room capacity – covid restrictions


The AIHW is interested to understand what restrictions agencies have placed on the use of their meeting rooms due to COVID-19. Safe Work Australia talk about physical distancing and provide examples to reduce the use of rooms (enclosed spaces) to one person per 4sqm, however this is listed as an example only. ACT Health have advised there is no legislation or public health direction relating to office spaces within the ACT.

The AIHW has maintained one person per 4sqm in our meeting and training rooms spaces, however have received feedback from staff to reassess this based upon the current COVID status and restrictions within the ACT. We are very interested in hearing from agencies who have increased the use of their meeting/training rooms, what they considered in making this change and how their staff have responded.

Scott Francis

HR Manager

People and Facilities Unit

Business and Communications Group

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

02 6244 1109 | |  @aihw |  aihw

4 replies on “room capacity – covid restrictions”

We have the CBR app and have increased our room capacity based on the ACT health advice, we provide hand santiser and wipes in each meeting room and ask people to wipe over the equipment as they finish with the room.
Lisa Zaretzky

We have employees across 3 sites here in Barton with differing arrangements across all sites depending on the building owners. In our main building, we are managing at 1 person per 1.5sqm with robust cleaning and hygiene practices in place and still only accepting limited external visitors to approved rooms only. We are unable to use the CBR app.

I’m interested to know also, are agencies reintroducing group gatherings, social club events and/or morning/afternoon teas?

At the Australian War Memorial we started with 4m2 per person in common use areas including meeting rooms, and break rooms. Last month we updated our approach to base it on the ability for occupants to maintain 1.5m distance from each other based on the furnishing of the space. In some space there was no change, however in others tables were large enough to increase the capacity whilst still maintaining distance. In some instance we swapped furnishings in rooms to get the greatest capacity out of the available space.
Prior to making the change, we consulted with ACT Health regarding the use of the CBR Check-in App to contact trace workers in order to ease capacity limits in rooms, but based on their response the app wasn’t going to provide the outcome we were hoping. The response that I received was that the Check-in App isn’t really intended for everyday workplaces such as offices, because businesses should already know who is in their business. The App is more focused on contact tracing those people that you would not typically have details of (e.g. customers). This is why much of the messaging around the app, and penalties for not using it, are aimed at the food , entertainment, event and cultural businesses, and not agencies, offices, factors, or services such as doctors and dentists.

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