Victoria to ease density limits for SME venues

Victoria’s live music venues, restaurants, bars and nightclubs will be able to welcome more patrons from 28 May as the one person per two square metres rule is lifted for small-to-medium sized venues across the state.

Provided people continue to check in at locations through the Service Victoria app with COVID marshals in place to ensure the rules are followed, these venues will be able to have up to 200 people per space without any density limit.

The app and electronic record keeping will be mandatory for all venues and businesses from the same date, with the relaxation applying for spaces that are 400 square metres or smaller. Density limits will remain for anything larger.

Density quotients will also be removed for outdoor non-seated venues such as recreation facilities, community sport, pools, tourism services and non-seated outdoor entertainment such as zoos.

While many Victorians are doing the right thing, public health officials remain concerned about low rates of check-ins. All Victorians are encouraged to download the Service Victoria app to make checking in as fast and easy as possible.

A recent survey showed only 41 per cent of visitors to hospitality venues checked in every time, while 24 per cent of sites visited by Authorised Officers between 30 April and 2 May were warned or received notices due to lack of compliance with electronic record keeping.

The Victorian Government will communicate with third party providers who engaged with the Visitation API process and ensuring continued strong management of any check-in data held during a three-week transition and implementation period.

“This change means checking in will be quick and easy and ensure the data is high-quality and easily available to our contract tracers, should any venue be listed as an exposure site,” says the state’s Minister for Health Martin Foley.

“This is great news for many live music venues, restaurants and nightclubs who can open the doors to up to 200 people per space – but getting every Victorian to check in using the QR code service is the goal.”

Meanwhile, in NSW contact tracers continue to scramble to find the mystery link behind two community transmission cases that have emerged in Sydney, but at least in the 24 hours to 8pm last night there were no new locally acquired cases.