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Source: Government of Western Australia

From Saturday 24 October 2020, selected seated venues can increase their capacity.

Venues including theatres, concert halls, cinemas, comedy lounges and performing arts centres are exempt from the 2 square metre rule and may operate at 60 per cent capacity for seated performances.

WA’s high susceptibility to a COVID-19 outbreak the reason behind Phase 5 delay with the situation to be reviewed regularly, based on health advice.  

On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the McGowan Government will extend Phase 4 of the COVID-19 roadmap but will now allow exemptions to the 2 square metre rule at selected venues to continue Western Australia’s economic recovery and keep WA safe and strong.

In August, the Chief Health Officer recommended a further delay to the introduction of Phase 5, due to the situation in Victoria and increasing local case numbers in New South Wales.

Phase 5 would see the removal of the 2 square metre rule at venues. Phase 6 included access to remote Aboriginal communities.

Effective from Saturday, October 24 (or 11.59pm, Friday, October 23) selected venues that predominantly hold seated events are exempt from the 2 square metre rule, and will be permitted to reach up to 60 per cent of their usual maximum capacity for seated and ticketed performances.

Venues that are now exempt include theatres, concert halls, auditoriums/amphitheatres, cinemas, comedy lounges, and performing arts centres.

These venues are deemed ‘low risk’ as they are seated and ticketed.

This adjustment to Phase 4 will provide these venues and industries the opportunity to function in a COVID-safe way, without being disproportionally impacted by the 2 square metre rule.

Western Australia remains highly susceptible to a major outbreak, given nearly all physical distancing and gathering restrictions have been removed.

The reintroduction of COVID-19 back into the Western Australian community could lead to an outbreak that would likely result in new restrictions being imposed.

No new tentative date will be set for Phase 5 at this point, due to WA’s strong health and economic standing. The State Government will continue to review up-to-date health advice and provide an updated roadmap when the health advice allows.

The McGowan Government recognises that the 2 square metre rule does act as an impediment to some other sectors which remain at a higher risk due to the close proximity and mixing of patrons within indoor spaces.

The Government will continue to review these restrictions to determine if COVID-safe solutions are possible in the future. 

For more information on the new exemptions for selected venues, visit www.wa.gov.au.

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