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:
Restrictions ease in Victoria
Metropolitan Melbourne has entered the Second Step towards reopening, after COVID-19 cases have continued to drop over the weekend.
Under the second step, the curfew has been lifted and groups of up to five people from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors for social interaction.
Workforce limits in some industries will also be increased, allowing many Victorians to get back to work.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the next steps in reopening will no longer be defined by dates.
“Instead, the “trigger point” for review by our public health team will be based solely on reaching our case number targets,” he said.
“That means the sooner we hit those targets – the sooner we can consider our next steps.”
Based on current projections, Andrews said the state will be in a position to consider the next step by mid-October.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has welcomed the changes but urged the state to review the “trigger of five and zero cases with regards to the third and last steps”.
“We note that at similar case levels NSW was fundamentally open while remaining Covidsafe due to a world class contact tracing facility,” he said.
“As it stands this lockdown is already longer than that faced by residents in many cities around the world. We remain deeply concerned about the mental health impacts of a prolonged lock down on Melbourne residents.”
Read more here.
NSW allows larger corporate events
Up to 300 guests will be allowed at corporate events in New South Wales from this week, as the state government eases more COVID-19 restrictions.
The Premier’s Major Events Taskforce has agreed to double the current 150-person limit, provided venues have COVID-safe plans and adhere to the four square metre rule.
Entertainment facilities including theatres, cinemas and concert halls will also be able to host ticketed, seated events at 50 per cent of capacity, to a maximum of 1000 people.
Stay up to date here.
Border restrictions ease across the country
A number of states and territories have begun further easing border restrictions.
South Australia has opened its borders to travellers from ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, TAS and WA. Visitors coming from these regions can enter South Australia directly without the requirement for COVID-19 testing or 14 day self-quarantine.
Queensland has also reopened its border to the ACT. Travellers coming from the ACT into Queensland do not need to quarantine upon their arrival, as long as they have not been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days.
Funding boost for regional tourism
The Federal Government has announced it will commit $250 million to regional Australia, including a $50 million Regional Tourism Recovery initiative.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the funding will help tourism regions attract more Australian and overseas visitors.
“This targeted new fund will support internationally dependent tourism regions to adapt their offerings, experiences and marketing to appeal to domestic visitors in the short-term and be in the strongest possible position to welcome back international tourists down the track,” he said.
“Increasingly we are targeting sectors hardest hit, with this regional support sitting alongside our $50 million business events program to get meetings, conventions and conferences up and running again, which is so crucial to the visitor economies of our capital and larger cities.”
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Featured image credit: Barossa Valley Ballooning