Indoor events with over 100 pax banned in bid to slow COVID-19 pandemic

Australia’s prime minister has upped the restrictions on “non-essential gatherings”, announcing a cap of 100 people for indoor events.

The restrictions are in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) as the world grapples with the current pandemic.

The restrictions, which come into effect today, refer to a “gathering” within a “single enclosed area” but do not apply to “essential activities” such as public transportation facilities, medical and health care facilities, pharmacies, emergency service facilities, correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other places of custody, courts or tribunals, parliaments, food markets, supermarkets and grocery stores, shopping centres, office buildings, factories, construction sites, and mining sites, where it is necessary for their normal operation.

In a statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said states and territories will give further considerations to practical guidance and rules for events with fewer than 100 people, like cinemas, theatres, restaurants/cafes, pubs, clubs, weddings and funerals.

The government is advising that in the meantime, venues should apply social distancing and hygiene practices including maintaining a distance of 1.5 meters between patrons and supplying hand hygiene products.

“This may require significant changes to the operation of some venues, such as reducing the maximum capacity or increasing the space available,” Morrison said.

The cap on outdoor events remains at 500 attendees, so long as they ensure there is “no more than one person per four square metres of ground space” and organisers make sure hand hygiene products are available.

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