Scott Morrison removes 100-person gathering restriction for venues, replaced by four square metre rule

Venues with a capacity of over 40,000 will not be able to open

Public gathering restrictions on 100 people will be removed next month, allowing outdoor festivals and music venues to operate with modifications, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in a press conference this morning.

The 100-person limit would be removed as part of stage three of eased coronavirus restrictions and replaced with a capacity determined by a requirement for four square metres per person to allow social distancing. This was a rule introduced earlier in the coronavirus pandemic that was scrapped as the outbreak worsened.

All events allowed under the new rules will have to be ticketed and seated, which extends to any festivals. Any venues with a capacity of above 40,000 people would not be permitted to open under the new rules.

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Morrison noted the new easing of restrictions did not provide for nightclubs to open, as he said “we’ve seen overseas, nightclubs is one area of failures”. An exact date for the new rule to come into effect has not yet been announced.

Over the past two days, venues in Queensland have begun to announce their reopening under the 100 person capacity rule. The Zoo and The Triffid in Brisbane have both announced a socially distanced gig schedule beginning in July, based on state rules allowing for 100 person gatherings from July 10.

Previously, Western Australia had the laxest public gathering restrictions in the country currently, with its third phase in easing COVID-19 restrictions already allowing for large venues to open with 300 person capacity.

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