The event news you need to know this week

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Good news for Melbourne, changes to NSW events, plus Tasmania reopens the border.

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing daily, we’re rounding up the latest updates and information relevant to events professionals.

Here are the biggest stories you need to know for the week ahead:

Victoria records no new cases, restrictions set to ease

Victoria has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 today, 26 October 2020, marking the first official day of zero cases across the state since June.

Following the announcement, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews fronted media to confirm a significant easing of restrictions across Melbourne from Wednesday.

As of 11:59pm on Tuesday 27 October 2020, restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars across metropolitan Melbourne will reopen.

A maximum of 20 people seated will be permitted indoors, with 10 people per space. For outdoor spaces, a maximum of 50 people with one person per two square metres will be allowed.

While there is no word yet on when and how corporate events will resume, the Premier confirmed weddings, religious gathering and general outdoor gatherings will be permitted for up to 10 people.

He also said if case numbers continue driving down, the 25km travel limit will be removed and Melbourne will align with regional Victoria’s current restrictions from 8 November.

That means the capacity of pubs and restaurants would increase to 40 inside and 70 outside.

Industry demands support for Victorian events

The good news comes as the business events industry pleads with the Victorian Government for urgent financial support and a revised reopening plan to rebuild the state’s event sector.

Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) national chair Kate Smith said despite considerable consultation with government over the past six months, Victoria’s business events industry is still without dedicated funding or support.

“Business events are the highest yielding sector in Victoria’s visitor economy yet here we are in October without a confirmed road map that supports indoor business events commencing as a step towards the state’s recovery,” she said.

Smith has written again to Victoria’s Minister for Tourism & Major Events Martin Pakula urging him to implement an achievable plan to re-instating events within Victoria.

MEA has also joined forces with a number of tourism and events peak bodies to propose an alternative roadmap for the restarting of business.

Under the proposed plan, business events would be permitted for up to 50 people from 30 October, subject to the one person per four square metre rule, with a goal to increase the cap to 100 people by 1 December.

Read more here.

NSW eases restrictions for events and weddings

Restaurant bookings are now increased to 30 people maximum

New South Wales Government has eased a number of restrictions around corporate events and weddings.

Corporate events of up to 300 people can now be held at any appropriate premises, including at restaurants, subject to a COVID-safe plan.

This was previously limited to function centres only.

From 1 December, the number of people who can attend weddings will be increased to 300 people, subject to the four square metre rule indoors and two square metre rule outdoors.

Outside of events, restaurants and bars can now take group bookings of up to 30 customers.

More info here.

Tasmania reopens border

Tasmania has today (26 October 2020) reopened its border to low-risk areas, which currently includes all states and territories, except NSW and Victoria.

Quarantine requirements will not be in place for people travelling from approved jurisdictions provided they have not spent time in an affected region in the 14 days before arriving in Tasmania.

Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Government is developing a framework to support event organisers to plan and hold larger-scale COVID-19 safe events from 1 December 2020.

The government has also announced $2.5 million in funding for Tasmanian event businesses and suppliers.

The funding is available to eligible Tasmanian businesses that provide “critical event support infrastructure and other services that are essential to the running of events as part of the recovery of the visitor economy”. More detail are available here.

More reading

UPDATED: State-by-state guide to event restrictions
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Featured image: Federation Square, Melbourne

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