When are we likely to dance again?

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When are we likely to dance again?

It’s already been well over a year of limbo for clubs and venues and in turn promoters, artists and punters waiting to return to dance floors across Australia.

While now is not really the time to dive further into what could possibly be a drawn-out and lengthy lockdown ala ‘more bad news’ – it is good to stay informed and theorise we’re likely to dance again!

Trying to digest and compute every single state would take some pretty heavy lifting, so instead, we’re taking the more restrictive measures from states like New South Wale and Victoria to give the most likely outcomes.

To start we’re looking at the recently tabled Doherty ‘Modelling Report’ which is being used by┬áNational Cabinet to guide policy around COVID. The National Cabinet is made up of the premiere from each State who liaise with the Coalition Government on their shared responses and ultimately work towards stated outcomes.

The report itself is a fairly dense 66 pages of what we currently know about Covid, the ‘vaccine race’ and how that’ll allow the reopening of states. This means not only when you can travel where you want, but also workplace stuff and of course for us, when we can dance and socialise again!

As mentioned before, looking at the more restrictive states like NSW and VIC will give us a baseline and most likely a rough timeline. We’re then comparing those ‘Public Health and Social Measures’ to required vaccination rates of states and Australia to form a likely month to be heading back out.

To start with, it’s fairly dreary news for those wanting to live a relatively normal pub and club life filled with schooners, cocktails, sound systems and euphoric moments.

Based on NSW Governments ‘Public Health and Social Measures’ there are three key levels that reflect restrictions;

Low PHSM – more stringent capacity restrictions (as in NSW 23 August 2020)

  • No dancing
  • No festivals
  • Corporate events max capacity 120 or one person per 4 square metres

Medium PHSM – stringent capacity restrictions, group size limits, stay-at-home orders (as in NSW 1 July 2021)

  • No dancing
  • No festivals
  • Corporate events max capacity 120 or one person per 4 square metres
  • No more than 20 at an outdoor gathering

High PHSM – no household visitors, curfew, stay-at-home orders (as in VIC 23 August 2020)

  • No dancing
  • No festivals
  • Corporate events max capacity 120 or one person per 4 square metres
  • No more than 20 at an outdoor gathering
  • No household visitors
  • Curfew
  • Stay-at-home orders (except essential purposes & permitted work)

We then consider that NSW and Australia are looking at 70% and 80% vaccination rates to ‘open’ up again. What does this look like currently at the time of writing?

% of adults 16 and over;

  • NSW – 26.9% fully vaccinated (two shots)
  • Australia – 20.7% fully vaccinated (two shots)

A nice graphic below and state per state vaccination data above thanks to Covid19data.com.au

A further breakdown using the seven day rolling average of vaccinations and how they correspond to 70% and 80% vaccination targets via The Guardian;

So the initial dates that NSW can ‘open up’ again (being a major nightlife destination, sorry ACT and TAS) are;

  • 70% vaccination rates by 29/10/2021 or the end of October
  • 80% vaccination rates by 16/11/2021 or mid-November

Right now, a lot more people are getting vaccinated for good reason so likely, the seven-day rolling average would soften as we progress and case numbers come down. This has happened in early every country as the ‘urgency’ falls off.

From that, we’d throw in an additional month or 30 days before we move to lower ‘Public Health and Social Measures’ (PHSM) that allow some restrictions to be removed;

  • 70% vaccination rates by 29/11/2021 or the end of November
  • 80% vaccination rates by 16/12/2021 or mid-December

Even then, potentially by the end of November or mid-December, and we’d moved to ‘Low PHSM’ like those restrictions from August 2020 (NSW), we’d sadly, still not even have reached the level we’d needed to return to live music venues and dancing.

Given the NSW Government were pretty slow to allow venues to be open and allow dancing for those glorious few weeks we had this year, we’d expect an even further push. Let’s add in another 30 days on top of our revised dates to get the below;

  • 70% vaccination rates by 29/12/2021 or the end of December
  • 80% vaccination rates by 16/01/2022 or mid-January next year

Again, some states are eyeing to be open earlier (ACT and TAS) but for Australia’s largest state, the reality is, it might not be until January next year that dance floors open!

So yes, on the face of it, this is pretty daunting news but optimism is catchy and if there’s anything that’s going to bring a lot of people together, it’s the idea of working towards something collectively!

Adding to that, there are also initiatives like the one from the City of Sydney team who are looking to pitch a ‘Covid-19 passport’, like those found overseas, to allow fully vaccinated people to head back out again and visit venues.

So there you have it, a bit of a ‘crunch’ on where we’re at and where we need to get to!


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