Many live events in Australia welcomed the return of 100-per-cent capacity over the weekend across venues including theatres, concert halls and stadia.
While there are varying rules across the territories, major cities including Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra saw COVID-19 rules relaxed with some venues returning to full capacity shows from April 10.
In Melbourne, seated indoor and outdoor entertainment, cultural and sports venues of up to 1,000 patrons could welcome full crowds. These include music and concert halls as well as theatres, cinemas, auditoriums, galleries, museums, and sports and physical recreation facilities.
For venues with over 1,000 fans, a 75-per-cent capacity limit will be maintained, although authorities are reportedly considering easing these as well, subject to outbreaks and people being compliant with mandatory QR code usage.
In West Australia, the new rules allowed seated auditoriums and amphitheatres, theatres, concert halls, cinemas, comedy lounges and performing arts centres to return to 100 per cent over the weekend.
Premier Mark McGowan added that major venues such as Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium and HBF Park will be able to fill the fixed seating capacity in the spectator seating and special seating spaces.
Meanwhile, from Wednesday, Canberra’s cinemas and indoor performance venues with forward-facing, fixed-tiered seating can welcome full capacity crowds as long as events are ticketed and seated, and have an approved COVID-Safety plan.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) health minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said that live music venues will not automatically go to 100 per cent as “we do recognise it’s not going to be practical in all instances to be seated. Each individual venue will be supported on a case-by-case basis.”
Venues that do not receive approval from the state will be required to remain at 75 per cent capacity.
Earlier this week, South Australia approved the COVID management plan of the Festival Centre’s various venues, allowing them to operate at full capacity.
Audiences attending shows at the Festival Theatre, Dunstan Playhouse, Space Theatre and Her Majesty’s on Grote Street are required to wear masks.
In addition, Australia is set to open its borders to New Zealanders from April 18. With two-way, quarantine-free travel between the two countries to commence next week, international tours and music tourism can begin to restart.