9 December 2020

Everybody dance now! Dance floors open as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease in the ACT

| David Murtagh
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Nightclub in the ACT

Up to 25 people are now permitted on dance floors in the ACT. Photo: File.

Dance floors will open again in the ACT on Friday – just in time for the weekend – as the Territory continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

From 12 noon on Friday (11 December), nightclubs will be permitted to reopen in the ACT, in line with the operating conditions and restrictions for other licensed venues in the ACT. Dancing will be permitted in venues with a dedicated area for dancing.

However, if the space is indoors, venues must limit the number of people in the area by applying the 1 person per 2 square metre rule, up to a maximum of 25 people.

For venues not using the Check In CBR app, they must apply the 1 person per 4 square rule to dedicated dance areas, up to a maximum of 25 people.

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston said while dancing at licensed venues is permitted, subject to these conditions, the requirement for patrons to remain seated while drinking in an indoor space remains at this time.

“ACT venues tend to have smaller dance spaces, which is why the overall number of people permitted in a dance space is 25 people, but a greater density of patrons in these spaces is allowed,” Dr Johnston said.

“Dancing carries a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 as it is difficult for people who are dancing to maintain physical distancing.

“Additionally, dance areas tend to be small and they encourage crowding. This is why we are capping numbers in each dance space at a maximum of 25 people, subject to the 1 person per 2 square metre rule if using the Check In CBR app.”

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston says the eased restrictions take account of the ACT’s unique circumstances. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Dr Johnston noted that while these rules may be a little different from other jurisdictions, they have been designed to accommodate ACT licensed venues and public health measures.

The new requirements do not apply to dance schools or dance classes.

ACT Health reiterated that the best defence against COVID-19 remains to physically distance from other groups whenever possible, practise good hand and respiratory hygiene, stay home if you are unwell, and get tested if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19.

Due to the improving COVID-19 situation in South Australia, ACT Health also announced today that travellers from South Australia would no longer be required to complete an online declaration prior to entering the ACT.

For further information about COVID-19 restrictions, as well as testing sites, visit www.covid19.act.gov.au.

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