The 4 square metre rule helps 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.
Allow 1 person per 4 square metres
Responsibilities of occupiers
Occupiers of premises must follow the 4 square metre rule (one person per four square metres) if required under the public health order.
This rule does not apply to premises that are places of residence, caravan parks and camping grounds, holiday homes and short-term rentals, major recreation facilities, certain commercial vessels or certain essential gatherings.
Learn more about what you can and can't do under the rules.
For community safety, encourage physical distancing
Calculating the number of people for the size of your premises
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.
For food and drink businesses, do not include people who are ordering or collecting orders that will not be consumed on the premises.
What to include in your measurement
To work out the maximum number of people allowed on your premises at any one time, use the relevant calculation for the size of your floor space.
- Premises up to 200 square metres in total: include the whole area in your calculation.
- Premises more than 200 square metres in total: only include publicly accessible areas in your calculation. Generally, a publicly accessible area is an area where customers are allowed. This includes entry points, browsing areas and walkways, waiting rooms, and restrooms. It does not include staff-only areas such as offices.
Calculate your area
- Measure the length of your space.
- Measure the width of your space.
- Multiply the length by the width to calculate the area in square metres.
- Divide the area of your space (calculated in square metres) by 4 to calculate the maximum number of people allowed.
|Number of people||Minimum space required|
|1||4 square metres|
|10||40 square metres|
|20||80 square metres|
|30||120 square metres|
|40||160 square metres|
|50||200 square metres|
|60||240 square metres|
|70||280 square metres|
|80||320 square metres|
|90||360 square metres|
|100||400 square metres|
- Length = 8.25 metres
- Width = 10.6 metres
- Square metres: 8.25 x 10.6 = 87.45
- Maximum number of people: 87.45 ÷ 4 = 21
Maximum number of people allowed
Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020 the maximum number of people allowed at a pub, club, café, restaurant or casino is 300 people or one customer per 4 square metres, whichever is the lesser.
If a pub, club, café, restaurant or casino consists of more than one separate area, each separate area may have a maximum of 300 people or one customer per 4 square metres, whichever is the lesser.
The maximum number of people allowed at a:
- weddings or a gathering following a wedding service is the lesser of 150 people and one person per 4 square metres. Weddings at a place of worship are restricted to 100 people.
- funeral or memorial service or a gathering following a funeral or memorial service is the lesser of 100 people and one person per 4 square metres.
- place of public worship or religious service is the lesser of 100 people and one person per 4 square metres.
- corporate event is the lesser of 150 people and one person per 4 square metres.
Gatherings excluded from 4 square metre rule
The 4 square metre rule does not apply to normal operations for the following activities and premises which are considered essential gatherings.
- Transport, including in vehicles or at truck stops, stations, platforms or stops or other public transport facilities
- Hospitals and other medical or health service facilities
- Emergency services and emergency services training
- Prisons, correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other custody facilities
- Disability or aged care facilities
- Courts and tribunals
- Supermarkets, grocery stores, shopping centres and markets that mostly sell food, but not other retail businesses
- Office buildings, farms, factories, warehouses, commercial vessels (excluding vessels providing tours or hosting functions or parties), commercial fishing operations, mining or construction sites
- Schools, universities, other educational institutions or childcare facilities, excluding events that involve members of the community in addition to staff and students
- Hotels, motels or other accommodation facilities
- Outdoor space for the purposes of transiting through the place such as Pitt Street Mall or Parramatta Square
- Food banks and other services that assist vulnerable and homeless people
- Early education and care facilities
For more detail, see Schedule 2 of the public health order: Exempted Gatherings.
Last updated: 24 July 2020