Prime Minister says small venues can move to 2sqm rule

The move is set to bring more patrons back into venues.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new measures to help venues reopen to more patrons, following Friday’s National Cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet has agreed “smaller premises” can move to a ‘one person per two square metres’ rule to allow for more patrons, under the Step 3 of the Federal Government’s COVID-safe framework.

Morrison said “as a rule of thumb” small venues are approximately 100 square metres in size, however this will be determined by each jurisdiction.

“So that means for much smaller premises that would have otherwise being trying to stick to a four-square-metre rule arrangement, this just gives them a bit more room for them to be taking more patrons,” he said.

Western Australia and Tasmania have already moved to a 2sqm rule across all venues, under their respective COVID-19 roadmaps.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is also being tasked with developing a road map for the reopening of entertainment venues and to assist with the planning around major productions and events.

It comes after the Federal Government announced a $250 million funding package for the arts sector on Thursday 25 June, designed to help “restart the creative economy”.

“At the announcement we made, one of the key issues that still we knew needed to be addressed was that they need great certainty about when they can start planning for,” Morrison said today.

Under the new arts package, a range of new grant and loan programs are set to roll out over the next 12 months to different areas of the arts sector.

Of the $250 million funding, $75 million will be invested in competitive grant funding to provide capital to help production and event businesses put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events.

Meanwhile, $90 million will be offered in concessional loans to assist creative businesses to fund new productions and events.

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