Sydney Opera House has announced that from today until March 29, all public performances have been cancelled following the latest health advice and developments in the evolving Covid-19 situation. This follows the federal government’s ban on public gatherings of more than 500 people.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly but these are unprecedented events,” said Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron in a statement. “Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our artists, audiences, visitors and our valued staff. The Opera House was built to serve the community and it is our responsibility to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone on-site and to protect members of the public by limiting the spread of Covid-19.”

At this stage, public areas, such as food and beverage outlets, tours and retail, will continue to operate. The house says ticketholders affected by the cancellations in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Drama Theatre, Studio, Playhouse and Utzon Room will be contacted in the coming days to organise refunds.

“We ask patrons to be patient during this process. Our teams are working hard to respond as quickly as possible to the rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to provide updates to our community through the website, social media and other channels,” she says.

“I would like to thank our staff, artists, audiences and visitors for your support during these difficult and uncertain times. We stand together with you and are committed to doing whatever we can to help support our community as we work through the implications of this together.”

In light of Covid-19, mass public gatherings are banned and minimal social contact is recommended. For the most up-to-date health information, visit NSW Health.