COVID-19 Support

Newcastle Museum. Image: courtesy the museum.

Newcastle Museum. Image: courtesy the museum.

COVID-19 has significantly impacted the arts, screen and culture sectors in NSW. To minimise the effects of the pandemic, the NSW Government is providing funding and support to practitioners and organisations across the State.

On this page, you will find the latest updates from Create NSW on COVID-19, links to resources on grants, and financial assistance from the NSW Government and the Australian Government, and a link to our webpage on how to operate safely during COVID-19. You will also find links to other helpful websites and material from a range of other sites, including those concerning mental health and crisis management.

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Latest news

New COVID-19 restrictions for Greater Sydney

Following updated health advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer about the growing risk to the community, new restrictions have been introduced for the greater metropolitan Sydney region.

Rescue and Restart

In major step towards recovery, the arts and culture sector will soon receive $30.1 million through the second stage of the NSW Government’s Rescue and Restart package.

Stage 2 of the Rescue and Restart package will help the recovery of over 160 companies, including significant investment for 60 organisations across regional NSW, with more than $24.2 million in funding to immediately kickstart their programs. Read about the changes in more detail.

Changes to Live Music Regulations

Amendments to the Liquor Act, Planning Act, Local Government Act and the Building Code will change the way live music and entertainment is regulated in NSW and mitigate some of the effects of COVID-19 restrictions. The aim is to increase live music and entertainment events across the State with changes such as:

  • removing the current regulations on music type, the number and type instruments, and the number of musicians allowed in venues
  • providing new incentives for live music and cultural events – such as licence discounts and extended trading hours for some venues – will be introduced
  • allowing for cultural and entertainments precincts that foster live music and cultural activity
  • providing an easier process for people to create small bars, live music and small art spaces
  • allowing local councils to regulate entertainment in their areas.

Read about the changes in more detail.

Great Southern Nights

The Great Southern Nights initiative brings 1,000 COVID-safe performances to live music venues in Greater Sydney and regional NSW.

It is a NSW Government initiative, delivered by its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW in partnership with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). It aims to stimulate the revival of the live music and entertainment sectors and in turn the visitor economy in the recovery phase of COVID-19.

Move to digital platforms to record visitors to venues

The NSW Government has introduced new rules for recording the contact details of patrons and visitors. Patrons and visitor check-in must be completed using electronic methods such as a QR  code.

The Service NSW COVID Safe Check-in is strongly recommended as a free, secure and convenient system, but any electronic method that meets the record keeping requirements can be used.

Please note:

  • For ticketed events: tickets scanned on entry will suffice as a record if all members of a booking are registered against their ticket. That is, if your ticketing system can meet the record keeping requirements, you will not need a separate system to record patrons.
  • For school bookings: it is acceptable for school bookings to give a spreadsheet to a venue with each child’s details, as long as the venue incorporates the details into their record keeping for the day.

Read more about the rules.

NSW Government COVID-19 support for arts, screen and culture

To support NSW’s arts, screen and cultural sectors during COVID-19, the NSW Government is providing:

NSW Government COVID-19 economic support for the State

NSW Government has a range of general response measures to help businesses, organisations and individuals.

Federal Government COVID-19 support for arts, screen and culture in Australia

The Australian Government announced a $250 million package on 25 June 2020 to support artists and organisations to get back in business following the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Learn more about the Federal Government’s COVID-19 support for arts, screen and culture in Australia.

COVID-19 safety rules and guidance for arts, screen and culture in NSW

Guidance on NSW Public Health Orders affecting the arts, screen and culture sectors in NSW and how to safely reopen and operate during COVID-19.

Helpful resources

General advice and support

Mental health resources

  • An article on how to cope with COVID-19 from online arts magazine ArtsHub.
  • Support Act is a charity delivering crisis relief services to artists, crew and music workers that impacts their ability to work including mental health resources through their wellbeing helpline.
  • Free mental health webinars for Australian entertainment industry workers from Entertainment Assist.

Crisis management

More information

Do you require additional help or have any questions about this page?

Image: Newcastle Museum. Image courtesy the museum.
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