More people are allowed in venues, but there’s a catch

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ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman. Photo: Holly Treadaway

FROM 9am on Wednesday (December 2) venues will be allowed double as many people, according to ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman. But there’s a catch. 

If venues want to have one person per two square metres indoors, Ms Coleman says they’ll be required to us the “Check In CBR” app.

She says venues will have until Wednesday, December 16, to register with Check In CBR to meet this requirement.

If a venue don’t wish to use Check In CBR, Ms Coleman says they still have to continue with Step 3.2 provisions of one person per four square metres of usable space indoors and one person per two square metres of usable space outdoors.

“Having all our ACT businesses and venues providing the contact details of their patrons securely and directly to ACT Health will help give us greater confidence that we can continue to open up, while being in a good position to effectively and quickly respond to any potential COVID-19 outbreaks in the territory,” she says.

“Check In CBR is free, easy and secure to implement and our team at ACT Health is ready to help any business or venue that may require assistance implementing this.”

This announcement from Ms Coleman is part of the ACT moving to stage four of its recovery and will also allow people to consume food standing up in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

However, people must continue to be seated when consuming alcohol indoors, she says.

Stage four will also see:

  • GIO Stadium and Manuka Oval will be able to have crowds of up to 65 per cent capacity, so long as each event is ticketed and seated, and a covid safe plan is in place.
  • Other enclosed outdoor venues with permanent tiered seating and grandstands will be able to have crowds of up to 65 per cent capacity, up to a maximum of 1500 people. Events must be ticketed and seated and have a covid safe plan.
  • Large indoor performance venues, such as theatres and arenas, can have up to 65 per cent capacity for seated and ticketed events, up to a maximum of 1500 people. Events must be ticketed and seated and have a covid safe plan.
  • Cinemas and movie theatres can seat up to 65 per cent of capacity for each theatre, up to 500 people per theatre or cinema, provided they use the Check in CBR app to collect patron contact details. Otherwise they must continue with Step 3.2 provisions of 50 per cent capacity.
  • Events up to 8000 people will be able to be considered for exemptions under the COVID Safe Event Protocol, up from 5000. Any events or gatherings in the ACT above 500 people continue to require an exemption under the protocol.

Ms Coleman says these changes will enable businesses to again welcome back more patrons in time for the busy summer period, while also striking a balance with the continued need to protect the ACT community from COVID-19.

“We acknowledge that many businesses of all types have been impacted by the public health restrictions, and these changes will help them return to a covid-safe business as usual as we head into summer,” she says.

“The ACT remains in a great position in responding to COVID-19, and while we may all be all growing a little weary of the restrictions in place, they are an essential part of reducing spread of infection and the size of outbreaks that may occur and ensuring we are able to effectively contact trace in that scenario.”

It is anticipated this level of restrictions will remain in place over the summer, with the next public health checkpoint to be conducted on Friday, February 12.

Canberra currently has no active covid cases after a confirmed case, a diplomat who flew into Sydney and tested positive last week, has now recovered.

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