Planning COVID Safe major events

The NSW Government is working to ensure a safe and viable return for major sports, cultural and community events, when possible.

COVID-19 safety guidance for large events

We have developed this guidance to help create a safe environment for large events in NSW.

This guidance aims to support organisers of large events and gatherings to prepare a COVID-19 Safety Plan

The main risk at a large event is the possibility of a person with COVID-19 attending. Risk increases depending on the person’s level of infectiousness and their actions, including how closely and how long they interact with others, either directly (person-to-person) or indirectly (through contaminated surfaces). This guidance aims to reduce these risks where possible.

COVID-19 safety risks for large events

Risks have been listed here along with potential mitigation measures that can be put in place to help create a safe environment for large events.

Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan

If you are planning an event that is allowed to proceed under the current rules, you must complete and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

COVID-19 Safety Plans are comprehensive checklists designed by NSW Health and approved by the Chief Health Officer.

The plans provide clear directions on how businesses and organisations should fulfil their obligations under public health orders to minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19.

For a full list of venues and activities that require a COVID Safety Plan see the current public health order.

Businesses and organisations not listed in the order are encouraged to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan voluntarily.

Large numbers of people increase the risk that someone attending is infected with COVID-19 and increase the number of people who could be exposed.

Potential mitigation measures

  • Implement a maximum capacity limit and strategies to enforce this limit.
  • Minimise mixing (for example by ticketing or zoning), to decrease the risks associated with large crowd numbers. Zoning involves managing the event in multiple smaller gatherings (with designated entry and exit points, bathroom facilities, food and service venues, and no mixing between these groups).
  • Repeat a single-day program over multiple days to decrease crowding.

Crowding and close proximity of people increases the likelihood of transmission and the number of people exposed should a person infected with COVID-19 attend.

Potential mitigation measures

  • Density restrictions, such as one person per 2 square metres, can reduce the risk of crowding.
  • Consider creating zones and implement density restrictions within these for events across a large space, or implement measures to support the flow of people in a single direction, to manage crowding risk.
  • Ensure events are seated where possible, and place barriers or spacing markers to further manage crowding and proximity risk.

Queueing can lead to crowding and close proximity and can prolong the contact time between people who do not know each other, making contact tracing more difficult.

Potential mitigation measures

  • Promote physical distancing with signage or by asking people to stand on floor markers spaced 1.5 metres apart when queueing for tickets or to order food or drinks. Have separate entry and exit points wherever practical.
  • Have strategies to minimise crowding at security bag-checking arrangements, such as additional staff and asking people to open their own bags for visual inspection.
  • Consider implementing other measures if long lines are anticipated, such as virtual queues so people can wait elsewhere, or have time-based entry to manage queueing numbers.

The above information was sourced orginally from

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