Music and hospitality venues continue to suffer in Victoria, with reprieve pending the 70% and 80% double dose vaccination targets
20.09.2021

Music and hospitality venues continue to suffer in Victoria, with reprieve pending the 70% and 80% double dose vaccination targets

River Rocks Rehab 2018 at The Barwon Club Hotel. Photo by Patrick Callow.

Currently, food and drink venues in regional Victoria are only allowed to serve 10 seated people inside and 20 people outside with a total venue cap of 30 people in regional Victoria.

Live entertainment venues, pubs and clubs in Victoria will be permitted to reopen (with capacity restrictions) when 80 per cent of the state’s residents aged 16 and above are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state’s “roadmap” out of lockdown, announced yesterday (19th September) by Premier Daniel Andrews.

Several dates in the coming weeks have been outlined where Victoria will reopen further pending the 70 per cent and 80 per cent double dose vaccination targets.

Currently, food and drink venues in regional Victoria are only allowed to serve 10 seated people inside and 20 people outside with a total venue cap of 30 people, while nightclubs and music venues can only open for this seated service of food and drink. Currently, many venues have remained closed due to the small capacity limits proving unviable for trade. This is expected to increase to an outdoor cap of 30 when 80 per cent of eligible Victorians over 16 receive a single dose.

The key takeaways

  • Under the government’s roadmap, certain restrictions will be in place until into 2022.
  • The first easing of restrictions for entertainment venues and hospitality businesses will come when 70 per cent of residents aged 16 and over have received their second dose of the vaccine.
  • When 80 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated (expected to be on Friday, 5th November) Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria are set to align to the same rules where indoor entertainment venues and hospitality venues will see some reprieve

Keep up with the latest in local news via our website.

Under the roadmap, the first easing of restrictions for entertainment venues and hospitality businesses will come when 70 per cent of residents aged 16 and over have received their second dose of the vaccine.

In metropolitan Melbourne, pubs, clubs and entertainment venues will be allowed to open to 50 fully vaccinated people, but this must take place outdoors. For regional Victoria, meeting this target will allow hospitality venues to provide seated service to a limit of 30 fully vaccinated people indoors and 100 outside with density limits. This target is expected to be met on Tuesday, 26th October.

When 80 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated (expected to be on Friday, 5th November) Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria are set to align to the same rules where indoor entertainment venues will be able to house 150 fully vaccinated people, with a density quotient in place of one person per four square metres. Outdoor venues, meanwhile, will be capped at 50 per cent of their capacity is non-seated, or either 25 per cent or 5000 people if seated, whichever is lesser.

As for hospitality, seated service remails and small venues can host up to 25 people if fully vaccinated before density quotient applies, otherwise 150 fully vaccinated people will be able to dine indoors with a density quotient in place of one person per four square metres, and 500 people outdoors with a density quotient in place of one person per two square metres for seated service only.

Other restrictions that will ease at this point include all retail reopening, up to 10 people permitted to gather at one’s home, up to 30 people permitted to gather in public outside, indoor community sport can reopen, masks will only be required inside, and Weddings, funerals and religious services to return for 150 fully vaccinated people indoors and 500 people outdoors.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks, however, it’s expected that up to 30 people will be allowed in the home come Christmas Day. The future of festivals currently remains unknown at this point in time.

This is the future awaiting the state’s residents as Andrews plots a cautious roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions, in response to fears that the state will exceed its hospital capacity regardless of which action is taken. Based on modelling from the Burnet Institute, Victoria is currently facing a “moderate” chance of exceeding its hospital capacity even if lockdown restrictions aren’t eased. Based on the pandemic’s current growth rates, Victoria is predicted to hit between 1,700 and 2,900 daily COVID cases by mid-October, and 4500 cases by mid-December.

As of figures reported today, 72 per cent of eligible Victorians have received their first dose of the vaccine, with 43.9 per cent fully vaccinated as Victoria has reported its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases in its current outbreak and another death. The state health department confirmed 567 local cases in the 24 hours to Monday morning, bringing the total number of active cases across Victoria to 5675. The death of a woman in her 70s has taken the state’s toll from its current outbreak to 12.

In the 24 hours to Monday, 50,915 tests were processed and a record 39,939 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs.

You can see the full details of Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdowns here. Keep track of the federal government’s official vaccination rate tracker here.