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News July 13, 2021

Restrictions eased for Melbourne live music venues amid Sydney lockdown

Restrictions eased for Melbourne live music venues amid Sydney lockdown

Victoria has announced the further easing of live music restrictions in Melbourne following the state’s May snap lockdown.

From midnight Thursday July 8, restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne were brought in line to regional Victoria, with non-seated indoor music venues being able to return to one person per 2sqm density limits with a maximum capacity of 300, provided a COVID Marshall is located onsite.

Dancefloors are also back on the agenda, with a limit of 50 people being allowed at any one time under a COVID Marshall’s supervision.

Outdoor non-seated venues are also allowed to host up to 1,000 patrons with a density quota of one person per 2sqm. This pushes out to one person per 4sqm if a COVID Marshall is not present.

Meanwhile, crowd numbers have increased at other public events, with outdoor stadiums welcoming 75% capacity up to 40,000 people and indoor stadiums 75% up to 7,500,  while theatres are restricted to a maximum of 2,000 patrons at any given time.

Masks are required in indoor public-facing settings unless exemptions apply, with the state’s next round of restrictions set to be eased within 14 days subject to epidemiological assessment.

State Minister for Health Martin Foley welcomed the recent changes and warned Victorians to remain vigilant amid Sydney’s worsening COVID situation.

“[These] changes show just how far we’ve come – thanks to the hard work of all Victorians we’re able to once again have the same settings in place for the whole state,” Foley said.

“We’re seeing across the country just how fast-moving the Delta strain is – which is why we need to remain vigilant and follow the directions to protect the gains we’ve made.”

While the easing restrictions will certainly serve as some form of respite for Melbourne’s beleaguered music venues, various parties have protested the misleading nature of the state’s density quotient rules for non-seated indoor venues in the past.

In April, Music Victoria disputed the State Government’s announcement that Victorian venues would be allowed to return to 100% total capacity, with the one person per 2sqm rule meaning that most venues can only operate at 30% capacity, potentially resulting in a 75% drop in income.

Representatives from Save Our Scene have been contacted to provide further clarification on the effectiveness of the new restrictions in light of the imposed 2sqm density quota.

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