To help venues, caterers and suppliers, along with event planners and bookers understand when and what you can do as far as booking events during the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve put together this guide to help.
It’s what everyone in the events industry wants to know – when can we start booking and planning events again?
With the Australian Government releasing its Three Step Plan to Re-opening a COVID-safe Australia and economy, there is plenty of excitement in the air.
Already since first writing this blog (May 2020), the restrictions are lifting faster than expected (and for some, tightening up again just as fast)- every day the situation is changing. In some states there’s news of more people being able to congregate, more businesses allowed to open – does that mean we can all get back to booking events like we did in 2019?
Steady on event planners… while some businesses in some states are able to reopen, and some “gatherings” allowed, there is still a long way to go for the events industry to be back to business as usual.
This guide is designed to give you a brief overview of the restrictions related to events and gatherings in order to help make sense of the current and ever changing situation.
NOTE: We’ll be updating this guide as and when new information is released, so book mark it or sign up to our newsletter to avoid missing any key updates. We’ll also share links to this guide on our Facebook and Linkedin pages – so feel free to connect with us there as well.
Before making any decisions based on the information below, please triple check the latest guidelines issued by your State Government – links to the relevant COVID-19 Restrictions per state are included below.
Last updated: 28 July 2020
One rule for us all? Oh no, that would be way to easy…
While the Australian Government has released their master plan, it is up to each of the States and Territories to put the plans in place at their own pace. This guide is broken down by State & Territory to help.
A few things that are consistent include the following public health rules that should be followed at all times:
> Physical distancing (1.5m)
> 4 square metres per person when indoors
> Good hand hygiene (wash your hands!)
> Good respiratory hygiene (cough into your elbow or a tissue)
> Frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection
> Stay home if you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms
Want to host a wedding, funeral, birthday celebration, meeting, anniversary, or any other type of private celebration in 2020? Then read on to find out what is allowed and what falls into the grey area…
Planning Events in NSW during COVID-19 restrictions
Planning Events in VIC during COVID-19 restrictions
Planning Events in QLD during COVID-19 restrictions
Planning Events in ACT during COVID-19 restrictions
Planning Events in SA during COVID-19 restrictions
Planning Events in WA during COVID-19 restrictions
Planning Events in TAS during COVID-19 restrictions
Planning Events in NT during COVID-19 restrictions
Planning Events in NSW during COVID-19 Restrictions
Full details of the current COVID-19 restriction in NSW – as of Wednesday, 1 July 2020
What type of events and gatherings can currently be held in NSW?
– The number of people allowed inside indoor venues that can open will be determined by the one person per 4 square metres rule, to a maximum of 300 guests. This includes function centres (yipee!). All activity must be seated only (that means, no cocktail functions or dance floors). [Read more about rules around muscians and singing at events.]
– The above restriction applies to weddings, funerals and all other seated indoor gatherings.
– Where funerals are being held in small venues, the max capacity is 100 people, or no more than one person per 4 square meters (whichever is lesser applies).
– In addition, vessels used for hosting functions must have no more than the lesser of 50 customers, or the total number of people allowed under the 4 square metre rule (including crew members). *Looking for a private charter for your next special event? See which private boats you can hire for events here.
– Gatherings in outdoor public spaces are limited to 20 people. So BBQs and picnics in the park are OK for up to 20 guests, but remember to practice social distancing.
– Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25% of their normal capacity. Events must be ticketed and seated and follow strict guidelines.
In theory, you may also host*:
– Up to 20 guests at your home, while practicing social distancing… so, small private dinner parties or celebrations are back on – but be sensible!
Planning ahead? The proposed restrictions related to events and gatherings being lifted in NSW include:
- Stay tuned for updates on future restrictions in NSW being lifted.
Planning Events in VIC during COVID-19 Restrictions
Full details of the current COVID-19 restriction in VIC – as of Sunday, 21 June 2020
What type of events and gatherings can currently be held in VIC?
**Not much… Following a recent increase in community transmission in Victoria, restrictions have been tightened, rather than lifted.
– Small weddings for up to 20 people, plus the couple and celebrant (23 in total).
– Funerals (indoors and outdoors) for up to 50 mourners, plus the people reasonably required to conduct the funeral.
– Public gatherings should not be for more than 10 people (indoors or outdoors)
In theory, you may also host*:
– Small private dining events in a restaurant, pub or café for up to 10 guests per space. (NB. while a space can hold up to 20 guests, there is a maximum of 10 people per booking.)
– Public gatherings indoors and outdoors (e.g. a casual or fancy picnic in an outdoor space or meeting indoors) for up to 10 people.
Planning ahead? The proposed restrictions related to events and gatherings being lifted in VIC include:
- Stay tuned… Following a recent surge in transmissons, Victoria has tightened their restrictions.
Planning Events in QLD during COVID-19 Restrictions
Full details of the current COVID-19 restriction in QLD – as of Friday, 3 July 2020
What type of events and gatherings can currently be held in QLD?
– Weddings and funerals for up to 100 people.
– Private, non-commerical (e.g. at home) gatherings for family and friends for up to 100 guests. (Need a caterer for a house party in QLD?)
– Functions and events in venues observing the one person per 4 square metres rule – with a few conditions…
– Events in smaller venues (under 200sqm) can observe a one person per 2 square metres rule up to a maximum of 50 persons at a time
– Concert venues, auditoriums and theatres can host events up to 50% capacity or observing the one person per 4 square metres rule
– Major sporting arenas can host events with up to 25,000 or 4 square metre rule (whichever is greater)
In theory, you may also host*:
– Almost any type of event – with some conditions… Make sure you check out the full details via the link above as to when you are required to have a COVID-Safe plan in place, and approved by local and state authorities.
Planning ahead? The proposed restrictions related to events and gatherings being lifted in QLD include:
- QLD is currently in Stage Three of restrictions (the last step!)… so close to being back to normal… let’s hope it stays that way.
Planning Events in ACT during COVID-19 Restrictions
Full details of the current COVID-19 restriction in ACT – as of 19 June 2020
What type of events and gatherings can currently be held in ACT?
– Any type of public gathering for up to 100, while adherring to the one person per 4 square metres rule.
In theory, you may also host*:
– Private parties and celebrations at your own home for as many as you like – while adhereing to 1.5m physical distancing.
Planning ahead? The proposed restrictions related to events and gatherings being lifted in ACT include:
- Stay tuned…. they’re almost back to business as usual in the ACT.
Planning Events in SA, WA, TAS and NT during COVID-19 Restrictions
Full details of the current COVID-19 restriction in SA – as of 29 June 2020
Full details of the current COVID-19 restriction in WA – as of 27 June 2020
Full details of the current COVID-19 restriction in TAS – as of 26 June 2020
Full details of the current COVID-19 restriction in NT– as of 5 June 2020
*Important notes about why some events are not necessarily practical or encouraged:
- Social distancing still applies and you need to allow space for 4sqm per person – even in your home.
- The virus is highly contagious… it’s worth considering how necessary the gathering is before putting plans in place.
- If we all do our part in trying to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, we’ll see the restrictions lifted faster. We all would love to get back to planning and hosting events as soon as possible (our businesses and livelihoods depend on it…) but to rush may make the situation a lot worse and prolong the time until that happens. What’s that saying about patience? I think we all need to take note. Stick to the restrictions and don’t be silly.
Happy planning (while staying healthy and safe) xo