22 November 2020

Creative Victoria is monitoring the changing situation with regard to coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria and its impacts on the creative industries and will continue to share information and updates as they come to hand.

The following information is correct as of 22 November 2020.

A State of Emergency is in place in Victoria until 6 December 2020 to allow the Chief Health Officer's directions to remain in force.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to reopening

Victoria’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to reopening outlines the steps to reach COVID Normal, based on how many active coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are in the community and public health advice.

This includes information on the safe and steady easing of restrictions across how we live and work.

Visit the Victorian Government restrictions roadmap page for details of the roadmap and industry-specific information, including for creative studios, indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, museums and galleries, and media and film productions.

As Victoria’s creative and cultural sector starts to open back up, we have worked with the Department of Health and Human Services to develop Industry Restart Guidelines. These are being updated in line with the latest easing of restrictions and can be found will be available as soon as possible on the Arts and Recreation services page on the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website.

We are in the process of updating our Coronavirus Industries Q&As to reflect the latest directions and advice for the creative industries as information becomes available.

Update: Victoria's Last Step in the Roadmap for reopening

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the further easing of restrictions in Victoria from 11.59pm on Sunday 22 November. Refer to the Summary of Last Step Restrictions for full details.

The following now applies across Victoria:

  • There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home.
  • There are also no restrictions on the distance you can travel.
  • Face masks are mandatory indoors and on public transport – and outdoors where you can’t physically distance. You are required to have a face mask with you at all times.
  • Work from home if you can. If you can’t work from home, you can go to work.
  • Up to 50 people can gather outdoors from any number of households (excluding infants under 12 months).
  • All businesses that are open, or that have staff on site, must have a COVIDSafe plan.

Key information for the creative industries:

  • Indoor entertainment venues (seated and non-seated), including cinemas, small theatres and small galleries can have a maximum of 150 people per space subject to the density quotient.
  • Major cultural institutions and large venues, such as the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Museum and large theatres, with greater than 600 fixed seating capacity, can have a maximum of 25 per cent capacity, subject to the density quotient. These venues are required to publish their COVIDSafe Plan.
  • Outdoor entertainment:
    • Seated spaces can open for up to 50 per cent seated capacity up to a maximum of 500 people with no requirement to apply a density quotient.
    • Non-seated venues, for example outdoor museums, are subject to a density quotient. Venues with capacity of greater than 500 patrons are required to publish their COVIDSafe plan. Groups are limited to 50 patrons in line with outdoor gathering limits.
    • Indoor spaces at outdoor venues can open, subject to restrictions on entertainment, hospitality or retail depending on the space.
  • Organisers will also be able to apply to host a public event. Different requirements and rules will need to apply. More information to come soon.
  • Drive in cinemas have no patron cap, however they are subject to a density quotient in communal spaces. Venues with 500 or more capacity at one time are required to publish their COVIDSafe Plans.
  • Creative studios indoor:
    • If the venue is less than 80 square metres, a maximum of 20 people is allowed, subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 2 square metres.
    • If the venue is 80 square metres or larger, a maximum of 150 people is allowed subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 4 square metres.
    • Groups/classes are limited to 20 patrons.
    • Recommendation that there are no more than 5 people singing or playing wind instruments for amateur groups.
  • Creative studios outdoor:
    • Venue cap of 150 people, with a group limit of 50 people and density quotient of 1 person per 4 square metres.
    • Persons necessary to conduct activities (such as the person running a class) are excluded from this limit.
  • Community facilities, including libraries:
    • Indoor: Cap of 150 patrons with density quotient. Groups are limited to 20 patrons.
    • Outdoor: Cap of 300 patrons with density quotient. Groups are limited to 50 patrons.
  • Community venues have a cap of 150 patrons with density quotient. Groups are limited to 20 patrons.
    • Recommendation that there are no more than 5 people per space singing or playing wind instruments for amateur groups.
    • Persons necessary to conduct activities (such as the person running a class) are excluded from this limit.
  • Hospitality (seated service only):
    • Indoor venues with less than 200 square metres of floorspace are subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 2 square metres up to a total of 50 patrons. QR codes must be used for venues using the small indoor venue density quotient. No group limit applies.
    • Indoor venues with 200 square metres of floorspace or larger are subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 4 square metres up to 150 patrons. No group limit applies.
    • Outdoor venues can have up to 300 patrons, subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 2 square metres. Total venue capacity cannot exceed 300 people including both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Screen productions can proceed.
  • Set-building for theatre, film and television can proceed, adhering to construction sector guidelines.
  • Shops can open. Density quotient applied. This includes commercial galleries.

Looking ahead

  • From 30 November, a phased approach for workers returning to the office will begin with up to 25 per cent of workers able to attend onsite. Importantly, unless you’re one of those people nominated by your employer, you will need to keep working from home. The Victorian Public Service (including Creative Victoria) will remain under the setting “if you can work from home, you must work from home” to create space and capacity for the private sector.

We are in the process of updating our Creative Industries Q&As in line with the Last Step restrictions.

For a full run down of current Victorian restrictions, visit the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website.

Industry Restart Guidelines

With the latest easing of restrictions, more Victorian creative organisations, businesses and venues can reopen and return to work. It is important for businesses and employers to understand their obligations and how to keep their workers, artists, audiences, patrons and the wider community safe.

Industry Restart Guidelines are being updated in line with the latest easing of restrictions. The guidelines will be available to download from the Arts and Recreation services page on the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website. Creative venues, museums and galleries with a Retail or Hospitality space should consult the relevant industry guidelines. Set building for theatre, film and television must adhere to Construction sector guidelines.

COVIDSafe signage and resources for your workplaces

As Victoria moves to the Last Step of reopening it's important that venues and workplaces are COVIDSafe. The Victorian Government has created a collection of templates questionnaire, signage and posters to assist. Download and display these resources in your workplace and on your social media, visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/.

Six principles of COVIDSafe workplaces

Every Victorian workplace that is open must adhere to the following six principles to ensure a COVIDSafe workplace:

  • Ensure physical distancing (1.5 metres)
  • Wear a face mask
  • Practice good hygiene
  • Keep good records and act quickly if staff become unwell
  • Avoid interactions in close spaces
  • Create workforce bubble

Read more on these principles.

All businesses and workplaces must have a COVIDSafe Plan for on site operations.

COVIDSafe Plan

Every Victorian business or workplace that is open, or has staff on site, must have a COVIDSafe Plan. This will help you protect your workers, customers and visitors.

Your COVIDSafe Plan will detail the actions you will take to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.

Victorian Government Authorised Officers are closely monitoring and inspecting businesses to ensure they are following their COVIDSafe Plans. There are significant penalties, including fines and prohibition notices, for businesses that fail to follow these directions.

For information on developing a COVIDSafe Plan and what is required, including templates, visit the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website

Government support

The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments have announced various economic support measures to help individuals, businesses and organisations that have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

To date, the Victorian Government has announced a total of $107.2 million to help the state’s creative sector through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in addition to broader programs and support.

This dedicated funding will help maintain creative jobs and activity, help individuals, organisations and businesses to regenerate income, develop new work and provide new opportunities for creative community participation during the current shutdown and beyond. It includes:

  • $48 million to ensure our State-owned creative and cultural institutions survive the impacts of the pandemic and protect their workers.
  • $17.2 million for COVIDSafe performances, events and programs across Victoria to reactivate the creative and events sectors and employ thousands of Victorians.
  • $13 million to support almost 100 non-government arts and cultural organisations state-wide.
  • $4.7 million in quick response grants for independent creatives and micro-businesses across the state through the new Sustaining Creative Workers initiative.
  • $19 million for the music industry, including support for live music venues ($15 million), music workers and businesses, and for key events and online initiatives.
  • $2 million to commission new works by local artists through the RISING Festival.
  • $1.6 million in grants through Creative Victoria’s programs focusing on activities that can be undertaken in the current climate, such as the research and development of new creative works, professional development activities and new ways of reaching audiences.
  • $1.1 million to support the urgent needs of key creative organisations and facilities, benefiting many hundreds of individual artists and small businesses.
  • $700,000 to commission original creative content for the Victoria Together online platform.

Visit the grants and support section of our website for current Creative Victoria funding opportunities. We also encourage you to subscribe to Creative Victoria’s eNews and follow us on social media to keep up to date with grants and other opportunities relevant to Victoria’s creative industries.

Given the extraordinary circumstances, Creative Victoria is also being as flexible as possible with reporting requirements for previously funded activity and with changes to projects, programs and timelines.

This targeted funding complements broader Victorian Government initiatives including Business Victoria programs which have provided vital support to impacted businesses, including in the creative industries; and the Working for Victoria scheme which is helping those who are out of work to secure alternative employment during this time.

We have summarised various government and other support programs that are relevant to the creative industries on our Coronavirus and the Creative Industries sub-site.

Read more about the Commonwealth Government support.


Enforced quarantine following overseas travel

International passenger flights are currently diverted from Victoria. More information about overseas travellers returning to Victoria will be provided once a decision has been made to recommence flights. Check each state’s website as to their specific quarantine rules.

Overseas and domestic travel

On 24 March 2020 the Prime Minister announced a ban on all overseas travel, with few exceptions. For the latest international travel advice, visit Smart Traveller.

Under Last Step restrictions, travel within Victoria is permitted. For information on domestic, interstate travel visit health.vic.gov.au and for information on current border closure in Victoria visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/

Victorian border crossing permit

From 11.59pm on 21 November 2020, permits are required for everyone arriving in Victoria who lives in or has travelled through South Australia.

For more information and to apply for a permit visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au


Staying healthy and safe

As restrictions ease it is more important than ever that we take steps every day to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe.

Things to remember to stay healthy and reduce transmission:

  • Practise good hygiene and regularly and thoroughly wash your hands.
  • Maintain physical distancing, keep at least 1.5 metres away from others.
  • Wear a face mask (Note: From 11.59pm 22 November, masks will no longer be mandatory if outdoors and a safe distance can be kept, but Victorians will need to carry a mask at all times in case the situation changes. Masks still need to be worn when indoors and on public transport – and where distance cannot be kept.)
  • If you feel unwell stay at home and do not go to work.
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) get tested at a nearby testing location. Return home immediately and stay home.
  • If you are worried you will lose pay while you wait for your test result or you have tested positive and need to self-isolate you may be eligible for a worker support payment.
  • If your condition worsens contact your GP or a health professional. If you become very unwell and are having trouble breathing contact triple zero, you may need to be admitted to hospital.

For more information visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.


Advice for Creative Victoria funding recipients and applicants

We understand that many plans have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) and this is an anxious and uncertain time. We are being as flexible as possible with our grant recipients both with grant variations and reporting. Please get in touch to discuss.

Please call your Creative Victoria program manager if your funded activity or funding application is impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) and the public health measures in place, or you have any concerns.

Due to changing circumstances, there may be changes to some of our funding programs. Visit our grants pages for details, or keep informed by subscribing to Creative Victoria eNews.

Further information and resources