Ongoing coronavirus restrictions in Queensland mean that weddings remain tightly controlled but people are free to go to group sex parties at adult venues.
Under current restrictions in Queensland, industries adhere to their own COVID safe plans, which are affecting sex and strip clubs differently to wedding operators.
Sex on Premises venues, or sex clubs, can operate in Queensland as long as they have a COVID Safe plan. The COVID Safe Industry Plan for Sex on Premises Venues and Adult parties calls the businesses “high risk” and recommends regular cleaning of “group rooms”, record keeping and staff training to mitigate risk.
Wedding operators need to comply with a number of restrictions, including keeping guest lists under 100 people in approved COVID Safe venues.
Weddings held in private homes are restricted to 30 people across Queensland, and those in the Greater Brisbane, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley areas are restricted to just ten people.
Dance floors are banned at Queensland weddings, although the bride and groom are allowed to perform a “first dance”, and can have a dance with their parents.
“Their wedding guests may not participate in the dancing,” Queensland Health advises.
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Adult entertainment falls under different guidelines, with strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues allowed to operate as long as they have a COVID Safe plan.
Queensland Health told news.com.au the pandemic had been a “unique challenge” and they are working with the “best system to balance the health response”.
“Planning for specific scenarios and circumstances during this pandemic has been a unique challenge for health departments across the globe,” a spokesperson for Queensland Health said in a statement.
“Queensland’s COVID Safe Plans are our best system to balance the health response necessary to keep our community safe with keeping life as normal as possible.
“Those operating under COVID Safe Industry Plans or COVID Safe Checklists are aware of their roles and responsibilities in conducting business during a pandemic to prevent any uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.”
News.com.au understands the differing guidance around weddings and adult entertainment comes after recent outbreaks were seen at weddings, including a recent outbreak in New Zealand. It’s believed sex workers are able to mitigate risk through practising hygiene and keeping contacts of patrons.
However numerous industry leaders have been calling for state and territory leaders to ease coronavirus restrictions around weddings.
A Sydney bride to be has started a change.org petition to have wedding restrictions eased. Annalisa Mastrofilippo, 24, said she’d cancelled her own wedding this year because of the restrictions, which had stopped her moving into her new home.
Founder of Wedded Wonderland Wendy El-Khoury yesterday told news.com.au the restrictions “make no sense”.
“From sporting activities, to gyms, schools, parks and shopping centres working with no capacity on numbers (rather a four sqm rule) it makes no sense for a wedding venue with a 1000 seated capacity to work with numbers like 150 in NSW for example,” she said.
Ms El-Khoury said she now receives daily emails from struggling businesses, that were thriving before the pandemic.