On Sunday the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews announced the process for coming out of Victoria’s lockdown.
The announcement was welcomed by the representative group for business events in Victoria – the Business Events Reference Group, which is made up of representation from MEA, EEAA and VTIC.
The work of the Business Events Reference Group was acknowledged by Martin Pakula the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events
Meanwhile the Save Victorian Events group are calling for more financial support and an event led recovery
So what is in the announcement?
The changes to the Victorian COVID recovery road map take effect from Friday October 29, as the state will reach its 80 per cent double dose vaccination target almost a week ahead of schedule.
While the 4 sqm limit will still restrict most events, outdoor events can go ahead with up to 5,000 people from Friday, with Victoria’s Chief Health Officer able to approve exemptions for larger events under the Public Event Framework, including 10,000 punters at the Melbourne Cup
And that kicks off next Saturday with Outdoor music gigs for Victorians to celebrate end of lockdown
Victoria is now expected to hit the 90 per cent double dose vaccination target for people 12 years and over – around Wednesday, November 24.
At this point events can get back to some sort of normal as caps or density quotients will be removed for all settings. There will be no restrictions for indoor and outdoor events provided they follow COVIDSafe rules including vaccination requirements.
However industry sources are not expecting business events to get back to normal until February – in Melbourne or Sydney, and international events are not expected to return until July 2022. So the federal treasurer is certainly dreaming when he expects that all sectors will bounce back once restrictions are lifted and he cuts off the disaster payments to businesses and individuals.
One big difference between the Victorian and NSW roadmaps is in regards to unvaccinated people. From December 1st unvaccinated people will be able to attend most events in NSW, however events in Victoria will be restricted to the fully vaccinated well into 2022.
Unvaccinated adults and older children will be barred from accessing all but basic services until 2023 under the Victorian government’s path back to freedom announced by the Premier on Sunday.
Note that this was the position in NSW under Gladys; Mr Gung Ho Perrottet quickly put paid to that idea. Also note that Perrottet was advocating (along with Morrison) for Sydney not to be shut down when this latest outbreak surfaced in June, and then spread to Victoria. Just imagine the situation we would be in now if he was premier back then.
The MCEC is reopening on 5th November
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is set to reopen from Friday 5 November, with greater capacities than first expected, including up to 5,000 attendees in some spaces.
Under the updated Phase C of the Victorian Government roadmap, fixed-seated indoor events can soon proceed at 75 per cent capacity to a maximum of 1,000 attendees, while standing and non-fixed -seated indoor events are limited by a 1 person per 4 sqm density requirement (to a maximum of 5,000).
MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said he is excited to see the venue welcoming customers and visitors back through the doors.
“MCEC is recognised as an important contributor to the State of Victoria, and we are proud to have robust COVIDSafe practices in place ensuring we’re ready and able to host events of all sizes safely,” Mr King said.
“We already have a number of exciting events ready to go, including THE LUME Melbourne, a new immersive digital art gallery and our future is certainly looking bright. I can’t wait to open our doors and get back to what we do best.”
Paul Guerra, Chief Executive, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry told his members
“This move will drive Victoria towards reclaiming our mantle as the events and sporting capital of Australia. Images of crowds enjoying the Melbourne Cup will be beamed across the world, sending an important signal that Melbourne is back in business. These events will follow regional trials at 15 venues across the state which started this week to test the vaccinated economy settings.”
The Age reports on theatre and music returning to Melbourne.
A spokesman for the producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child said the cast had been through an emotional roller-coaster in six Melbourne lockdowns, but for reasons including the need to rehearse, the show would stick to its plan to reopen on November 18 at the Princess Theatre.
Simon Myers, venue manager at Memo Music Hall in St Kilda, said the reopening was great after being closed for 246 days of the pandemic.
Mr Myers said the venue’s first show back – the Black Sorrows on November 5 – was already sold out, for a crowd of 150 in the 400-capacity hall. More than a dozen other acts are already booked for November.
Will Ewing, venue director of Brunswick Ballroom, said on November 5, 150 fully vaccinated people will watch a soldout gig with bands Dallas Crane and Tim Rogers’ Draught Dodgers.
It will be the first live gig at the ballroom since August 4. From about November 24 there will be no capacity restrictions. “It’s time to get excited and to move forward,” Mr Ewing said. “It really is a game-changer. It’s amazing.”