Changes to ACT COVID-19 Restrictions

26 May 2020

Life in the ACT has been restricted since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our region in March.

Gradually the ACT Labor Government is lifting restrictions, in line with the COVID Safe Plan endorsed by National Cabinet, with the advice of public health experts.

Below is a list of recent changes to restrictions in the ACT.


Changes to ACT COVID-19 restrictions

The following restrictions will be eased at 11.59pm on Friday 29 May 2020.

Hospitality Sector – 20 to 150+ patrons

The ACT will implement a scalable framework for our local hospitality sector to align maximum occupancy with the size of their venue.  Cafes, bars, restaurants and clubs will be able to cater for up to 20 people in each enclosed space.

Size                      Maximum number
of space              of people

20m2                      5
40m2                     10
60m2                     15
+80m2                   20

If a venue has multiple enclosed spaces, they can have multiple groups of 20 patrons.

Personal Service Industries

Beauty therapy businesses, including nail salons, tanning and waxing services, day spas (including massage) and tattoo businesses can reopen.

These businesses must complete a COVID Safe plan, observe strict hand hygiene requirements and ensure physical distancing as much as possible.  Businesses cannot exceed one person per four square metres including staff.  These businesses should also keep a record of their customers to support faster contact tracing.

Fitness Industry

Small, supervised group sessions and classes indoors in gyms and fitness centres can recommence, with a maximum of 20 people to an enclosed space or one person per four square metres.

Community Sport

The maximum capacity of organised social sport will be increased to 20 participants, and indoor sport can commence under the one person per 4 square metres rule. Local sporting organisations are encouraged to ensure low physical contact, and to limit the sharing of equipment. 

Tourism and Venues

Our galleries, museums, national institutions and outdoor attractions (such as the Zoo) will be able to reopen for groups of up to 20 people in a designated session. Businesses cannot exceed one person per four square metres including staff.  

Community and Cultural Activities 

Restrictions will be eased on choirs, bands and orchestras, caravan parks and campgrounds, places of worship and community centres.

The maximum number of people at a wedding will be increased to 20, and 50 for funerals.

Next steps

Should these measures not result in any significant increase in cases across the Territory,  the Government will move into the next phase of our recovery plan on 11:59pm 19th June. This phase will see maximum occupancy limits in some sectors, including hospitality, increase to 50 people per enclosed space.  Cinemas, indoor amusement centres will also be able to reopen and there will be further easing of restrictions for gyms, health centres and community sport.


The following restrictions eased at 11.59pm on Friday 15 May 2020.

  • lifting restrictions on cafes and restaurants (including pubs and clubs offering seated in-house dining) – allowing these venues to seat up to 10 patrons at one time if they can follow physical distancing.
  • re-opening a number of public places across the city, including playgrounds and outdoor fitness areas, dog parks, skate parks and BBQ areas.
  • re-opening of community centres, community facilities or youth centres, with a maximum of 10 people (but not for indoor sport).
  • re-opening of libraries, with a one person per 4 square metre rule in place.
  • re-opening of parks and nature reserves (Namadgi National Park remains closed).
  • re-opening of commercial pools, with a maximum of up to 10 people per pool and one swimmer per lane.
  • non-contact, outdoor community and social sport to restart with a maximum of 10 people.
  • Auction-houses can proceed with a maximum of 10 people.
  • hairdressers and barbers are obliged to seek and record customer details.

These are in addition to the following changes, that came into effect from 11.59pm on Friday 8 May 2020:

  • All indoor and outdoor gatherings can have a maximum of 10 people (including children).
  • This includes gatherings at a person’s home, which can be a maximum of 10 people (with exceptions where two households coming together results in a gathering of more than 10 people).
  • Weddings can now have up to 10 people attend, excluding those conducting the ceremony.
  • Indoor funerals can have up to 20 people attend, excluding those conducting the service, OR outdoor funerals can have up to 30 people attend, excluding those conducting the service.
  • Religious ceremonies and places of worship can have up to 10 people attend, excluding those conducting the service.
  • Outdoor boot camps and personal fitness training (non-contact) can be held with a maximum of 10 people and no sharing of equipment.
  • Real estate open houses and auctions can proceed with a maximum of 10 people.
  • Public schools will return to on-campus learning in stages over the coming four weeks from Monday 18 May (week three of term 2) to Tuesday 2 June (week 6 of term 2).

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