National cabinet has cleared the way for even larger indoor gatherings including funerals and a return to live sports events from next month, with the 100-person limit to be scrapped.
It will be replaced by the one person per four square metre rule, but nightclubs and music festivals remain off the agenda for now.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that national cabinet agreed to make a number of changes for stage three of the recovery process, which is due to be completed by July.
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“This won’t happen immediately, this is part of step three so states and territories who are making decisions about when they’re moving to step three, they will now be moving based on the policy of four square metres being applied and those caps off 100 won’t be in place,” Mr Morrison said.
The Prime Minister says the four square metre rules continues to be reviewed by health officials.
From next month, stadiums with a capacity of less than 40,000 will be able to have up to 25 per cent of the capacity of their venues, provided the event is seated and ticketed.
Mr Morrison admits more work needs to be done.
“We have to give venues and others time to prepare for that sort of change, (but) I think that will be welcomed.
“Issues that have to be then addressed is access to the wet areas of those stadia, of the bars and so on, and I have no doubt there will be some view about restrictions on those because they tend to be the areas where people would congregate and gather, and that obviously presents risk.”
A decision on venues with a capacity greater than 40,000 is yet to be made.
“That will require further work because it’s not just the number of people who are in the venue. When you’re up above 40,000, you’ve got more than 10,000 people going to a gathering, that has implications for the egress and access off and to those premises, public transport crushes, all those sorts of things, and that will require much more significant work.”
The Prime Minister also confirmed that nightclubs and large music festivals would remain off the list for now.
“We’ve seen overseas, nightclubs is one area of failures. I wouldn’t anticipate those venues opening any time soon or as I said, those larger mass gathering festivals that take place.”
The Prime Minister also gave a blunt warning to States and Territories to reopen their borders by next month following discussions on allowing international students to return.
Mr Morrison made it clear international students wouldn’t be allowed to return while state borders remained shut.
“If someone can’t come to your state from Sydney, then someone can’t come to your state from Singapore.
“If you want to open up borders for international students, then you have to open up borders for Australians.”
South Australia has since announced it would reopen its borders from July 20, while Mr Morrison confirmed that the Queensland Government had agreed to nominate a date.
“I welcome the decision by the Queensland Government to nominate a date for the opening of that border in Queensland. That is welcome.
“It was a very constructive discussion, I anticipate states will be working through those decisions in the next few weeks and they’ll come to their own conclusions, but what is important, whatever date that is, that it is nominated as soon as possible because that will enable the travel and tourism, and hospitality industry to plan for that time.”
Queensland’s roadmap has it opening its borders on July 10, but Premier Annasatacia Palaszczuk has previously refused to lock that date in until a review was done at the end of the month.
She had even flagged that the borders could stay shut until September but softened her stance on that this week.