The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing unprecedented and wide-reaching challenges for Victoria’s creative and cultural sector. We have gathered the following information in response to pressing questions received.
The following restrictions are currently in place in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria:
- From 11.59pm on Sunday 27 September 2020, Second Step restrictions are in place for metropolitan Melbourne.
- From 11.59pm on Wednesday 16 September 2020 Third Step restrictions are in place for regional Victoria.
UPDATE: Safely reopening Victoria
From 11:59pm on 27 October 2020, some restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria are easing. Read the Premier's metropolitan Melbourne statement and the Premier's regional Victoria statement for more details.
Our Q&As relating to restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria are being progressively updated, more will be added over the coming days.
If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please contact us.
The following information is correct as at 26 October 2020.
Further information about the current restriction levels and next steps can be found on the website vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
Further information about the current restriction levels and next steps can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Public health measures
State of Emergency and State of Disaster declarations are in place in Victoria until 11.59pm on 8 November 2020. These measures give the Chief Health Officer and Victoria Police the powers they need to respond rapidly to the pandemic in line with the latest data and public health advice.
On Sunday 6 September, the Premier announced Victoria’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to reopening, outlining the steps to COVID Normal.
This includes information on the safe and steady easing of restrictions across how we live, learn and work.
Visit https://www.vic.gov.au/roadmap for details of the metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria roadmaps and industry-specific information, including for creative studios, indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, museums and galleries, and media and film productions.
Funding and support
Government support programs available to the creative sector.
Creative Victoria is working closely with the Minister for Creative Industries on a range of support measures to help the sector through the challenges posed by coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes rolling out the Victorian Government’s dedicated creative industries support.
To date, the Victorian Government has announced a total of $90 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.
- $48 million to ensure our State-owned creative and cultural institutions survive the impacts of the pandemic and protect their workers.
- $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.
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.
Visit Financial Support for information on support available through Creative Victoria, other government programs, and creative industries grants and opportunities.
We have compiled a summary of available programs on the Financial Support page of the COVID-19 section of our website.
We recommend that you contact Business Victoria (13 22 15 or business.vic.gov.au) for current advice and assistance.
For more information and to apply visit Business Victoria.
Business restrictions - Metropolitan Melbourne Roadmap Step 1
If you can work from home, you must continue to work from home. If you cannot work from home because you require access to specialist equipment or facilities to conduct your work, you can work from your creative studio or workshop.
You must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place and a limit of one person per four square metres. All people on-site must wear a face mask and should maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres at all times. Where possible, limit the number of worksites you visit.
Indoor performance venues cannot open to the public under the Third Step.
If venues have outdoor spaces with fixed seating, they can open for outdoor events in line with restrictions. In these instances, indoor thoroughfares (e.g. foyer, reception) and toilet facilities can open to support this outdoor activity.
Outdoor hospitality venues offering food and drink services are permitted to offer small-scale performances, provided they are part of the dining and drinking service offered by the premises to seated patrons. For example, a band or comedian can play at an outdoor venue while diners eat their meals. Social distancing requirements between the performer(s) and the seated patrons apply (2 metres between performers, and 5 metres between performers and the seated patrons) and the live performance must be included in and compliant with the venue’s COVIDSafe Plan.
Any entertainment offered to patrons must comply with all other workplace and venue obligations and all relevant restrictions applying to licensed premises and food and drink facilities.
The following activities can take place at these venues with the minimum number of staff required.
- Work that can't be undertaken from home (workers that can work from home must continue to do so).
- Livestreaming and recording, or broadcasting of performances (and associated rehearsals) without an audience in line with livestreaming restrictions.
All on-site activities are subject to physical distancing, density quotients, record-keeping and cleaning requirements as per the Workplace Directions. There must be a COVIDSafe Plan in place for each venue and the venue management must ensure that the general workplace restrictions are adhered to.
Yes. Museums, galleries, and other sites that house valuable artworks and cultural collections can have the minimum workers required on site to secure their collections or to conduct critical collections maintenance activities.
The venue must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place. Workers must wear a face mask, maintain 1.5 metres distance from others and practice good hand hygiene.
Yes, researchers and scientists can undertake field research or attend a work site where the work task cannot be completed from home. All work sites must have a COVIDSafe Plan, which will assist everyone being aware of their obligations for mask wearing, physical distancing and other COVIDSafe practices.
If travelling between metropolitan and regional Victoria for this work, a Permitted Worker Permit is required. While a worker from metropolitan Melbourne is in regional Victoria, they must abide by the level of restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne at that point in time. The worker cannot undertake any non-work-related activities while in regional Victoria. Workers should not carpool when travelling to regional Victoria.
Yes. Your retail shop can open but must adhere to the restrictions for the retail industry. For more information, please go to the Retail Trade webpage.
Yes. Your café/ food outlet can open but must adhere to the restrictions on the hospitality industry. For more information, please go to the Accommodation and food services webpage.
Yes, screen production is permitted under the Third Step. Strict filming and COVIDSafe guidelines must be adhered to. A COVIDSafe Plan must be in place.
This includes pre and post-production activities. Set construction must operate in accordance with the construction sector guidelines.
Productions can include student productions, corporate productions and television commercials.
For more information relating to the screen industry, visit Film Victoria.
Cast and crew from metropolitan Melbourne may travel to regional Victoria to work on the production if they cannot work from home. They must have a Permitted Worker Permit and travel with the permit at all times in regional Victoria.
While a worker from metropolitan Melbourne is in regional Victoria, they must abide by the level of restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne at that point in time. The worker cannot undertake any non-work-related activities while in regional Victoria. Workers should not carpool when travelling to regional Victoria.
Face shields on their own do not meet the face mask requirements. Unless an exemption applies, a face mask must be worn.
Yes. Businesses that are focused on selling artwork are classified as retail and can open in the Third Step.
Events are subject to further review and updates will be provided to these industries and the general public at the appropriate time.
Creative Victoria is open to assist you, with staff working remotely. Creative Victoria has a Business Continuity Plan in place to ensure that we can continue to support and communicate with the sector through this situation, deliver programs, and make payments.
Creative Victoria’s funding programs have continued with some modifications where possible in the circumstances, especially in relation to support for international travel and public gatherings. We note that some projects may need to change given the current public health measures. We will accept changes to deliverables, KPIs and delivery platforms. Please contact program staff to discuss your project.
We have also introduced new programs to support the sector through the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), including:
- Victorian Music Industry Recovery Program (now open for applications)
- Sustaining Creative Workers (now closed)
- Organisations Strategic Investment Fund (now closed)
- Victorian Live Music Venues program (now closed)
We will continue to publish information on future funding rounds and new opportunities on our website and via our digital channels, please keep in touch by subscribing to our eNews and following us on social media.
See our Grants and Support page for information on our suite of grants programs.
Organisations funded through the Organisations Investment, Regional Partnerships and Major Performing Arts programs will continue to receive their funding, regardless of any changes and disruptions to their activities. This funding is secure through to June 2021, December 2021 or June 2022 depending on the agreements. The funding agreements for organisations that receive operational funding as special initiatives will also be honoured.
Note: we will accept changes to deliverables, KPIs and delivery platforms. Please speak with your Client Manager about your needs.
Given these extraordinary circumstances we will be as flexible as possible with reporting and acquittals, please contact program staff to discuss your needs.
For organisations that receive funding through the Organisations Investment Program, outcomes reporting for 2020 has been suspended.
The world has changed dramatically, and rapidly, since we undertook consultation last year for Victoria’s next creative industries strategy. Right now, we are focused on assessing the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensuring that Victorian creative institutions, organisations, events and individuals are supported.
The Creative State strategy is being reconsidered in light of the impacts of the current crisis.
Legal and business support
We are unable to anticipate or provide advice on future restriction levels, these are subject to the directions of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. When planning an event, exercise caution in any financial obligations. For example, be aware of cancellation fees and insurances. Business Victoria can assist businesses in developing contingency plans and accessing advice about the implications of changes or cancellations.
You can call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15 or submit a query online.
It is best to contact your insurance provider or legal adviser to discuss what compensation you may be eligible for.
Business Victoria can assist businesses in developing contingency plans and accessing advice about the implications of changes or cancellations. Call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 or visit the website at business.vic.gov.au.
Information on current restrictions is available on the Victorian Government's coronavirus website.
If you are unsure or have any questions about your business’s ability to open or operate you can contact the Business Victoria coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 13 22 15 or by using the Business Victoria Contact us form.
As the trigger points for review are based on reaching case number targets, we can’t anticipate or provide advice on when metropolitan Melbourne or regional Victoria will move to their respective next steps on the roadmap.
For latest information on Victoria's restriction levels, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
If your business is affected, call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 1 or visit business.vic.gov.au for the latest information about available support.
Business Victoria and its dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline caters for all businesses, including not-for-profits and those planning to start a business or apply for an ABN. This includes creative businesses and individual sole traders.
The hotline number is 13 22 15. Business Victoria’s information is also available online at business.vic.gov.au.
We have also compiled some useful legal and business support resources.