Coronavirus latest news: updated Thursday 9 April March

March 16, 2020

The latest updates on how COVID-19 is affecting the night time economy globally, and relief initiatives being announced.

As developments unfold in real time, we’re providing a summary of the impacts of the novel coronavirus on the nightlife ecosystem around the world.

Last updated: 5:00pm AEST Thursday 9 April 

9 April

23 March

Australian news:

  • Australia’s Prime Minister and Treasurer on Sunday announced a further AUD66 million relief package. This includes the Coronavirus Supplement for income support for individuals including for sole traders and the self employed, and cash flow support for businesses. Fact sheet for income support for individuals here and fact sheet for cash flow assistance for businesses here. The Victorian Music Development Office has published a handy breakdown of this package for the creative industries.
  • In response to the relief package announced on Sunday Australian time, Live Performance Australia has again urged the Australian Government for targeted relief for the live performance sector.
  • Victoria’s Premier has announced a shut down of all non-essential activity across the state. Statement here.
  • The Australian Government has announced new restrictions on non-essential businesses from midday local time Monday 23 March. Prime Minister’s statement here.
  • Latest data from I Lost My Gig Australia shows Total lost income from cancelled events: $280M; People impacted by event cancellations: 500k; Number of gigs/events: 255k.
  • Night Time Industries Association has launched Keep Our Venues Alive. Modelled on I Lost My Gig, it is capturing data from venue owners, venue employees and workers and venue suppliers. Those in our Australian community are urged to share with their venue networks so this important data is captured and communicated to government and other peak bodies.
  • Local Government Authorities (councils) around the country are introducing a suite of responses to the COVID-19 crisis:
Due to the huge volume of news and information at present, we are now feeding latest international updates from 
For more international news visit

18 March

17 March

16 March

  • NYC Mayor de Blasio has announced that effective Tuesday, March 17th at 9am local time restaurants, bars, and cafes can provide take-out and delivery only. No dine-in. Full closure is enforced for Bars with no food; Clubs; Movie theatres; Smaller theatres; Concert venues.
  • Byron Bay Bluesfest has announced it is cancelling the festival for the first time in 30 years.
  • In the retail sector Spain has closed most retail outlets, Australian supermarket chains have announced plans for dedicated shopping hours for elderly people and people with disability in response to panic purchasing. Woolworths have announced dedicated shopping times will be effective from Tuesday 17 March 7am AEST until Friday 20 March.
  • The Guardian reports that the UK’s biggest pub group has warned its publicans that their existing insurance policies will not cover them for loss of business because of coronavirus.
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced a city wide shutdown of bars, restaurants, clubs and entertainment establishments  until March 31.
  • Starting immediately, VibeLab will be providing weekly updates for both industry and event attendees on available support, recommended strategies and relevant news via their platform.

15 March

  • Australia’s Prime Minister has announced a country wide restriction of gatherings of 500 people or more, effective from Monday 16 March.
  • The Australian Music Industry Network and the Australian Festival Association have joined forces to lead a coalition which also includes APRA AMCOS, ARIA, Australian Hotels Association, PPCA, Live Performance Australia, AIR, Australian Artist Managers, Electronic Music Conference and the Live Music Office. The coalition is urging the Australian Government to consider the music and hospitality sectors in its response to the worsening COVID-19 crisis. The coalition has also launched I Lost My Gig Australia – an outreach initiative to quantify the severity of the urgent needs of individuals, businesses and organisations within these sectors. In the first 24 hours of launching the survey, the estimates are AUD47 million in lost income, 190,000 jobs impacted and 20,000 gigs cancelled.
  • Cultural institutions in Australia have announced closures or suspension of public programs from Sunday 15 March. Arts Centre Melbourne’s venues will be closed to the public until April 12. Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Observatory and Museum’s Discovery Centre will suspend all public and education programs until 12 April. The museum’s public and exhibition spaces will continue to remain open.
  • US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted the urgent needs of the hospitality sector and the request to relief of the payment of fees, penalties and taxes. 
  • The Illinois Governor announced a statewide shutdown of bars and restaurants until March 30.
  • DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced new guidelines further to the limits on gatherings of over 250 people, including an order to shut down licensed nightclubs, the suspension of bar seating and limitations on the number of people per table at eating establishments.
  • Sydney’s annual Vivid festival has been cancelled following recommendations from the Australian government to limit gatherings to less than 500 people. The 2019 festival saw a record 2.4 million people, and is reported to contribute over AUD 172 million to the NSW economy. Statement here

12 March

  • The Dutch Government announced a ban on events of more than 100 people in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that these measures would remain in place until at least March 31.
  • NY Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a reduced capacity of 50% for all venues in the state seating 500 people or less.

11 March

  • UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced further relief for small venues in the 2020 budget. Following the announcement of a 50% reduction in business rates in January, and UK Music requesting further urgent support for the music sector, the chancellor has announced that small, grassroots venues will be exempt from paying any business rates at all in 2020.
  • Berlin’s Clubcommission announced a task force and held a crisis meeting held with almost 50 club operators and organisers. This meeting resulted in a catalog of measures with recommendations that will be used in Berlin clubs from the weekend of March 13-15. Clubcommission’s statement is here.

5 March

  • Techno artist Dave Clarke urges artists who have had gigs cancelled to return money back to promoters. via DJ Mag


  • Resident Advisor have an excellent live blog with constant updates on how coronavirus is impacting the electronic music scene globally. Regular updates here



Entry to the Powerhouse is via Harris St only. Access within the Powerhouse Museum is via ramps and an elevator. For visitors using manual wheelchairs, the elevator is recommended. Groups of visitors planning a visit with more than one wheelchair user can arrange access to an additional elevator. Please contact us in advance on +61 (02) 9217 0222.

Accessible toilets are located on level 2.

Assistance Animals

Assistance animals trained to assist people with disabilities are welcome.

Accessible parking

To enquire about accessible parking onsite, click here.