- Guidelines to enable more events, developed in consultation with key stakeholders
- Public and private events for more than 500 people in WA that require local government approval will need to prepare a plan for events and register their event
- Guidelines and COVID Event Plans will help protect the public from COVID-19 risks
- Available online at https://www.wa.gov.au/covideventplan from today
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 in Western Australia.
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 September 25, 2020, 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 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 2sqm 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 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.
Organisers are required to register their event on the Department of Health Events Register at https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Events-registration
More information can be found at https://www.wa.gov.au/covideventplan
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"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."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"As we know, COVID-19 is unpredictable. Ensuring the health and safety of all Western Australians remains at the forefront of everything we do.
"Approval of COVID Event Plans ensure the community and patrons of the event that sensible public health measures will be adhered to and also ensures confidence the event will proceed in a manner prioritising public health.
"The requirement for COVID Event Plans provides the community with extra assurance that any event they attend in WA requiring local government approval is able to comply with public health measures."
Comments attributed to Local Government and Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"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."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500
Local Government and Culture and the Arts Minister's office - 6552 5400