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March 24, 2021

Hospitality venue capacities to increase from 31 March

From Wednesday, 31 March density requirements within hospitality venues will relax to allow three people per four square metres, equal to around 75 per cent of full capacity.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Main image: Josh Geelen


With vaccines going into South Australian arms and the successful Fringe and Festival season resulting in no spikes in COVID-19 cases, Premier Steven Marshall today announced hospitality restrictions are set to relax further.

From 00:00 on Wednesday, 31 March, density requirements within hospitality venues will relax to a three person per four square metres requirement, equivalent to around 75 per cent of a venue’s capacity.

The current requirement is one person per two square metres, equivalent to 50 per cent capacity.

“This is just great news for patrons, but also for businesses right across this state,” the Premier said at a press conference.

“We know with the JobKeeper arrangements changing at the end of this week, there have been a lot of anxious people. They’ve made very, very passionate representations. These were taken into account.

“I think there are going to be some smiles on the faces of publicans and venue operators right across South Australia.”

The new 75 per cent density requirement applies to venues under 1000 capacity. Any venues with a capacity of 1000 people or more are still required to apply for a COVID management plan.

And in positive news for the Bring Back Dancing movement, from 00:00 on Wednesday, 31 March, there will be no restrictions on dancing in venues with a capacity of up to 1000 people.

This means venues between 200-1000 capacity will no longer need to restrict dancing to 50 people in a “defined dance area”, as is currently the case.

Venues with a capacity of more than 1000 people, again, will have to submit a COVID management plan for approval.

And it’s worth reiterating, the guideline to keep a 1.5-metre distance at all times will remain in place from Wednesday onward.


The Premier also announced developments regarding caps on specific venues.

Indoor venues with fixed seating, such as churches, cinemas and seated entertainment, will no longer have a cap on the number of people they can host inside.

If one of these venues is at less than 75 per cent of its overall capacity, there is no requirement for people inside to wear masks, but masks will be required if the venue is more than 75 per cent full. (The figure for enforced mask-wearing was originally 50 per cent capacity, but this has since been relaxed slightly to 75 per cent.)

This announcement came as the result of Wednesday morning’s transition committee meeting, which continues to meet weekly to discuss how the coronavirus restrictions imposed on South Australians will develop.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said at Wednesday’s press conference that the changes kicking in on 31 March are “simply another step along the journey, and it’s a very long journey”.

He said the transition committee will continue “regularly reviewing the impact” of the decisions it has made, and look for “opportunities to extend the relaxation process”.

“We’re very keen for a roadmap that gives everyone a clear position or an understanding of when we will make these changes,” Stevens said, “but the reality is the complex and dynamic nature of the COVID-19 response doesn’t allow us to be that specific.

“We have conversations about what the next three months looks like, or the next 12 months, or even one month, but subject to the variables of what happens interstate, how our COVID hotels are being managed, the rollout of the vaccine.

“These variables don’t allow us to be terribly specific, but we are looking at how we step out of this at a reasonable rate that doesn’t adversely impact on the South Australian community from a COVID-19 point of view.”

For up-to-date information on South Australia’s COVID-19 restriction, see the SA Health website.

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