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The 100-person cap on indoor gatherings in Australia will be scrapped in July, Scott Morrison says

James Hennessy
  • The 100-person limit on indoor gatherings is set to be abolished in July, replaced with a general one person per four square metres rule.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the changes on Friday afternoon after a meeting of the national cabinet.
  • Stadiums will be allowed to admit more people, with venues of less than 40,000 seats allowed to operate at 25% capacity.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia's homepage for more stories.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed major changes to the third phase of the national cabinet's roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions, with the 100-person limit on indoor gatherings set to be abolished ahead of schedule.

Morrison announced on Friday afternoon after a meeting of the national cabinet that the 100-person limit would be removed in July, substituted with a general one person per four square metres rule.

“As you look across the third step, you will note a series of caps for indoor gatherings of 100, and that can be anything from funerals through to the number of people who can be in a premises, or even in a room such as this,” the PM said. “That 100 cap for Step 3 across all of those areas will be removed and it will be replaced by a four-square metre rule application.

There have been concerns among owners of larger venues – such as RSLs and event spaces – that previous headcount limits did not take into account the size of their premises, which could often hold many more people than the limit while still maintaining social distancing protocol.

The abolishment of the 100-person limit will also apply to indoor funerals, which Morrison specifically mentioned. "This is an issue as you know that's caused great heartache across the community," he said. "I'm sure we'll enjoy this welcome change. If they're larger funerals, they can have more people and if they're outdoor venues, with proper seating they can have larger gatherings."

Much larger venues, like stadiums, will be subject to a 25% capacity rule. This applies to venues of less than 40,000 seats, and does not apply to standing events like festivals, which are still banned. Rules for even larger venues like the MCG are still being hashed out.

These new guidelines will not come into play immediately, and will presumably be subject to a rollout contingent on the states and territories. “This is not happening straight away,” Morrison said. “We have to give venues time to prepare for that type of change.”

Morrison also discussed travel restrictions between states and territories, suggesting he has given leaders an ultimatum on the issue.

"I made clear to the states and territories today, if someone can't come to your state from Sydney, then someone can't come to your state from Singapore," he said. "If you want to open up borders for international students, then you have to open up borders for Australians."