indoor and outdoor venues including nightclubs, bars, clubs and outdoor music festivals, subject to the one person per 2 square metre rule. This includes standing eating and drinking. Dancers asked to socially distance as best as possible.
  • Indoor events: 500 people permitted at indoor events with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. Larger events require a COVID Safe Plan.
  • Ticketed venues: 100% capacity at seated, ticketed venues with patrons encouraged to wear masks on entry and exit (e.g. theatre, live music, cinemas and indoor sports). Performers can distance from audience at 2m, except choirs which remain at 4m from the audience.
  • Open air stadiums: 100% seated capacity (with a COVID Safe Plan). All patrons encouraged to wear masks on entry and exit.
  • While not mandatory, people are encouraged to wear a mask in any indoor or outdoor space when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Outdoor events: 1,500 permitted at outdoor events with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. Larger events require a COVID Safe Plan.
  • Contact tracing information: All hospitality industry businesses (i.e. pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafés) in Queensland must comply with electronic contact information collection requirements.

Queensland Safe Future: COVID roadmap to recovery plan.

All businesses can open, in line with the COVID Safe Framework.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Organisers of events with more than 500 (indoors) / 1,500 (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 via the COVID Safe Event Plan Submission Portal.

For more information on COVID Safe Events and the COVID Safe Events Framework.

QLD Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Rehearsal spaces and recording studios may have one person per 2 square metres on their premises.

Physical distancing rules still apply. So wherever possible, people should remain 1.5 metres away from others.

For full details, read the official public health direction.

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.

Additional Information from Queensland State Government Website:

South Australia

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs must have an approved COVID Management Plan to be allowed to operate and before dancing is allowed.

For Nightclubs and venues:

  • Total number of patrons must not exceed 1 person per 2 square metres, with the maximum number of attendees determined by the venue size. Staff not included in these requirements.
  • Reasonable steps must also be taken to maintain 1.5m physical distancing.
  • Contact tracing required along with a COVID marshal if food/beverages are served.

A COVID Management Plan is also required for gatherings and activities of more than 1,000 people.

Entertainment venues where patrons are in fixed seating, capacities can increase to 75% if patrons wear masks, or 50% if masks are not worn.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

All major music events and festivals of more than 1,000 people are considered ‘high risk’ and require a pre-approved COVID Management Plan, before any event of can take place as well as a COVID-Safe Plan.

Concerts and live performances under 1,000 people only require COVID Safe Plan, if no dancing or consumption of alcohol; takes place. Otherwise they too are required to have an approved COVID Management Plan.

SA Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

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

The density restriction is 1 person per 2 square metres, with the maximum number of attendees at a place of business determined by its size.

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

WA remains in a State of Emergency (5 February 2021). Conditions apply for the transition out of lockdown for Perth and Peel regions, controlled interstate borders and other non-affected regions.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs cannot operate with dancing.

For other venues

  • the 4 square metre rule applies, with a maximum of 150 patrons (excluding staff) permitted.
  • The 150 patrons cap applies regardless of venue size.
  • Masks must be worn at all times.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

  • Events are limited to a 150 person capacity limit, regardless of venue size (staff not included).
  • Where events are held at hospitality, entertainment or public venues, the 4 square metre rule also applies.

WA Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

The 4 square metre rule applies for rehearsal spaces and recording studios with the maximum number of people allowed to gather in private spaces limited to 20.

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.

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 re-open and dancing is permitted with physical distancing. Groups who do not know each other should abide by a 1.5m rule.

Gatherings of over 500 people must complete a COVID-19 safety checklist.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Events with less than 100 people don’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.

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

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.

Standing and drinking alcohol and/or dancing is permitted in premises with a liquor licence or liquor permit up to a maximum of 100 people in indoor spaces and 250 people in outdoor spaces, within current density requirements.

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.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

The Tasmanian Government has released A Framework for COVID Safe Events and Activities in Tasmania, which supports organisers to plan COVID-safe gatherings from 1 December 2020 that exceed the gathering limits in the Management of Premises Direction.

Depending on the risk profile of the event, it will be classed as Level 1, 2 or 3, and different controls will apply depending on the level. All levels are subject to density limits of 2 square metres of space per person

Level One:

  • Free moving and mixing: max. 250 people inside and max. 1,000 people outside
  • Seated (capped at 50% seated capacity): max. 500 people inside and max. 2,000 people outside
  • Combination: Event with multiple separate areas or sites: max. of 2,000 people.

Level Two:

  • Free moving and mixing: max. 500 people inside and max. 2,000 people outside
  • Seated (capped at 50% seated capacity): max. 1,000 people inside and max. 5,000 people outside
  • Combination: Event with multiple separate areas or sites: max. of 5,000 people.

Level Three:

  • Free moving and mixing: max. 1,000 people inside and max. 5,000 people outside
  • Seated (capped at 50% seated capacity): max. 2,000 people inside and max. 10,000 people outside
  • Combination: Event with multiple separate areas or sites: max. of 10,000 people.

Important considerations for event capacity:

  • Density limit applies at all levels, which requires a minimum of two square metres per person.
  • Physical distancing for all people of 1.5 metres from each other applies where practicable.
  • Seated patrons must not exceed 50% of the venue’s total seated capacity.
  • All people in the venue (patrons, staff and performers) count towards the capacity limit at the relevant event level.

The Mass Gatherings Direction provides a legal basis for the Framework.

The Framework will be reviewed over time as the rules for mass gatherings and events are updated to reflect the changing COVID-19 situation in Tasmania. The Framework will enable organisers to apply to hold an event under one of three levels.

More information on the COVID-19 Safe Events and Activities Events Framework.

Tasmanian Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

All Tasmanian businesses including rehearsal spaces and recording studios are now permitted to 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

Canberra is in Stage 4 of its Recovery Plan Easing of Restrictions Roadmap.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs are now permitted to reopen and dancing is allowed.

The same conditions apply as licensed venues, which allow:

  • the number of people on indoor dedicated dance areas to a maximum of 25, using one person per two square metres, if the Check-in CBR app is in use; or
  • one person per four square metres, without the Check-in CBR app in use.
  • If venues want to have more than 25 people across their venue, they can use one person per two square metres of usable space in indoor and outdoor spaces, provided they use the Check In CBR app.
  • Businesses and venues not using the Check In CBR app can continue to have one person per four square metres of usable space in indoor spaces and one person per two square metres in outdoor spaces.
  • Patrons to be seated while consuming alcohol in indoor spaces.
  • Large indoor venues can have 65% capacity for ticketed and seated events, up to 1,500 people, but must have a COVID Safe Plan in place for each event.

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.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

  • Large indoor performance venues (with forward-facing and tiered seating, such as theatres and arenas) can have events up to 65% capacity – up to 1,500 people – provided the events are ticketed and seated and a COVID Safety Plan is in place for each event.
  • Enclosed outdoor venues with permanent tiered seating and grandstands can have up to 65% capacity – up to 1,500 people – provided events are ticketed and seated and a COVID Safety Plan is in place for each event.
  • GIO Stadium and Manuka Oval can have up to 65% capacity provided events are ticketed and seated and a COVID Safety Plan is in place for each event.
  • Patrons must be seated when consuming alcohol in indoor spaces but can stand while eating.

Events which involve gatherings of up to 500 people are currently allowed and do not need to seek exemptions, unless they do not comply with the Public Health Directions. However, events of over 200 people are required to submit their COVID Safe Event Plan to the Office of the Chief Health Officer.

Any Event with gatherings of over 500 people is considered ‘high risk’ (indoor or outdoor) and must develop a detailed COVID Safe Event Plan, as well as a Risk Management Plan for consideration by ACT Health.

For events over 1,000 people and multi day events, it must also be reviewed by an Event Assessment Committee.

Events which will be utilising the one person per 2 square metre density limit indoors, must use the Check in CBR app and this must be detailed in the COVID Safe Event Plan.

Where seated venues (i.e. stadiums) have the capacity to hold numbers significantly higher than 8,000 people, consideration will be given for events to have a maximum of 65% capacity across the venue.

Where spectators are seated in permanent tiered seating (i.e. theatre or grandstand), events are able to have a maximum of 65% capacity across the venue, up to a maximum of 1,500 tickets.

Events of over 8,000 people will not be considered at this stage (with the exception of events at stadiums).

Events of more than 500 people, which run over multiple days with the same attendees may be considered but organisers must demonstrate a solid understanding of the risks involved and outline risk mitigation measures. Communal camping is considered a very high risk and unlikely to gain approval.

A COVID Safe Plan is required for each event.

ACT Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Recording studios and rehearsal spaces can have 25 people across the entire space or if they want to have more than 25 people, they can use 1 person per 2 square metres of usable space in indoor and outdoor spaces, provided they use the Check In CBR app.

Recording studios and rehearsal spaces not using the Check In CBR app can continue to have 1 person per 4 square metres of usable space in indoor spaces and 1 person per 2 square metres in outdoor spaces.

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: