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NT COVID-19 hotline1800 490 484
8am to 4:21pm, 7 days a week
More information

Guidelines for events and gatherings

Events and public gatherings can be held in the NT subject to COVID safe principles being applied and is an event or public gathering that is ticketed or open to the public at a private location or a public place.

Chief Health Officer approval is not required to undertake any public event, but there are different requirements depending on the size and location of the event.

COVID-19 safety plans

Events with more than 1,000 people in major centres and 500 people outside of major centres must have a COVID-19 Event Safety Checklist and COVID-19 Safety Supervisor in place.

Events with more than 5,000 people in major centres and 2,000 people outside of major centres must submit a COVID-19 Event Safety Plan to NT Health and appoint a COVID-19 Safety Supervisor.

A COVID-19 safety supervisor must have the skills and knowledge  required to implement the COVID-19 event safety plan. Appropriate  training includes Northern Territory Government’s free online COVID  Safety Supervisor training, the Australian Government infection control training or  similar. Evidence of the COVID-19 Safety Supervisor’s knowledge and  skills must be given to an authorised officer on request by the officer.

Environmental Health Officers may visit the event to ensure you are meeting your responsibilities as outlined in your COVID-19 Event Safety Plan.

Plans should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event for assessment. NT Health may not be able to assess plans submitted outside of this timeframe.

Read the guidelines below for information on what your COVID-19 Event Safety Plan should include.

Major population centres include:

  • Municipality of Darwin
  • Municipality of Palmerston
  • Municipality of Litchfield
  • Town of Tennant Creek
  • Town of Katherine
  • Town of Alice Springs
  • Darwin Waterfront Precinct as specified under section 4 of the Darwin Waterfront Corporation Act 2006.


You should consider the following essential criteria when preparing for your event safety plan or checklist.

Event details

Provide key event details including (but not limited to):

  • organising body, contact name and position, phone and email
  • event title/s, event venue/s and location, time/s,  date/s (including ‘side’ events)
  • event target group/s and expected number of attendees
  • whether the event is likely to be attended by more than 1,000 people inside a major population centre or 500 or more people outside a major centre
  • specify whether the event is indoor/outdoor/mixed.

Communication with staff, performers, volunteers and attendees

You will need to ensure performers, staff, volunteers and attendees know what their responsibilities are and develop protocols to ensure they adhere to physical distancing requirements and health and hygiene principles.

Physical distancing during event

You need to consider how the event is structured to prevent crowding, including arrival and departure from the event. The COVID-19 Event Safety Plan must consider and describe strategies to address the following requirements:

  • Establish separate entry and exit points. Consider width to allow for free movement, queue markings, provision of handwashing and sanitising stations.
  • Encourage pre purchase of tickets and/or increased ticket sellers.
  • Measures to encourage physical distancing of people while queuing for entry, activities or services and while participating in activities such as:
    • Ingress and egress across multiple areas of the event – e.g. avoid bottlenecks by allowing more time for seating before shows, more food and beverage outlets with increased spacing between them, options to bring food/drinks to the crowd.
    • Prevent attendees from crowding together at the beginning or at the end of the event.

Hygiene practices

You will need to provide training on hygiene practices to staff and volunteers and ensure they have access to sufficient hygiene supplies. Consideration should be given to:

  • how hygiene education/information will be delivered.
  • what hygiene supplies will be provided, where and how frequently they will be replenished. Staff, performers, contractors and volunteers should know to:
  • frequently wash hands with soap and water e.g. after going to the bathroom, after handling money, before and after eating and after touching face or hair.
  • avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose.
  • wash hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser at the beginning of their shift and before commencing a new activity.
  • not attend work if they are unwell.

Attendees should be advised to:

  • wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser on entering an event.
  • frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser during the event.

Cleaning and disinfecting

You should ensure the event has cleaning procedures in place for the duration of the event. High touch surfaces such as door handles, handrails and counters and shared facilities, including bathrooms, need to be frequently cleaned and disinfected during the event.

Additional risk mitigating measures

Consider the following risk mitigating measures when planning your event.

Crowding and close proximity

Crowding and close proximity increases the risk of transmission should a COVID-19 positive person attend the event while infectious.

Mitigation measures:

  • Site design – Use multiple zones to encourage physical distancing of people and prevent site bottle necks by using one direction walkways
  • Consider increased spacing of tables in eating areas and installing barriers or spacing markers
  • Ensure entry and exits are designed to prevent crowding. Strategies should include extra staffing to assist with scanning of tickets and for security checks. Providing announcements will also assist patrons to be prepared for the process of entering and exiting the venue.

Indoor venues

Reduced ventilation indoors can increase the risk of transmission should a COVID-19 positive person attend the event while infectious.

Mitigation measures:

  • Where possible stage whole or parts of the event outdoors
  • Where possible open windows or doors to allow for natural ventilation
  • Implement measures outlined in crowding and close proximity
  • Consider capping patron numbers indoors
  • Encourage mask use should patrons not be able to physically distance
  • Ensure the ventilation system is operating in accordance with its design. Further advice should be obtained via your ventilation service technician.

For more information about ventilation visit:

Management of unwell patrons or workers

Community spread means it’s likely some patrons will attend when unwell or become unwell whilst onsite.

Mitigation measures:

  • Provide an area onsite which allows for the safe isolation of people with COVID-19 symptoms. A separate room adjacent to first aid area would be appropriate.
  • Ensure the patron/worker has access to a face mask and applies it immediately.
  • Assist them to get medical support if required or make arrangements for them to exit the site safety.
  • Instruct them to get tested and isolate until a negative COVID-19 result is returned.