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Western Australian Government announces Guidelines and Plans to enable more events
The Western Australian Government has announced that events of more than 500 people that require a local government authority approval will be supported with COVID Event Guidelines and COVID Event Plans to ensure more events are held across the state.
Similar to the industry specific COVID Safety Guidelines and Plans first introduced in May, the COVID Event Guidelines and Plans will ensure event organisers play their role in keeping Western Australians safer, reduces the potential risk and spread of COVID-19 and gives event-goers more confidence to attend and participate in events.
A COVID Event Plan will not be required for events that form part of the usual business of places for which there is an existing public building approval.
From 25th September, a public or private event involving more than 500 patrons that requires local government authority approval will need an approved COVID Event Plan as part of that process.
The COVID Event Plans will need to consider and identify public health measures to ensure the safety of patrons including physical distancing requirements, hygiene and cleaning regimes, and staff management.
As a result of the new system, music festivals could be approved, pending assessment of plans by the Western Australian Department of Health.
As part of a COVID Event Plan, organisers may also need to designate employees as COVID Safety Marshals. A COVID Safety Marshal is nominated or employed by the event organiser to monitor that the public health measures in the COVID Event Plan are implemented.
All events will be subject to the provision of a minimum of 2 metre² per person in the areas where patrons are permitted.
COVID Event Plans will be approved through the relevant local government authority, however, if an event is deemed 'high risk', it may be referred to the Western Australian Department of Health for a decision by an authorised officer.
High risk factors may include large patron numbers, increased duration of the event, indoor only events, activities that lead to difficulty in maintaining physical distancing (mosh pits, dance floors, bouncy castles), presence of alcohol or illicit drugs, inability to contract trace patrons and ongoing mixing of people who do not know each other.
COVID Event Plans must be approved prior to the event taking place. If the risk to public health remains too high, a COVID Event Plan may not be approved and therefore the event will not take place.
Explaining the importance of encouraging events, Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan stated "heading into the summer events season it is crucial we continue to maintain our high standard of preparedness and take the necessary steps to protect our community.
"Thanks to our success, we can see more and more events in WA as the weather warms up, but we can't get complacent.
"We need to ensure we support businesses and jobs, while also mitigating any potential risk of COVID-19 transmission. Doing so will enable us to continue to open up the economy more and proceed with many events we love to enjoy.
"Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been world-leading, and puts us in prime position to enjoy a vibrant Western Australian summer, which regularly sees events like community fetes, festivals and fairs pop up.
"Western Australians should feel confident going out in the community and attending these events knowing their safety is a top priority."
Western Australian Local Government and Culture and the Arts Minister, David Templeman added "this is great news for the culture and arts sector, as well as audiences who can now feel assured that events will be held in a COVID safe manner.
"I welcome the removal of the blanket ban on music festivals and it being replaced with these new risk management-based processes, which will make things clearer and easier for people planning large events going forward."
Organisers are required to register their event on the Department of Health Events Register at www2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Events-registration
More information can be found at www.wa.gov.au/covideventplan
18th September 2020 - Busselton music festival to use rotating main stage to be COVIDSafe
3rd June 2020 - 2020 Impact Report confirms public value of Perth Festival
17th April 2020 - Western Australia looks at early raising of Coronavirus restrictions
17th August 2016 - Eventbrite research shows Australians love festivals
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