The national cabinet has announced a three-stage plan and national framework to reopen Australia, with prime minister Scott Morrision wanting the economy to return, safely, to normal by July. While the timeline for this plan is determined by individual state governments, it does give us an insight into when our arts industry can cautiously begin to open.
According to the national framework, creative venues will most likely be able to reopen once we reach stage two. This stage (which could be reached at different times in each state) explicitly states the reopening of galleries and cinemas, as well as gyms, beauty salons and amusement parks.
Under this stage, gatherings of up to 20 people are permitted at home, in businesses or out in public. This means that creative venues could be able to reopen, but they might have to cap the number of people in the space. The national framework does not mention theatres specifically, but it does single out cinemas, so live theatre venues might be subject to the same rules if they limit gatherings to 20. Otherwise, larger gatherings of 100 people will not be permitted until states reach stage three of the framework.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has previously said that no formal ruling on how the principles would be applied in NSW would be made until at least May 11.
Australia’s creative industries contribute approximately $111 billion to the country every year, and they employ about 600,000 people.