Entertainment, Live performance, arts and cultural activities

Current restrictions in force as part of Step 3.1 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan are outlined in the page below.

A minor change to capacity numbers for smaller sized venues, facilities and businesses is scheduled to come into effect at 9am Friday 18 September, pending a successful COVID Safe Check point on Thursday 17 September. To find out more check the Summary of key changes page.

Hints on how to prepare your business, venue or facility for this change is available in our How to manage patron numbers under 25 person rule fact sheet..

What can I do?

From 9am on Friday 18 September 2020:

  • All venues, facilities and businesses can have a maximum of 25 people (excluding staff) across the whole venue regardless of their size. Venues must still abide by their standard occupancy loading and regulatory conditions of the venue.
  • Venues, facilitates and businesses that want to have more than 25 people in their venue must apply the ‘one person per 4 square metres of usable space’ rule. The maximum number of patrons permitted is 100 for each indoor space and each outdoor space.  No modifications can be made to venues.
  • Audiences must remain seated.
  • Recording or live streaming of performances can take place.
  • Due to recent learnings, members of a choir need to maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres while singing and when choirs are performing to an audience, they are to remain at least 2 metres away from the audience.
  • Live performers should try to maintain appropriate physical distancing requirements wherever possible.
  • For live music performances, singers should try to stand at least 2 metres away from other band members as well as audience members.
  • Kiosks/bars can remain open for patrons with appropriate COVID-safe measures in place.
  • Open Air Drive-in Cinemas can continue operating with up to 100 vehicles per Drive-In Cinema, per session.
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites can have one person per 4 square metres throughout the venue. Organised tour groups (excluding school tours) are to be limited to a maximum of 20 people (excluding tour guides), with duration of tour to be minimised and no more than two hours.
  • Art, dance and music classes or groups are permitted in line with current venue capacity restrictions.
  • Outdoor amusements and attractions (such as the Zoo) sites can have one person per 4 square metres throughout the venue. Guided tours remain permitted for groups of up to 20 people (excluding the tour guide).
  • Usable space is defined in the Public Health Direction as the space that people can freely move around in, but not including the following areas:
    • stages and similar areas,
    • restrooms, changerooms and similar areas,
    • areas occupied by fixtures, fittings, and displays, and
    • staff only areas and areas that are closed off or not being used.

What can’t I do?

  • Choirs need to remain extra vigilant in light of risks associated with singing.
  • Due to recent learnings, congregational singing, during religious services, is discouraged at this time.
  • When Choirs are performing, they must remain at least 2 metres away from the audience.
  • Choir members must be kept to an absolute minimum and are to maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres from each other while singing.
  • Guided tours should not go for longer than two hours.
  • A person who owns, controls or operates a non-essential business or undertaking under the Public Health Direction must not temporarily divide any usable indoor space or usable outdoor space for the purposes of calculating usable space.

What are my responsibilities?

  • All venues must have a COVID Safety Plan.
  • Venues must clearly display occupancy allowance at the entrance to the venue.
  • Venues are required to ask all patrons for their first name and phone number and record it along with the date and time they attended the venue. Details should be securely destroyed after 28 days. Consider using the free Check In CBR app for a safe and easy way to capture these details.
  • There should be 1.5 metres between seated groups within cinemas, movie theatres and live performance venues.  An individual is counted as being their own group for these purposes.
  • For Open Air Drive-in Cinemas, cars should be parked at least 1.5 metres apart.  Businesses should consider allowing patrons to order food online, with delivery to vehicles by catering staff. Where possible patrons should remain in their vehicles unless using bathroom facilities and no more than 100 people are to congregate in groups outdoors.
  • Venues should carefully manage the entry, exit and flow of patrons or visitors through their premises.
  • Venues should ensure all groups are supervised to ensure physical distancing is enforced and groups of more than 20 people don’t form.
  • Venues should increase the frequency cleaning high touch areas and restroom facilities.
  • Consider whether the use of public transport to events is required.
  • Maintain a minimum number of performers and support crew.
  • Staff or performers should stay home if they are unwell.

What are the community responsibilities?

  • Avoid gathering in communal areas such as foyers – patrons should leave the venue and not mingle.
  • Maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres.
  • Maintain personal hygiene, including regular hand washing.
  • Stay home if unwell.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Download the Check In CBR app and sign into participating Canberra venues you visit.

What does the public need to know?

  • Continue to practise good hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing, stay home if you are unwell and get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Ensure you provide your first name and contact number to any businesses that are required to ask for contact tracing purposes. Download the Check In CBR app to use at participating venues across Canberra.
  • Be sensible when you have people over at your residence and have your own control measures in place. Know who is there and at what times, download the COVIDSafe app, join Flu Tracker and participate in important YourSay Community Panel engagements and health surveys that will help the ACT respond the best that it can.
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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: September 18 2020