Outdoor event rules need changing

Mon, 07 Feb, 2022

“Sensible changes are desperately needed to the rules for outdoor events to prevent more economic pain,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“‘Controlled-access events’, including professional sports, can only go ahead under Red with up to 100 attendees or based on 1 metre distancing for each defined space.

“That means events are being cancelled or being played behind closed doors, like Super Rugby.

“What’s nuts is that the Government has set the same rules for indoor and outdoor events and for venues of different sizes.

“There’s much less risk of getting Omicron if you’re in a large outdoor venue, so it makes absolutely no sense to treat them the same – it’s anti-science.

“ACT has said all along that we need risk-proportionate rules – but here we are, two years into a pandemic, and the Government is still making one-size-fits-all rules. 

“Instead of setting an arbitrary, hard limit of 100 for outdoors events, the Government could make a sensible change and allow numbers to be based on the size of the space.

“In fact, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has given just this advice to Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash.

“It said that, instead of hard limits on numbers, event organisers could use distancing requirements appropriate to the size of the space – 1 metre for Orange and 2 metres for Red.

“The costs of preventing vaccinated, socially-distanced people coming together in outdoor venues to watch events surely outweigh the benefits.

“The rest of the world is opening up and we need to as well.”