Over the past few days I’ve been talking to a number of people in the industry about their planning for the rest of this year. The common story in Sydney and Melbourne is that due to uncertainly most events have now been postponed to 2022.
And watching today’s pressers by the NSW and Vic state premiers I’m now convinced that events will not recommence this year in Sydney and probably not in Melbourne either. While Perth should be fine the possibility of snap lockdowns in other states would also make planning difficult.
Gladys Berejiklian says even if the state achieves 80% full vaccination extremely high case numbers will still significantly limit the state’s ability to open up.
“If you read the Doherty Institute report, that is based on the premise of 30-40 cases in relation to all the things you can do. You can live more freely than what you are today but the extent of your freedom depends on case numbers. If case numbers are where they are now and we get to 80% double doses, we won’t be able to do everything that we want to do…
There is a difference between a lockdown and restrictions. We will need to live with restrictions so long as Delta is around. So long as Delta has a presence in the world, even if we had zero cases and we were at 80% double dose, you would still have to respect rules that exist around vaccinations, around social distancing, around mask-wearing, so long as Delta and deadly Covid is around, we will always need to live with a measure of restriction.”
Dan Andrews has urged Victorians to comply with lockdown rules to not end up like Sydney.
“I don’t want us to finish up like Sydney where it has fundamentally got away from them. They are not reopening any time soon. They are locked in until they get pretty much the whole place vaccinated. That will take months.”
And Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said that Sydney would be locked down for another three months or more.
So what might Gladys Berejiklian’s easing of restrictions at 50% vaccination look like?
I suggest it will be no more than easing of retail, hairdressers, etc and maybe outdoor dining and bars.
Then maybe small events such as weddings and funerals with up to 100 guests.
Once we get to that magic 70% vax rate then maybe theatres and other indoor activities at 50% capacity.
Then, once we get to that 80% rate the vaccination of the 12 to 16 year olds should kick in and that is important because they are a key transmission group.
Even at 80% vaccination, if we still have high transmission rates, there will still be some restrictions.
So what will events look like in 2022?
Masks and social distancing should be gone and the emphasis will be on contact tracking and proof of vaccination.
Contact tracking is easy because we are now used to scanning into venues, and most ticketed events already have ticket scanning facilities, however this should be simplified so one scan will check your admission ticket, contact details and vaccination status.
Maybe the vaccination status could be linked to the federal COVIDsafe app and finally make it useful.
And if the punters don’t want to be vaccinated or tracked then they are free to stay home.
Maybe Gladys Berejiklian wanted to provide hope but her message on easing NSW restrictions misled us
Lollapalooza update – what we could expect from future music festivals in Australia
Chicago’s top health official announced Thursday that roughly 200 Lollapalooza attendees have tested positive for COVID-19 so far in the aftermath of the four-day music festival, but she said there’s no indication the controversial event was a “superspreader.”
“There’s no evidence at this point of a superspreader event, and there’s no evidence of substantial impact to Chicago’s COVID epidemiology,” said Chicago’s public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
So far, there have been no coronavirus deaths or hospitalizations linked to Lollapalooza, which drew a crowd of about 385,000 to Grant Park, she said.
The outbreak of 203 cases included 127 attendees who had been vaccinated and 76 attendees who had not been immunized; 58 of the positive cases were Chicago residents, 138 lived elsewhere in Illinois and seven had traveled from out of state, Arwady said.Chicago Tribune
After backlash over the 100,000-plus crowd of mostly unmasked faces at Chicago’s Lollapalooza, festival organisers reckon with a safe way forward