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Victoria's Seated Entertainment, Cultural and Sporting Venues Can Now Welcome Bigger Crowds

Venues with capacities up to 1000 people can now fill every seat — and the new rules came into effect last night.
By Sarah Ward
April 10, 2021
By Sarah Ward
April 10, 2021

Melburnians, next time you visit a cinema, concert venue or sports facility, you're likely to have a bit more company. Late on Friday, April 9, the Victorian Government announced the easing on capacity limits on some seated entertainment, cultural and sporting venues throughout the state — and the new rules came into effect at midnight the same day (so, last night).

In spaces that can host up to 1000 people, no caps are now in place. These seated venues can fill to capacity, and without any distancing requirements. That includes theatres, music halls, concert halls, auditoriums, museums, galleries and physical recreation sites, and spans both indoor and outdoor facilities. Both the 1000-person size and the seated component are crucial, though — take out either, and the relaxed rules no longer apply.

In spaces with a 1000-person capacity, the eased restrictions only cover the seated area, too. So, in places where folks will be standing — such as lobbies — within these venues, the one person per two-square-metres rule still applies. And, QR code check-ins remain mandatory as well.

As for bigger venues, they can fill up to the 1000-person limit. To welcome in more patrons, these larger spaces need to apply to do so under the Victorian Government's public events framework, which currently has a 75-percent capacity limit on seated events up to 25,000 people.

Pentridge Cinema

The government has also scrapped density quotas on offices, so you might be seeing more of your colleagues' smiling faces from now on. Again, the one person per two-square-metres rule still applies in some shared spaces, though, such as in publicly accessible areas like building lobbies.

The changes have come into effect two weeks after Victoria's last set of eased restrictions, and follow on from a National Cabinet meeting yesterday, Friday, April 9, where relaxing venue capacity requirements around Australia was a key discussion point. It was agreed that large, ticketed and seated gatherings could increase to 100-percent capacity across the country; however, like all National Cabinet decisions, this still has to be implemented at a state-by-state level — hence the Victorian Government announcement a few hours afterwards.

With that in mind, the Victorian Government advised that, "in line with AHPPC guidance, the Chief Health Officer will work towards future easing of caps for ticketed seated indoor and outdoor entertainment, cultural and sporting venues of more than 1000 patrons subject to epidemiology and compliance with mandatory QR code usage." Accordingly, in the near future, you might have more company at bigger venues as well.

As always, the usual hygiene and social distancing advice remains in place throughout the state, as does the request to get tested if you exhibit even minor COVID-19 symptoms. Victoria currently has one active coronavirus case as at midnight on Friday, April 9.

For more information about the rules moving forward, head to the Victorian Department of Health website

Published on April 10, 2021 by Sarah Ward


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