Pubs, bars, nightclubs and licensed events

Last Updated: 24 Dec 2021 11:54am

The restriction on numbers of people dancing and drinking standing up at events and venues where alcohol is served, and where people are freely mixing, has been lifted from 6 December 2021.

However, all patrons must now be fully vaccinated to enter a pub, nightclub or bar, or to attend a licensed event where alcohol is served to people who are likely to be standing and drinking. All staff working in these areas must also be fully vaccinated from 15 December 2021.

How do I know if my pub, nightclub or bar is captured?

Pubs, nightclubs and bars are defined as a premises with either an on-licence, a general licence or a permit where more than one person is likely to be drinking alcohol while they are not seated.

Customers and staff at a pub, nightclub or bar must be vaccinated unless the venue is holding a private function, like a wedding, funeral or birthday party, where people are invited and the venue, or part of the venue, is not open to the general public.

Where venues have multiple areas separated by a wall – for example, a hotel with a separate bar, restaurant and bottle shop – vaccinated entry is only required for entry into the bar section of the venue where alcohol is served, and one person is likely to be drinking alcohol while they are not seated.

Where venues change from seated service to bar service during the course of the day – for example, at a pub – vaccinated entry is not required during periods when seated service only applies.

Clubs (eg RSLs, sports clubs and community clubs) are not included in the definition of pubs, nightclubs and bars, and therefore staff and customers are not required to be vaccinated to enter these venues.

How do I know if my event is captured?

If your event has more than 250 people indoors or 500 people outdoors and alcohol is served to people who are likely to be standing and drinking, attendees and staff are required to be vaccinated to enter.

The Direction does not apply if your event is at an entertainment premises including a stadium, arena, theatre or cinema. However, vaccination requirements may be a condition of approval under the Events Framework.

Is everyone required to be vaccinated?

Some people are not eligible for vaccination, like children under 12 years of age and people with a medical exemption or contraindication. These people are not required to be vaccinated to enter a pub, nightclub, bar or licensed event.

What are patrons required to do?

Make sure you are fully vaccinated before you go to a pub, bar, nightclub or licensed event and carry evidence that you are vaccinated.

What are licence holders, venue managers and event organisers required to do?

For pubs, bars and nightclubs:

  • Determine whether your business is captured under the definition of a pub, nightclub or bar by checking whether you have an on-licence or a general licence
  • Confirm whether one person or more is likely to be consuming alcohol while they are not seated
  • If the answers are yes, put a sign up for customers and staff so they know they need to be vaccinated to enter your venue
  • Remember that customers and staff are not required to be vaccinated if they are attending a private function like a wedding or funeral, or your venue is an RSL, sporting club or a community club.

For events:

  • Determine whether your event has more than 250 people indoors or 500 people outdoors
  • Confirm whether one person or more is likely to be consuming alcohol while they are not seated
  • If the answers are yes, let your attendees know that they will need to be vaccinated to attend your event

Note that attendees may not be required to be vaccinated to attend an event that is held at a stadium, arena, theatre or cinema. Ensure you check conditions if approval has been provided under the Events Framework.

A range of signs are available – see Resources below.

There is no obligation for business owners or event organisers to monitor or enforce compliance. However, they can choose to check vaccination status and refuse entry as part of their own workplace risk management.

For private events:

The requirement to be fully vaccinated does not apply to private events, where that event is not open to members of public and requires an invitation to attend. However, if the event is subject to the events framework, vaccination entry requirements could be imposed as a condition under the events framework.

Density limits

Density limits at venues continue to apply. These include limit of one person per two square metres.

Compliance:

Police may enforce compliance through random spot checks at venues and events, where they will be able to request evidence of vaccination.

Individuals found in breach of the requirement may be fined, as for all section 16 Directions under the Public Health Act 1997.

Definition of ‘vaccinated’ – either:

  • Fully vaccinated; or
  • Holding a valid medical exemption from vaccination.

Evidence of vaccination

  • Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) – via MyGov, Check in TAS application, or paper copies.
  • People vaccinated overseas can present certificates in formats that meet the criteria outlined in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Guidance on foreign vaccination certificates.

Refer to vaccination status and evidence for more information.

Resources

FAQ - Vaccination requirements for pubs and clubs

Vaccination requirements flowchart - Licensed Venue

COVID Entry A4 - NO EXPIRY - area

COVID Entry A4 - NO EXPIRY - establishment

COVID Entry A4 - NO EXPIRY - premises

COVID Entry A4 - NO EXPIRY - venue