MCEC unveils reopening roadmap, as Victoria reveals details of ‘Vaccinated Economy’ trials

Victoria’s events industry is preparing for the state’s reopening with a roadmap for Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and a series of ‘Vaccinated Economy’ trials.

The state is tracking to reach 80 per cent double dose vaccination by 5 November, which means indoor events will soon be back on the table.

MCEC is preparing to reopen with an initial cap of 150 attendees under the one-person-per-four-square-metre rule and is in the process of updating the COVIDSafe practices outlined in its VenueSafe Plan.

The venue will continue to use measures such as physical distancing, sanitisation, contactless payment and the latest advice on mask-wearing, with added vaccination requirements.

MCEC said in a statement that its team is currently working with the Victorian government to determine what the state’s mandatory vaccination for public events rule will look like, but its expectation is that anyone attending events at the venue will have to be vaccinated.

Visitors, customers and contractors will need to verify their vaccination status on arrival, and MCEC is also exploring a vaccination policy for its employees.

The state government has planned a series of Vaccinated Economy trials to help Victoria manage vaccine requirements when crowds return for the Melbourne Cup, concerts and other smaller events.

Up to 10,000 racing fans are anticipated to descend on Flemington on the first Tuesday in November, days after Sidney Myer Music Bowl hosts music lovers from across Melbourne for a special concert featuring Victorian musicians to celebrate the return of live music on 30 October.

These events will follow the first stage of trials under the 70 per cent double-dose settings, which kick off from Monday at regional venues including cinemas, hotels and cafes, as well as a gym, a church and a beauty clinic.

Around 14 venues and events in six local government areas will test event settings attached to the 80 per cent double-vaccination mark on Victoria’s ‘Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan’ by operating with higher capacity and density limits, including a midweek race meeting at Warrnambool on Thursday.

The trials will allow real-world testing of vaccine certification technology, confirm the best processes for establishing vaccination status, as well as fine-tuning training for staff and support for business owners and public communication of vaccine requirements.

Victorians attending a Vaccinated Economy trial business or event will be asked to show they are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 digital certificate displayed through the Service Victoria app, Medicare app, or equivalent smartphone wallet, or present a printed version of their certificate or immunisation history statement, or provide evidence of a valid exemption.

Regionally-based trial case managers from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will provide direct assistance to each business as they prepare to welcome patrons and customers, and throughout the trials.

Featured image source: MCEC/Peter Bennetts