Victoria and New South Wales to further ease public gathering restrictions for entertainment venues

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said "as far as we’ve come – it’s not over yet"

The Victorian and New South Wales governments have announced additional measures to ease public gathering restrictions, signalling the return of live music events to a degree.

In Victoria, pubs, clubs, concert venues, theatres, restaurants, cafes, galleries, museums and cinemas will be permitted to host up to 50 patrons at a time from 11:59pm AEST on June 21. This measure was initially brought up in May, but it was only confirmed today (June 14) it would take place. For pubs and clubs specifically, venue staff will be required to record the contact details of patrons.

Cinema operators were banking on Victorian restrictions to ease as they prepare to reopen in time for the release of Christopher Nolan’s new film, Tenet, on July 17. The first cinema chain to announce its reopening date, Palace, said it expected to only show three screenings a day when it reopens on July 2.

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Despite restrictions easing, Andrews reiterated that those who can work from home must continue to do so.

“As always, timing on any future changes remains subject to the advice of our Chief Health Officer. Because as far as we’ve come – it’s not over yet,” Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement.

A couple of weeks ago we outlined our plan for the next stage of restrictions easing.It was cautious. Considered. And…

Posted by Dan Andrews on Saturday, June 13, 2020

Earlier this month, the Victorian Government said its public cultural institutions, such as Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Museum, would reopen from June 27.

As the ABC reports, in New South Wales the 50-person restrictions for pubs and restaurants will be lifted from July 1. On this date, venues will be able to host as many patrons as they wish, provided they adhere to the four-square metre rule.

Venues in New South Wales with a capacity of up to 40,000 people will soon be permitted to seat a quarter of that.

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The news follows Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement on Friday (June 12) that public gathering limits of up to 100 people will be removed next month, giving outdoor festivals and music venues the green light to host live music, provided there are modifications. Nightclubs and venues with a capacity of more than 40,000 are still prohibited from reopening.

Music festivals in New South Wales will not be immediately permitted to reopen, but this ban could be eased in August if transmission rates remain low.

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