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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

ACT COVID-19 restrictions to ease from midday Friday

UPDATE: Three new COVID-19 cases in ACT; links to Melbourne hotspot

The ACT Government has announced the Territory will move to Stage 3 of the COVID-19 Easing of Restrictions Roadmap at midday Friday 10 July.

Earlier this week, Chief Minister Andrew Barr flagged that the changes moving to Stage 3 would be “relatively minor”.

One of the sectors set to notice a big change in how they operate is small venues. Venues with useable space from 50sqm up will be able to allow for 25 patrons in their venue, staff excluded, or one person per four square metres – whichever is greater.

For those with a predilection for lifting weights in the early hours, 24-hour gyms will now be able to have a maximum of 25 people in the facility at any one time when facilities are unstaffed.

ACT gyms will continue to function with the existing 100 patron limit when staffed.

Outdoor gatherings will now be capped at 250 people, while a 25% capacity at sporting and entertainment venues in the ACT will now come into effect following a successful trial of spectators at GIO Stadium last weekend. This means 6,000 patrons will be able to attend the Raiders NRL match this Saturday night, 11 July.

Large events, either indoor or outdoor, that are not ticketed or seated will remain closed.

Things will also be allowed to get steamy once again: saunas and bathhouses will be allowed to operate, as well as steam-based beauty services, plus strip clubs, brothels and escort agencies.

Bars, pubs and clubs will now be able to serve alcohol to seated patrons, with no limit on group size, while nightclubs will be allowed to reopen – but before any John Travolta wannabes get too excited, tearing up the dancefloor will remain off limits – such venues will only be allowed to operate as bars.

Mr Barr has indicated this cautious step toward easing restrictions had been taken “in light of the situation in Victoria”.

“The Government will closely monitor the impact of these changes, as well as the effectiveness of the various Victorian restrictions, before considering any future easing of local restrictions,” he said.

For a full run down of how the ACT’s COVID-19 restrictions will ease come midday Friday, view the Territory’s Easing of Restrictions Roadmap here.

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