Canberra considers new protocols to allow events over 500

Canberra is weighing up whether events for 500 people or more can go ahead in the summer.

ACT Health is looking at new COVID-safe protocols for larger events after the successful rugby match at Canberra Stadium saw 6000 people attend.

“The new protocol outlines how public community events for more than 100 people at public venues can be held while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place and how to see the necessary exemptions,” a ACT Health spokesman said.

“The ACT government is supporting the process of returning events to the ACT in a COVID-safe way.

“This reflects the continued good position which Canberra is experiencing, with more than 10 weeks since our last diagnosed case of COVID-19.”

Currently events with more than 100 people need to get an exemption from the ACT’s chief health officer to go ahead.

As part of the new protocols, three risk levels have been outlined.

Class A events would cover low-risk events of up to 100 people which do not require an exemption to go ahead.

Class B would cover mid-level risk events of between 101 and 500 people and would require approval from the chief health officer.

Class C would cover high-risk events of 500 people or more which would need to be considered by a special committee before providing a recommendation to the chief health officer.

“The new protocol outlines how public community events for more than 100 people at public venues can be held while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place and how to see the necessary exemptions,” the spokesman said.

Summernats organisers say it is preparing to go ahead next year with coronavirus protocols in place if given the greenlight.

“It’s good to see the guidelines have come out and we appreciate that health and government agencies have put the work in to get the guidelines ready and start a framework for large events,” Summernats managing director Andy Lopez told The Canberra Times.