Public facilities guidance

Public facilities guidance

COVID-19 Protection Framework guidance if you operate a public facility.

Public facilities are services at facilities provided by central or local government, that are open to all of the public for recreational, social, community or cultural activities or services, including museums, public galleries, libraries, recreation centres, swimming pools, and zoos. Membership facilities, such as gyms, are not included. DOC visitor accommodation is also excluded. 

Event or gathering rules apply to any part of the facility that is hired for exclusive use. Public facilities may choose to require My Vaccine Passes as part of their operating policies. This should be clearly communicated to customers.

Capacity limits only apply indoors at Red

Indoor spaces are generally considered to be venues that are enclosed by a ceiling and walls, or other similar structures, and which don’t have much, if any, flow of fresh air.  Examples include many gyms, nightclubs, restaurants, and halls. Capacity limits apply per defined space.

Outdoor spaces are generally considered to be places that have good ventilation, with a decent amount of free flowing, fresh air coming into the space. For example, this could be because the venue does not have a roof, has less than four walls, or because its walls don’t go all the way up and still allow a significant amount of air flow.

Defined space

Under the traffic light rules, a defined space is an area where walls (temporary or permanent) substantially divide that space from other spaces.

You can have multiple defined spaces within one facility. However, if you do, you must have systems and processes in place to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the groups using the space (other than workers) do not intermingle when using, entering, or leaving the premises. People from the different groups need to stay at least 2 metres apart. For example, you may wish to consider separate entryways or staggered entry and exit times.

What happens if my venue is both indoors and outdoors?

Some venues are made up of indoor and outdoor spaces. The activity that occurs in these indoor spaces should determine what capacity limit applies – the rule follows the activity.

If people will be lingering indoors, for example, for entertainment or dining, then the indoor rules apply.

However, retail rules will generally apply to the indoor places in which people:

  • travel directly through to get to an outdoor space; and/or
  • need to go so they can purchase things (for example food, to eat when back outdoors); and/or
  • need to go to use the bathroom.
Business/service Operating at Red
Public facilities, such as public: libraries, art galleries, swimming pools and museums
  • Public facilities may open with indoor capacity limits based on 1 metre distancing.
  •  There are no capacity limits outdoors. 
  • Face masks are required indoors (except for those who are exempt, or at swimming pools).
  • Face masks are not required outdoors.
Business/service Operating at Orange
Public facilities, such as public: libraries, art galleries, swimming pools and museums
  • Public facilities may open without capacity limits. 
  • Face masks are required indoors (except for those who are exempt, or at swimming pools).
  • Face masks are not required outdoors.
Business/service Operating at Green
Public facilities, such as public: libraries, art galleries, swimming pools and museums
  • You can operate with no restrictions.
  • Face masks are encouraged (except for those who are exempt, or at swimming pools).

Visit the Unite against COVID-19 website for information on these changes.

Changes to the traffic light system(external link) — Unite against COVID-19

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