As of 29 September, capacity limits on indoor and outdoor shows will be scrapped, along with social distancing requirements
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IQ has compiled the latest live music restrictions affecting key international touring markets, with new updates from Canada
By IQ on 14 Dec 2021
As the new Omicron variant of coronavirus takes hold, IQ has updated the latest restrictions affecting major international touring markets. This update complements our European list which can be read here.
Below you’ll find the latest information on certification schemes, social distancing requirements, mask mandates, capacity restrictions and lockdowns affecting key live music markets around the globe.
Please note that we will aim to keep this article as up-to-date as possible but all information is subject to change.
To submit an update to this, please get in touch. This article was last updated on Thursday 16 December.
To read about the Omicron restrictions affecting European markets, please click here.
As of 27 November, the operating capacity of indoor events has increased to 80%. Entry to indoor events requires attendees to show their green pass and a negative PCR test result received within 96 hours.
Attendees at indoor events must also undertake an EDE scan at public entry points and wear a mask.
As of 16 November, mass events in outdoor spaces can take place at 100% capacity. Attendees over 18 years of age must provide proof of at least one dose of the vaccine, and wear a face mask during the event.
In New South Wales, face masks, proof of vaccination and Covid-19 Safe Check-in are not required. Retail and businesses are no longer required to have a Safety Plan.
In Victoria (and from 17 December, Queensland too) many leisure and entertainment facilities, such as live music venues, can only open for attendees and staff who are fully vaccinated or exempted. Capacity limits and social distancing will not apply.
South Australia is currently operating under Level 1 restrictions which means venues are limited to 75% capacity for seated events and 50% for standing events. Covid Management Plans required for events of more than 1,000 people. Masks are required for shared indoor public spaces.
Though Western Australia remains in a ‘state of emergency’, events and concerts are permitted to go ahead at full capacity. However, businesses must provide a Covid Safety Plan and maintain a contact register. Events with more than 500 patrons are required to complete a Covid Event Checklist or Plan.
In November, the Brazilian government increased the capacity limit for music venues from 70% to 100% with proof of vaccination.
In Ontario, Canada’s capital city and its biggest live music market, new restrictions came into effect on Sunday 19 December.
Under the new rules, music venues and many other indoor public settings will be limited to 50% capacity. Event spaces are required to close by 23:00.
Canada’s live music restrictions vary from province to province.
See the latest guidelines for each of the regions here: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon.
Restrictions vary across the country but the majority of regions are on step 3 (preparation) or step 4 (initial opening) of the national five-step reopening plan.
During step 3, seated concerts in closed spaces (such as music venues) can take place at 50% capacity if all attendees show a Mobility Pass verifying full vaccination. If there is food consumption, it is reduced to 30% capacity.
Seated concerts in open spaces (such as open-air venues) can take place at 60% capacity with a Mobility Pass. If there is food consumption, it is reduced to 40% capacity.
In non-seated closed spaces, events can take place with up to 100 people (sans Mobility Pass) or 500 people (with Mobility Pass). In non-seated open spaces, events can take place with up to 200 (sans Mobility Pass) or 1,000 (with Mobility Pass).
Attendees at all non-seated venues must be able to maintain social distancing (1m without food consumption, 1.5m with).
Masks are required in all public spaces.
Life is largely back to normal but regional lockdowns have been imposed every time there are new outbreaks of the virus.
Mask-wearing is compulsory, as is keeping a two-meter social distance, except in restaurants, cafes, offices, workplaces, gyms, shopping centres, beaches and public and entertainment parks, where a one-meter rule applies.
Outside, you must wear a mask unless exercising, eating or drinking, at a barbershop or salon, in a car with people from the same household, or if you’re alone.
Live entertainment and activities are permitted in restaurants, cafés and shopping malls. Events with free movement – such as standing concerts – are now allowed again, with a maximum of 5,000 people. Vaccination is required for these events.
At the beginning of November, the Japanese government eased its 10,000-capacity limit on mass gatherings such as concerts following a steady decline in coronavirus cases.
Events across the country can now admit 5,000 people, or 50% of capacity – whichever is larger – while large-scale spaces are permitted to welcome more than 10,000 spectators in Tokyo and other regions previously under a state or quasi-state of emergency. However, events that will involve fans shouting and cheering will be capped at 50% of capacity.
See more information on event restrictions here.
Mexico is currently following a colour-coded system (red, orange, yellow, green) which is updated every two weeks.
Currently, all states are coded yellow (resuming limited activities but with precaution) or green (resuming normal activities but with precaution).
Concerts can only take place in green-coded states. See the colour codes for states here.
Since the beginning of this month, New Zealand has been operating with a traffic light system, under which each region has been assigned a colour (green, orange or red) based on vaccination rates and the spread of Covid-19 in the community.
A region’s colour determines the set of restrictions by which it has to abide.
In regions assigned ‘red’, venues using vaccine certificates are limited to 100 people with one-metre social distancing. In ‘orange’ regions, these venues face no limits on gatherings at events, retail, hospitality. Venues that don’t use vaccine certificates are not permitted indoor or outdoor events under red or orange.
Every region aside from Northland will move to orange at 23:59 NZST on 30 December. These settings will stay in place until 17 January when the cabinet will review. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she expected many areas would move to green at that point.
As of 1 October 2021, South Africa is operating under an adjusted Alert Level 1 which indicates a “low Covid-19 spread with a high health system readiness”.
Under Alert Level 1, leisure and entertainment facilities, whether indoors or outdoors, must close at 23:00. Nightclubs are closed to the public.
Face masks are mandatory for every person when in a public place and 1.5 metres social distancing must be maintained.
Entertainment facilities are limited to a maximum capacity of 750 people for indoor venues and 2,000 people or less for outdoor venues – with social distancing. Smaller venues are limited to 50% capacity.
It was announced on 16 December that South Korea will reimpose curfews on businesses for an initial two weeks from Saturday 18 December.
Public places such as concert halls and cinemas will be permitted to operate until 22:00, while restaurants, cafes and other nightlife venues will have to close at 21:00.
The measures, announced on Thursday (16 December), come a month and a half after the government initiated a phased reopening plan. Amid record highs of Covid-19 infections, the cabinet has gradually rolled back the policy.
Restrictions may vary from state to state – check the US government website for the latest guidance.
New York City
On 13 December, governor Kathy Hochul announced that masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. This measure is effective until 15 January 2022, after which the state will re-evaluate based on current conditions.
California is fully open for business with no capacity limits or physical distancing requirements.
For indoor events with 1,000 or more or outdoor events with 10,000 or more, attendees age 3 and older must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have received a negative Covid-19 test.
Unvaccinated persons are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings. It is recommended that fully vaccinated people also wear masks in these settings.
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