8 October - the ACT moves tomorrow, Friday 9 October at 9am, to Step 3.2 of Canberra's recovery. This move follows on changes in the last few weeks, including the small venues' 25 person rule.
Here is today's letter from Access Canberra summarising changes which start at 9am tomorrow, including for live performance, arts and cultural activities. Also, artsACT's e-news today says -
"Subject to the ACT’s COVID-19 situation remaining stable, the ACT will move to Step 3.2 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan from 9am tomorrow.
This will see an easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the Territory, with more than 12 weeks since our last confirmed case.
More detail can be found at www.covid19.act.gov.au/changes.
Once in effect, the restrictions will be in place for the next four weeks until the next ACT COVID Safe Checkpoint on 6 November 2020.
Remember, being COVID-safe isn’t just the responsibility of businesses – it extends to all of us.
Be sensible when having people in our homes – know who’s there and at what times.
Leave your first name and phone number at businesses to assist with contact tracing – if required (preferably electronically)
Download the COVIDSafe app (www.covidsafe.gov.au) and Check In CBR app (www.covid19.act.gov.au/business-and-work/check-in-cbr) if you haven’t already to assist with contact tracing (if required)
Continue to practise physical distancing, good hand and respiratory hygiene, staying home if unwell and getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath).
Without a vaccine, these are our best lines of defence against this disease. It may seem small, but every little thing counts. Thank you working together to keep CBR safe and strong ❤️"
22 September - ACT Government has a new website page about
COVID SAFE EVENTS. It is about gatherings in numbers under 100 and then in increasingly large numbers.
There is an ACT Government Covid Safe Protocol and there is an email from ACT Sports and Recreation. Please read these materials if you are planning dance events.
One thing to note from the new Protocol is that the Australian Health Protection Principal Commitee considers that 'Dance venues and events' are 'Very High Risk Environments', along with 'Night clubs' and outside music events. We're guessing that the Committee does not mean standard studios and performance venues!
In any case - in the ACT, dance classes and performances are still covered by the ACT Government Covid pages about community sports (go here and search by 'dance') and about Entertainment, Live performance, arts and cultural activities (here). Both of those pages have been updated as at last Friday 18 September. On that day, a minor change to capacity numbers for smaller sized venues, facilities and businesses came into effect.
10 August - the ACT Government announced some easing of restrictions. Things are pretty much like Stage 2.2 for dance classes. Go to the ACT Government site here (which covers dance activities...) for a refresh on what dance activity providers can and cannot do under Stage 3.1 Recovery.
So you must continue to
have a Covid Safety Plan.
keep classes and other gatherings to 100 people or 1 person per four square metre area, whichever is the smaller number.
Now you must also clearly display, at the entrance to a venue you are using, a sign stating the occupancy maximum as well as display additional signs with area occupancy for separate individual spaces within that venue.
You must not temporarily divide any usable indoor space or usable outdoor space for the purposes of calculating usable space.
If you would like to read the current Public Health (Restricted Activities – Gatherings, Business or Undertakings) Emergency Direction 2020 (No 7), which came into effect on 12 August, and which sets out the above details - you can download them here. 'Dance activities' are covered because of the definition in Part 2 cl 26.
For those of us providing live dance performance opportunities - oh joy! - this is the ACT Government page with the most up to date details on what you can and must do to remain Covid-19 safe under the current Stage 3.1.
Also - in case you have not come across it before now - here is a link to ACT Health/ACT Government Covid-19 downloadable posters designed to support Canberra businesses of all kinds.
31 July - Canberrans are urged to avoid all unnecessary travel to Greater Sydney as well as Victoria. Read about quarantine on return here. Canberra remains at Stage 2.2 with a continuing pause on the recovery moving to Stage 3. In studios, training spaces and rehearsal spaces - please keep following your Covid-19 Safety plans.
20 July - PLEASE note the need to self-isolate if a person has been to Covid-19 'hot spots' in Victoria and NSW, including in Batemans Bay. Follow news reports. Please make sure that students, teachers, parents and others who have been in hotspots know that they must stay home and NOT come to class.
9 July - Information this afternoon from the ACT Government about pause of introduction of Stage 3 of Canberra's recovery plan. There will be a risk assessment (a checkpoint) by the Chief Health Officer in 2 weeks. In the meantime, keep staying within the requirements of Stage 2.2 (see below, at 19 June entry, in this page). Here is a copy of the letter sent today by Access Canberra Co-ordination.
9 July - as of midnight yesterday the ACT has a new Public Health (Covid-19 Interstate Travellers) Emergency Direction. The immediate reason is the increased risk of transmission due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Victoria. If you have travelled from Victoria please follow the new Direction. For more about ACT borders and self isolation if you have been to an interstate 'hotspot', please see this ACT Government site.
19 June - the ACT's Public Health Directions have been re-made. 'Dance activities' are covered because of the definition in Part 3 cl 26. These Directions have been repealed.
***IMPORTANT things in the Directions, to note if you are a provider of dance activities in the ACT in an indoor space or spaces -
by 12 noon Friday 26 June 2020 you need to have a Covid-19 Safety Plan that is followed and that can be produced when requested to do so by an authorised person under the Public Health Act 1997 (ACT)
you can have up to 100 people in total in an indoor space, all distanced at no less than 1 person per 4 square metres
the activity can involve 'low or non-contact training or competition' or 'full contact training'.
For what is needed by the ACT Government for a 'COVID-19 Safety Plan' - see cl18 of the Directions and to find the 'published guidance material endorsed by the Chief Health Officer' referred to in the Directions go here (current as at 19 June).
14 June - Here is a link to ACT Government FAQs re Arts and Cultural Activities in the ACT starting at midday on Friday 19 June 2020. See the changes for Theatres and for dance classes. You must keep to 4 square metres per person. You need to have a Covid19 Safety Plan.
There are some very useful materials from Access Canberra, including -
If you have questions - contact Ausdance ACT by messenger or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ACT Government also has WH&S and other guidance for all businesses.
This helpful Sports ACT factsheet covers dance (e.g., classes, rehearsals) in an enclosed space in Stage 2.2 (scroll to 3rd page) and explains 'enclosed space' (called 'indoor space' in the Directions).
RAD has published Guidelines which link to the Commonwealth's covid-safe plan PDF, but also specifically cover dance class management and work practices. Ausdance has produced these national Principles and Framework.
*** Ausdance national and RAD materials need to be read with ACT Stages and Directions (see links above)***