Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is preparing to reopen its doors next month, 5 November, when Victoria's double-dose vaccination rate is expected to hit 80% — and with that, the return of indoor events.
The centre closed its doors on 5 August, following the state's latest round of Covid-19 restrictions.
Melbourne is on track to lift its stay-home orders later this week on 22 October, when 70% full vaccination rate is reached.
While limits are off for travel within metropolitan Melbourne, people in the city still won't be able to visit regional Victoria. Outdoor gatherings will increase to 15 people, while up to 20 fully vaccinated will be allowed inside hospitality venues with another 50 pax outside, although subject to density limits.
MCEC has begun taking bookings for events beyond 5 November, but with an initial cap of 150 vaccinated attendees, with one person per four sqm. Updated capacities are expected to follow.
With its re-opening, MCEC also has a reminder for in-person event attendees: vaccination will be key.
"We need to be vaccinated so we can safely move around our regions, interstate and eventually overseas assisting in a faster recovery of our business events industry," said Chief Executive, Peter King.
The MCEC update added that the "team is currently working with the Victorian Government to determine how this will work at MCEC, however our expectation is that anyone attending events at MCEC will have to be vaccinated, as per government guidelines".
"Visitors, customers and contractors will need to verify their vaccination status on arrival. We’ll share more on this process as we confirm the details. Alongside this, we are also exploring a vaccination policy for our employees, to help keep each of them safe along with the wider community."
MCEC has since March become one of Melbourne’s largest vaccination hubs, with more than 156,000 Victorians vaccinated at the venue so far.
Meanwhile, the venue will continue its range of Covid-safe practices in its VenueSafe Plan, including measures such as physical distancing, sanitisation, contactless payment and the latest advice on mask-wearing.