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Arts and Recreation Services sector guidance

Sector guidance for Arts and Recreation Services business within metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

See below for up to date operational guidance and frequently asked questions for this sector.

For frequently asked questions that applies to all businesses go to our

Frequently asked questions - metropolitan Melbourne

Updated on: 2 September 2020

Read below for commonly asked questions by businesses within the Arts and Recreation Services sector. The following frequently asked questions apply to metropolitan Melbourne, which is currently at Step One of Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

Arts, venues and studios

No, these are not permitted workplaces. For more information on permitted workplaces visit the DHHS website.

If your workplace is closed under Stage 4 restrictions (i.e. not a permitted workplace), you can only visit:

  • to ensure the premises is closed safely
  • to support employees who are working from home (e.g. organising IT equipment to be delivered to their home)
  • in an emergency or if otherwise required by law

Museums, galleries and other sites that house valuable artworks and cultural collections, can have minimum staff required on site to secure their collections or to conduct critical collections maintenance activities.

Staff numbers must be kept to the absolute minimum required and will need to be issued with Permitted Worker Permits. You must also have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.

No. If your place of work is not a Permitted Work Premises and you are not a Permitted Worker, you cannot travel to attend your work premises. For more information on permitted workplaces visit the DHHS website.

Photography shoots are not a permitted activity under Stage 4 restrictions, unless they are in relation to production of telecommunication required to support critical functions, such as law enforcement, public safety, medical and other critical industries and where this activity  cannot be undertaken virtually.

No, these are not permitted workplaces. You or your staff would need to conduct online classes or film online learning content from home. You cannot have someone who doesn’t live with you come into your home to assist with filming.

Under Stage 4 restrictions, the default is that workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne are closed unless they are part of a permitted industry. With very few exceptions (such as some screen productions - see below), the creative industries are not permitted industries.

You can find more information about permitted industries on the DHHS website.

No, face to face classes cannot take place under Stage 4 restrictions. Classes can only occur online, if filmed from home. You cannot have someone who doesn’t live with you come into your home to assist with filming.

While your retail outlet must close, attendance is allowed on site for the purposes of fulfilling online orders.

You must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place and operate in accordance with the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme directions.

As with other food and drink businesses in metropolitan Melbourne, your café can only remain open for takeaway or delivery services. No sit-down meals or drinks are allowed.

You must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place and operate in accordance with the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme directions.

Film and production

No. If your business closed under Stage 4 restrictions, you can only visit to:

  • ensure the facility is closed safely
  • to support employees who are working from home (e.g. organising I.T. equipment to be delivered to their home)
  • in an emergency or otherwise required by law
  • carry out emergency maintenance.

If the project you are working on meets the requirements permitted under Stage 4 restrictions (i.e. it is already in physical production, operating as a closed set with a COVIDSafe plan in place, is not a television commercial, student or corporate production), you may travel for work. You should not carpool and you must have a Permitted Worker Permit.

No. Under Stage 4 restrictions, arts, cultural and entertainment venues, studios and other creative industry workplaces are not permitted to open, including for livestreaming and recording performances and content.

You can continue to livestream from home. You cannot have someone who doesn’t live with you come into your home to assist with livestreaming

Feature film, television and documentary projects that are already in physical production and operating as a closed set can continue. Post-production relating to these projects is also permitted. This excludes television commercials, student and corporate productions.

Screen productions that meet these criteria must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place and operate in accordance with the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme directions.

For more details and further Q&As relating to the screen industry, visit Film Victoria.

Recording studios are not permitted to open under Stage 4 restrictions. Home recording studios are free to operate, however no one from outside of your household is permitted to be on site.

Frequently asked questions - Regional Victoria

Updated on: 17 September 2020

Read below for commonly asked questions by businesses within the Arts and Recreation Services sector. The following frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria. Find out more about Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

Film & Production

The following frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria.

If the project you are working on meets the requirements permitted under Stage 4 restrictions (i.e. it is already in physical production, operating as a closed set with a COVIDSafe plan in place, is not a television commercial, student or corporate production), you may travel for work. You should not carpool and you must have a Permitted Worker Permit.

Outdoor Attractions and Experiences

The following frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria.

Heavily Restricted: Events where people are likely to congregate (such as country racing, sporting events, festivals, shows) will be considered on a case-by-case basis and otherwise public gathering limits apply to spectators.

Heavily Restricted: Market stalls may open provided they adhere to the density quotient of one person per four square meters.

Restricted: Outdoor experience businesses can operate as long as capacity limits are adhered to and physical distancing can be maintained. Operators should support participants to take reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other persons.

No. Travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria is not permitted for the purposes of outdoor experiences or attractions at this time. Business owners must use reasonable endeavours to satisfy themselves that their customers do not live in metropolitan Melbourne.

This can be confirmed by asking customers to confirm that they don’t live there and by using a driver’s license or other relevant forms of ID. People from regional Victoria may not travel through metropolitan Melbourne for the purposes of outdoor experiences or attractions at this time, even if their destination is in regional Victoria. Travel within regional Victoria is permitted.

Heavily Restricted: Stadiums and arenas can operate for exclusive use by a single school at any one time for education purposes. Additionally, stadiums and arenas with fixed seating can open to the lower of 50 people or 25% of the venue's fixed seat capacity.

Heavily Restricted: Yes, however you must comply with current restrictions on retail outlets.

For details about hospitality workplaces, see Industry Restart Guidelines - Hospitality (PDF 1466.77 KB)PDF icon

Yes. For details about hospitality workplaces, see Industry Restart Guidelines - Hospitality (PDF 1466.77 KB)PDF icon

The following entertainment facilities remain closed under the Third Step:

  • Stadiums and arenas, except for the exclusive use by schools for education purposes.
  • Arcades, amusements parks, escape rooms, casinos, gaming machine areas and bingo centres.
  • Indoor facilities such as cinemas and theatres.
  • Similarly, brothels and sex on premises venues.

Retail betting venues are permitted to operate, subject to the relevant restrictions on retail or licensed venues (e.g. density quotient and seated service requirements).

Yes, for outdoor skateparks only. For details about outdoor physical recreation, see  Industry Restart Guidelines - Physical Recreation (PDF 1044.35 KB)PDF icon

Yes, however persons are not allowed to be seated outside their vehicles. Outdoor, non-seated areas are allowed to be open.

Heavily Restricted: As per Heavily Restricted guidance, these businesses must remain closed at this time.

Heavily Restricted: Yes, zoos can open, adhering to physical distancing and capacity restrictions.

Heavily Restricted: If the venue is wholly contained within a licensed premises, the betting area must be closed (pending above option to create predominately outdoor options). If not wholly contained within a licensed premises: open subject to requirements on an open retail facility, i.e. density

Tourism (Tours and Transport)

The following frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria.

Tourism requiring customers to be in enclosed spaces (e.g. tour buses, aircraft) is not permitted. For outdoor modes of transport (e.g. boats), apply density quotient where possible. Where not possible, support participants to take reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other persons.

Reading material should be either laminated and disinfected after each use or single-use paper material. General non-contact signage or QR codes can also be used to communicate information.

Experience businesses can operate as long as capacity limits are adhered to and physical distancing can be maintained. Operators should support participants to take reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other persons. For Outdoor Recreation activities (e.g. surfing lessons, mountain biking), see the Outdoor Attractions and Experiences guidelines. Industry Restart Guidelines - Outdoor Attractions and Experiences (PDF 1101.72 KB)PDF icon

Where possible, open windows and adjust air conditioning to enhance fresh airflow.

Cash can still be accepted as a form of payment, but it is strongly recommended that all businesses use contactless payments.

Local tourism for people travelling between locations in the Third Step areas (i.e. regional Victoria) is permitted. Travel from metropolitan Melbourne, or when a region is under the First or Second Step, is not permitted at this time. Business owners must use reasonable endeavours to satisfy themselves that their customers do not live in metropolitan Melbourne.

This can be confirmed by asking customers to confirm that they don’t live there, or by using a driver’s licence or other relevant forms of ID.

People from regional Victoria may not travel through metropolitan Melbourne for the purposes of outdoor experiences or attractions at this time, even if their destination is in regional Victoria.

Physical Recreation Indoor and Outdoor

The following frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria.

Indoor gyms are closed for participants across Victoria. Outdoor personal training is permitted in Regional Victoria under the Third Step.

Under both the regional Victoria and the metropolitan Melbourne ‘How We Work’ roadmaps, indoor gyms are likely to reopen in the Last Step. Workers in regional Victoria may attend an indoor workplace to stream/film content, as long as density, signage, record-keeping and cleaning requirements are met as per Workplace Directions.

Only the minimum number of workers needed to film or stream may attend and must not exceed five people at any one time.

Under Heavily Restricted, personal trainers are allowed to train up to 10 people at a time outdoors. Gyms and studios with outdoor areas in these regions can only be used if it complies with local government regulations.

Pools are open in regional Victoria and subject to density requirements both in the water (50 people per outdoor pool) and inside the change rooms. Childplay is permitted.

Change room facilities and toilets can be opened to members of the public. Operators must ensure physical distancing, signage and cleaning requirements are adhered to (e.g. placing signs on the floor to ensure people remain 1.5m apart).

Masks must be worn when outside of the pool (for example, when going to a change room, or entering or exiting the premises). Masks should not be worn when it is likely that they will get wet or damaged (for example while the participant is in the process of exiting the pool).

No, communal equipment must not be provided, unless required for safety reasons (for example, safety equipment for swimming pools). Participants should supply their own equipment.

A participant is anyone who is located in a physical recreation Workplace, whether or not they are engaging in a physical recreation activity at the time. For example – a participant includes somebody entering a pool complex.

It is recommended to set workplace usage times so there is minimal overlap between different groups (for example, a booking or reservation system). If businesses choose to impose a time limit on bookings, this should be kept to no more than two hours.

It is strongly recommended that all businesses use contactless payments.

Restricted:  Yes, you may go into your indoor workplace to stream / film content, subject to density, signage, record-keeping and cleaning requirements as per Workplace Directions. However the total number of workers should not exceed five people at any one time. The only other reasons that you may visit your indoor workplace are to:

  • ensure the facility is closed safely
  • support workers who are working from home (i.e. organising I.T. equipment to be delivered to their home)
  • carry out emergency maintenance
  • respond to an emergency or as otherwise required by law.

Swimming pools are limited to 50 people, or one person per four square metres, whichever is lesser. This cap does not apply for; a) exclusive use by a single school at any one time for education purposes; or b) exclusive use for community sport in accordance with restriction provisions in the Restricted Activities Directions

To qualify for the schools exemption, swimming pools must be able to demonstrate that the swimming activity was conducted as part of the school program (for example, included in the curriculum or school education plan). The facility must be for the exclusive use of the primary or secondary school.

Walk-ins are allowed. However, workplaces should consider how these are managed so that physical distancing can be maintained, particularly at entrances. Bookings provide a greater opportunity to manage demand and stagger arrival times to ensure physical distancing is maintained. Workplaces must also ensure walk-ins do not take them over the participant limit and that contact details are collected.

Delivery drivers and other contractors visiting the premises should minimise interaction with workers. Use electronic paperwork where possible and, instead of a signature, send a confirmation email or take a photo of the goods onsite as proof of delivery.

You can convert an outdoor smoking area into an outdoor exercise area. However, smoking would no longer be allowed in that space. If you chose to do so, you must also take into account the requirements of the Tobacco Act, which are set out on the BetterHealth website.

Outdoor training groups can have a maximum of 10 people. The personal trainer is not included in the cap of 10 people. There is no cap if members are from the same household.

The outdoor space available must be suitable to ensure all members of the group and any members of the public are reasonably capable of maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres from each other. Equipment should not be shared between people in the group and should be cleaned and disinfected between uses.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and the Industry Coordination Centre

The Business Victoria website and hotline provide information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.