Pubs serving drinks without food, 100 people at gatherings and community sport are all set to resume from midday next Friday in the ACT as ‘normal’ starts to return after months of lockdown restrictions.
Cinemas and concert halls will be allowed to resume trading, while other entertainment venues like arcades and play centres can also reopen. However, the ‘one person per four square metres rule’ to calculate the maximum amount of people per venue will still apply.
Full-contact training for all sports can also resume from next Friday.
However, Chief Minister Andrew Barr says some restrictions and social distancing requirements will still remain in place, including seating requirement for pubs and bars.
“This is not quite a getting-on-the-beers-moment,” Mr Barr said as he announced the ACT would be entering Step 2.2 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan, the second phase of Stage 2 restrictions.
“Maintaining good hand hygiene, keeping 1.5 metres apart and staying at home if unwell should now be part of our lives, and we are asking Canberrans to continue these principles as we move through the coming weeks.”
Larger gatherings will be allowed to take place from 10 July, and full-contact sport will be allowed to resume as well.
Food courts, saunas and steam-based beauty therapy will also be allowed to reopen.
Casinos, gaming and gambling venues may resume trading on 10 July subject to consideration of the health risks by the ACT Government.
Stage 3, which does not have an exact start date but is flagged for the first half of July in the ACT, will also see footy fans back in stadiums. Stadiums that have a seating capacity under 40,000 will be allowed to have 25 per cent of stadium capacity in attendance (10,000 people).
However, Mr Barr says thousands of people at sporting stadiums in the next few weeks will be very unlikely.
“The important point to stress is that not every stadium will be at 25 per cent capacity,” he said. “The circumstances of each stadium will be very different.
“What would drive that point of difference would be access and egress, points of congregation and being able to effectively distribute the crowd in a way that is safe.
“It is highly likely that there will be no alcohol sales allowed and it is going to be a very, very managed process. Tickets to Raiders and Brumbies games will be rare as hen’s teeth for a little while. It will really be the hardcore fans initially but what we do want to do is gradually increase crowds.”
National Cabinet also flagged that “high-risk” venues like nightclubs, convention centres and festivals will not be allowed to restart until at least after July.
ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman says that while restrictions are easing, public responsibility is not.
“As we allow more people to come together, we need to continue to mitigate the public health risks by having appropriate control measures in place. This is not just a requirement for businesses, it extends to all Canberrans,” she said.
“We must all be sensible when having people in our homes and put in place our own control measures. This includes knowing who is there and at what times, downloading the COVIDSafe app [and] joining Flu Tracker.
“Importantly, we must maintain physical distancing and practice good hygiene measures. If you are sick, then please stay at home. If you have symptoms, then please get tested at one of the ACT’s testing venues.”
For more information about Canberra’s recovery plan and when restrictions will be eased, visit Canberra’s Recovery Plan.