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Entertainment and culture

Find information about how COVIDSafe Settings restrictions affect entertainment and culture in Victoria.

Summary

Victoria moved to further relaxed COVIDSafe Settings from 11.59pm Friday 9 April 2021.

  • Seated areas at indoor and outdoor entertainment, cultural and sporting venues can use 100 per cent of their seated capacity up to a maximum of 1000 patrons per space. The density quotient still applies at these venues in non-seated spaces e.g. bathrooms and lobbies.
  • These venues include theatres, cinemas, music halls, concert halls, auditoriums, and sports and physical recreation facilities.
  • Non-seated venues will continue to be required to apply a density quotient of one person per two square metres, except unstaffed gyms (such as 24-hour gyms), which have a four-square metre rule. 

Key settings for entertainment and culture venues in place since 26 March or earlier continue:

  • All venues must use electronic record keeping through the electronic record keeping through the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or Victorian Government Application Programming Interface (API) linked digital system (venues will have a 28-day compliance amnesty until 23 April 2021).
  • Casinos have an increased patron capacity of 75 per cent.
  • Gaming machines are no longer required to be 1.5m apart and can have adjacent machines in operation at the same time.
  • Casinos, karaoke venues and nightclubs remain open with the 1 person per 2sqm density quota.
  • Arcades, bingo centres and escape rooms remain open, with no patron caps. The density quotient of 1 per 2sqm applies.
  • Amusement parks are open, up to 75 per cent of venue capacity. Density quotient of 1 per 2sqm applies for indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Dance floors are open. There are no patron caps on dance floors but the two square metre rule applies. 
  • Large venues that host more than 500 people at one time must publish their COVIDSafe Plans online.
  • Where a venue is seeking to host an event exceeding the cap of 1000 persons per space, it must operate under the Public Events Framework.
  • To keep their staff and customers safe businesses need to follow cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements.

Arts and entertainment venues are open, however, there is still important advice to follow:

  • Stay safe by washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow and keeping 1.5 metres away from others.
  • You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 get tested and stay home. Stay at home if you feel unwell.
  • Face masks are recommended where 1.5 metres physical distance can’t be maintained from those outside your household.

Venues and facilities have specific requirements such as operating with a COVIDSafe Plan, density limits (maximum numbers of people allowed in a space), cleaning and record keeping for contact tracing. Entertainment and culture workers and businesses can access Industry Restart Guidelines on the  Arts and entertainment services sector guidance page.

For a summary of COVIDSafe restrictions and question and answers for the creative industries visit the  Creative Victoria website.

What restrictions apply to seated venues?

Seated areas at indoor and outdoor venues are open for up to 100 per cent of seating capacity, up to 1000 patrons per seated space. A density quotient of one person per two square metres applies to non-seated areas of the venue (e.g. bathrooms and lobbies). Venues should ensure seated spaces are kept separate, with consideration given to managing the arrangement under the COVIDSafe Plan, which includes monitoring entry and exit areas.

All venues must use electronic record keeping through the free Victorian Government QR Service or Victorian Government Application Programming Interface linked digital system (venues have a 28-day compliance amnesty until 23 April 2021).

Additional restrictions apply to these businesses including cleaning, signage and record keeping. 

What restrictions apply to non-seated venues?

Indoor non-seated venues (such as galleries and museums) will be held at 75 per cent of total capacity. A density quotient of one person per two square metres continues to apply in each non-seated space, with a maximum patron cap of 1000 people per space. Seated spaces in the venue can open to 100 per cent of total capacity, up to a maximum of 1000 patrons per space.

Outdoor non-seated venues are required to limit total attendance by applying a density quotient of one person per two square metres for the entire venue, with the same density quotient applying for each non-seated outdoor space. 

Venues should ensure spaces are kept separate, with consideration given to managing the arrangement under the COVIDSafe Plan, which includes monitoring entry and exit areas.

There are a number of restrictions that apply to these businesses including limits on the number of customers, cleaning, signage and record keeping. Venues need to have a COVIDSafe Plan in place to open. Where the maximum capacity for a non-seated venue is 500 persons or more, that venue’s COVIDSafe Plan must be published on the venue’s website. 

Dance floors can return, with no patron caps, but the two square metre rule applies.

If you own or manage an entertainment, arts or tourism business, you can find advice and more information on current restrictions by visiting Arts and entertainment services sector guidance.

All venues must use electronic record keeping through the free Victorian Government QR Service or Victorian Government Application Programming Interface linked digital system (venues have a 28-day compliance amnesty until 23 April 2021).

What adult entertainment venues are open? 

Adult entertainment venues are open under the current restrictions.  

  • Brothels, sex on premises venues, and adult entertainment venues are open with the density quotient of 1 per 2sqm.
  • Electronic record keeping through the Service Victoria app or a government API-linked digital system is required (venues will have a 28-day compliance amnesty, until 23 April 2021.

Can I go to a nightclub? 

Nightclubs are open with a density quotient of 1 per 2sqm and no patron cap on the dancefloor. Electronic record keeping through the Service Victoria app or a government API-linked digital system is required (venues will have a 28-day compliance amnesty, until April 23, 2021).

To keep staff and customers safe businesses need to follow cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements.  

If you own or manage a hospitality business you can find advice and more information by visiting Hospitality food and beverages services sector guidance. 

Practising, rehearsing and performing arts and music

I’m a musician or in a band – can I perform to an audience? 

You can perform music in indoor and outdoor venues across Victoria.

It is recommended that:

  • singers and musicians keep two metres distance from each other
  • the stage not be positioned directly above the audience
  • singers and musicians be at least five metres from the audience where practical
  • performances are held outdoors where possible.

You can find advice and more information on current restrictions by visiting Arts and entertainment services sector guidance.

Can I go to a rehearsal or lesson for singing or music?

Yes. If you are participating in a music or singing rehearsal or lesson it is recommended that you keep at least two metres from other people in the rehearsal or lesson, and keep safe by singing outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.

You are recommended to wear a face mask when singing indoors or outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

I’m a musician or in a band - can we rehearse at someone’s home?

Yes, but restrictions remain on gathering limits in the home of 100.

It is recommended that band members maintain at least two metres between themselves and others.

Are there group limits for art, dance or acting lessons?

No group limits apply to group classes, however the number of people who can attend is determined by the size of the venue. All venues must observe the density quotient of 1 per 2sqm. For lessons held in public outdoor areas, the public gathering limit of 200 applies.

All venues must use electronic record keeping through the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or Victorian Government Application Programming Interface (API) linked digital system (venues will have a 28-day compliance amnesty until 23 April 2021.)

If you are operating an outdoor class, you may need a permit from your local council. You can find your local council using  Know Your Council.

If you teach or own a business you can find more information on the Arts and entertainment sector guidance page.

Reviewed 15 April 2021

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