Corporate events capacity doubles in NSW under new health advice

The NSW government has increased the allowed capacity for theatres, cinemas, concert halls and stadiums to 50 per cent.

The announcement is a big win for the events industry, with corporate functions now able to host up to 300 people as long as venues still follow the one person per four square metre rule.

Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW CEO Michael Johnson welcomed the move.

“While the corporate event market will continue to struggle as long as border closures remain, the chance to now have up to 300 people at functions is a boost for our larger hotels which have that capacity,” he said.

“We have been pushing hard for this for some time, as it provides certainty to companies and organisations looking to book for late this year or early 2021 and lets bigger hotels get some events back on their books.

“This is especially good news in the lead up to Christmas and accommodation providers are hopeful many events previously on hold will now get the green light.”

Theatres, cinemas and concert halls will also now be able to sell a maximum of 1,000 tickets, following the same rule.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said this is a major step forward to recovery for the performing arts sector.

“It’s a win for jobs, it’s a win for our theatres and it’s a win for communities across NSW,” Harwin said.

Stadiums have also benefited and are now able to increase crowds from 25 per cent to 50 per cent capacity, with a maximum of 40,000 spectators from 1 October 2020.

The changes to theatres, cinemas and concert halls will take shape immediately.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the decision follows updated health advice from Dr Kerry Chant and will help create jobs and stimulate the economy, key goals of the NSW government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of NSW; however, it is no secret we’re also focused on firing up the economy,” Berejiklian said.

“Safely allowing more fans at in-demand major sporting events will bring enjoyment, employment and help stimulate the NSW economy.”

Featured image source: iStock/martin-dm