By Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, 23 June, 2020

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) welcomed the announcement by the Western Australian State Government yesterday on the next steps out of COVID-19 restrictions, with the removal of all venue capacity limits from July 18.

Claudia Sagripanti, EEAA Chief Executive said that the news from Western Australia provides critical momentum towards restarting the business events industry and that the other Australian state Chief Medical Officers were also receptive to the easing of capacity limits and seating restrictions.

“Western Australia is paving the way forward with Phase 4 COVID-19 restriction liftings starting from this Saturday, meaning the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre will be able to operate at 50% capacity, followed by the Phase 5 removal of the 2sqm rule set to be introduced on Saturday 18 July.” said Ms Sagripanti.

“Nigel Keen, EEAA Board member and General Manager of Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, has been actively working with the Western Australian Government and Minister Paul Papalia

to achieve this milestone for Western Australia, and we are delighted that the intensive lobbying work carried out is starting to gain traction,” Said Ms Sagripanti.

“Soon after the effects of COVID-19 hit the Business Events industry, an active lobbying campaign commenced with the Western Australian Government to plan for the restart of events under COVIDSafe guidelines, with measures in place to ensure commercial viability. I’m very pleased to report that the Western Australian government has considered most of our requests and given July 18 as the date when we can commence business as usual,” said Nigel Keen.

The EEAA Board and Chief Executive, Claudia Sagripanti have been actively working with the State Government Chief Medical Officers and State Government Ministers to negotiate the return of business events under CovidSafe guidelines in all Australian states.

Matt Pearce, EEAA Board Member and Managing Director of Talk2Media and Events was invited to join the NSW Business Events Recovery Working Group led by NSW Tourism Minister, Stuart Ayres.

“The NSW Government and Minister Ayres have been very responsive and willing to consider our recommendations on capacity limits, seated verses non-seated and COVIDSafe operating protocols around business events in NSW and the Working Group is confident we will reach a viable solution shortly,” said Matt Pearce.

“The EEAA Board and our industry partners will continue to work with relevant State Governments to negotiate on safe practices while supporting commercially viable capacity limits in all Australian states.” said Ms Sagripanti.

“Exhibitions and business events are the key to rebuilding economies, so the focus of our lobbying work with Government has been to highlight the sector’s capability to restart the economy – a top priority for business and Governments in the current climate.” said Ms Sagripanti.

“The business events sector contributes more than $35 billion to GDP, runs over 430,000 events annually and employs more than 229,000 people. The sector is a major contributor to Australia both financially and for its ability to expand marketplaces by bringing together buyers and sellers and offering a platform for launching innovation and new product,” said Ms Sagripanti.

COVID-19 Restrictions by State:

Western Australia:

Commencing Saturday, June 27, WA confirmed the removal of restrictions as follows:

  • All existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule
  • The 2sqm physical distancing rule will continue at venues that hold more than 500 people
  • Removal of seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed premises
  • No requirement to maintain patron register at food businesses and licensed premises
  • Alcohol can be served as part of unseated service arrangements
  • All events permitted except for large scale, multi-stage music festivals
  • Unseated performances permitted at venues such as concert halls, live music venues, bars, pubs and nightclubs
  • Gyms operating unstaffed, but regular cleaning must be maintained
  • The casino gaming floor reopening under agreed temporary restrictions

New South Wales

The NSW Government has removed the limit on gatherings from 1 July. The number of people allowed inside indoor venues that can open will be determined by the one person per 4 square metre rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centres. All activity must be seated only. Events are required to be ticketed and seated.


Queensland will move to stage three of lifting restrictions on 10 July, post a review at the end of June. The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre is the first venue to be given approval to operate under a Site Specific COVIDSafe Plan – adhering to the 1 person per 4 square metre rule when indoors. Discussions are continuing on outdoor events.


The Victorian Government has revised its plan and reduced gathering numbers due to the new outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne.

South Australia

SA Government announced today that the state will implement the two square metre rule per person for indoor gatherings, restaurants, bars and cafes on Monday 29 June, as it moves to Stage 3 lifting of restrictions. This is a further lift from the June 10 announcement of a maximum of 300 people to gather at a venue, subject to the 1 person per 4 square metre rule. Large events and the reopening of nightclubs are due for consideration under Stage 3. The 14-day quarantine requirement for travellers entering the state has been lifted, however, a pre-approval process for travellers from Victoria may be implemented as a result of the current spike in COVID-19 cases.

Australian Capital Territory

From 12 noon Friday 19 June, The ACT will move to Step 2.2 of its recovery plan that includes a maximum of 100 people at indoor and outdoor gatherings along with the adherence to 1 person per 4 square metres rule (subject to a final assessment from a public health perspective). Step 3 with further consideration around larger gatherings is expected to commence in July.


The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) is the peak industry Association representing Organisers, Association Organisers, Venues and Suppliers within the exhibition and event sector. The business events sector contributes $35.7 billion in GDP, runs over 430,000 events annually and employs more than 229,000 people. (Source: Business Events Council of Australia: “Value of Business Events to Australia 2018/2019” Ernst & Young.)

The work of our Association and our Members is a testament to the Power of Exhibitions as a driver of the economy and in particular economic development, trade and export, employment, visitation and knowledge sharing. A not-for-profit organisation, EEAA works to ensure industry growth by encouraging high industry standards, promoting the professionalism of EEAA Members and highlighting the unique business opportunities which exist through exhibitions.

Read more about EEAA, our advocacy work or view the Power of Exhibitions video.


Source: Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia