Square metres rules

How to calculate the maximum number of people allowed at a venue.

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Responsibilities of occupiers

From Monday 27 December 2021, if your premises is required to follow the capacity rules, these are the capacity limits it can operate under:

  • indoor areas – 1 person per 2 square metres of space

Use the guide below to work out the maximum number of people who can be on your premises.

How the rules work

The rules help to determine the maximum number of people who can be on a premises. It does not determine the distance between people.

Physical distancing means reducing the close physical contact we have with people and staying 1.5 metres away from people we don't live with.

Businesses, venues and occupiers of premises should consider how their COVID-19 Safety Plan will allow customers and visitors to practice physical distancing.

Calculating the number of people for the size of your premises


What to include in your measurement

In calculating the space available for each person on any premises, only include the areas that are open to the public.

Who to include in your calculations

When you are working out the maximum number of people allowed on the premises, do not include people who are

  • working on the premises – except for workers at a construction site, industrial premises (such as a factory), office premises, or a warehouse or distribution centre.
  • on the premises because of an emergency.

For food and drink businesses, do not include people who are ordering take-away, waiting for their order or  collecting orders.

Calculate your area

  1. Measure the length of your space.
  2. Measure the width of your space.
  3. Multiply the length by the width to calculate the area in square metres.
  4. Divide the area of your space (calculated in square metres) by 2 (if the 2 square metre rule applies) or 4 (if the 4 square metre rule applies) to calculate the maximum number of people allowed.

 

Number of people 2 square metres
Minimum space required
4 square metres
Minimum space required
1 2 square metres 4 square metres
10 20 square metres 40 square metres
20 40 square metres 80 square metres
30 60 square metres 120 square metres
40 80 square metres 160 square metres
50 100 square metres 200 square metres
60 120 square metres 240 square metres
70 140 square metres 280 square metres
80 160 square metres 320 square metres
90 180 square metres 360 square metres
100 200 square metres 400 square metres

Example

  • Length = 8.25 metres
  • Width = 10.6 metres
  • Square metres: 8.25 x 10.6 = 87.45
  • Maximum number of people using 2 square metres rule: 87.45 ÷ 2 = 43 people
  • Maximum number of people using 4 square metres rule: 87.45 ÷ 4 = 21 people

 

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