Small businesses will return to pre-covid occupancy numbers

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SMALL venues, facilities and businesses will be allowed to return to their pre-covid occupancy number from Friday (September 18). 

Subject to a successful COVID Safe Check Point assessment by ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman on Thursday, the change will enable smaller sized venues, facilities and businesses to return to their pre-covid occupancy number, with a maximum of 25 people across the whole venue, excluding staff.

ACT Health say venues must still abide by their standard occupancy loading and the regulatory conditions of the venue, and businesses that want to have more than 25 people in their venue must apply the “one person per four square metres of usable space” rule.

“The maximum number of patrons permitted is 100 for each indoor space and each outdoor space. This change may be small, but for some businesses and members of the community it will make a big difference to moving towards a COVID Safe business as usual,” says an ACT Health spokesperson.

“We recognise that this may mean that customers in a small business may not be able to maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5m, however, businesses should strive to separate groups or tables as far apart as practical within the usable space. It is also important to continue the collection of contact details of visitors and patrons to ensure we are in a particularly strong position to contact trace if need be.

“This does not mean that businesses and individuals can forget their health and safety responsibilities. Customers and groups in smaller venues will still need to physically distance from each other wherever possible, practise good hand and respiratory hygiene and stay home if unwell.

“Despite the encouraging position of the ACT, we must continue to remember we don’t exist in a vacuum and the situation could change quickly, both in the ACT and in our neighbouring jurisdictions.”

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ACT.

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