COVID-19 Response Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs relate specifically to the guidelines produced by NSW Health for cinemas, theatres, concert halls and drive-in cinemas. The answers have been verified by a representative from NSW Health.
Information as of 3 July 2020.

1. Clarification of audience seating

“Seated groups or individuals should be separated by 1-2 empty seats on both sides to support physical distancing. Develop strategies to achieve this, such as ticketing arrangements or blocked seating. If non-ticketed areas are being utilised, have strategies in place to ensure physical distancing between non-household groups.”

Q: Does “both sides” mean either side on the same row, or does it also include in front and behind a seated group/booking?
A: It means either side of the same row. If audiences are facing forwards, no additional distancing in front or behind is required.

2. Public spaces and back of house spaces in venue capacity calculations

Q: Can I include the stage and back of house in venue capacity for audiences?
A: No, the guidelines refer to public spaces only.

Q: Do I need to include staff in my calculations for the venue’s public spaces?
A: No, you do not need to include your staff in these calculations – audience only.

Q: Does the 1 person per 4 square metres apply to staff and crew?
A. No, it does not. This is their place of work so they do not need to be included in the 1 person per 4 square metres capacity calculations. However, staff should aim to work 1.5m apart and limit their interactions with each other wherever this is practical.

3. Calculating mezzanines and different levels of theatre seating space in capacity calculations

Q: My venue has several different levels for audience seating. Can I add these levels into capacity calculations?
A: Yes. The intention of the public health policy is to ensure that each person has 4 square metres of space available to them to move around in. You can count each of the levels separately as each audience member has that space available to them.

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