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Stage 3: Easing of restrictions and the impact for the arts and cultural sector

On 8 May 2020 the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk released Queensland’s Roadmap to Easing COVID-19 restrictions.

The Queensland Government has brought forward Stage 3 Easing of Restrictions effective from 12 noon 3 July 2020, which means arts and cultural venues can increase the number of people allowed on premises if complying with a relevant a COVID Safe plan in place. 

Here is some key information for arts and cultural businesses to consider as you implement COVID-Safe business practices and increase the capacity of workplaces and venues to welcome larger numbers of employees, clients, customers and audiences.

Direction from the Chief Health Officer as of 1 July 2020

Framework for COVID Safe businesses


What's new in Stage 3?

On 1 July, the Chief Health Officer published an updated direction regarding business activities: Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction.

We strongly recommend you refer to this Direction in relation to considering impacts and the operation of your arts business.

For all arts businesses

  • All businesses may now have one person per 4 square metres on their premises, observing physical distancing rules.
  • Businesses with a floor space less than 200 square metres will be allowed to use a one person per 2 square metres rule, for up to 50 people at a time, observing physical distancing rules.  
  • There is no specific customer cap for businesses – the number allowed is determined by the size of your business and the 4 square metre rule.
  • If not complying with an approved Industry Plan or Site Specific Plan, businesses will need to have a COVID Safe Checklist or a COVID Safe Event Checklist.
  • While dance floors in clubs cannot operate, dance studios and dance classes may operate within Stage 3 restrictions.

For events:

More events will be allowed under the Framework for COVID Safe Events, events with:


For venues and facilities opting in to the Live Performance Venues/Theatres Industry Plan or the Dance and Physical Performing Arts Industry Plan:

  • Can fill up to 50% of audience space or 1 person per 4 square metres, whichever is the greater
  • Require 4 metre distance between performers and first row of audience
  • A notice should be displayed stating that patrons should not enter the venue, if they:


Do I need to do an Industry Plan?

COVID safe Industry plans are developed by industry organisations on behalf of sector businesses that seek specific guidelines or more flexibility.

Industry plans for the arts and cultural sector should be developed in liaison with Arts Queensland and are submitted to Queensland Health for approval. 

Industry plans for the arts and cultural sector include:

Do I need to develop a Site Specific Plan?

Site specific plans are only required by large businesses with complex operations.

Arts Queensland is working with Queensland Health on the following site specific plans: Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Woodford Folk Festival and Brisbane Festival.

Queensland Museum Network, Queensland Art Gallery|Gallery of Modern Art and State Library of Queensland now have approved Site Specific Plans in place.

To guide consideration of a Site Specific plan, development of which must be approved by and lodged with Queensland Health for approval, can be found here.

Need advice?

For health advice about COVID-19 call: 134 COVID (13 42 68)

For advice about COVID-safe arts and cultural considerations, call Arts Queensland on 3034 4016 (reception) and you will be referred to an appropriate advisor, or email: