Keeping you safe at the theatre

We're excited to welcome you safely back to the theatre in 2021. Please find all the information you need for your COVID Safe visit to our performance venues on this page.

If you have any further questions about attending an Opera Australia performance or our plans for 2021, please consult our subscriber FAQs or contact us at

COVID Safety at Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House and its food and beverage venues are registered as COVID Safe businesses with the NSW Government. To ensure a safe and comfortable environment for everyone, the Opera House has made some changes to the way it operates. This includes the introduction of a number of new measures:

  • Reduced venue capacities (50%) and physically-distanced theatre seating (a minimum of one empty seat between groups).
  • Regular cleaning of high-traffic and high-touch areas with hospital-grade disinfectant.
  • Hand sanitiser stations in all paths of travel, frequently accessed areas and near bathroom facilities.
  • COVID-19 safety training for all operational, frontline and contract staff, as well as on-site COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshals.

The Sydney Opera House is closely following all NSW Government health guidelines and will continue to update procedures as necessary.

NOTE: The following information relates specifically to Opera Australia performances at the Sydney Opera House. Please consult the Sydney Opera House website for information about other events, tours and experiences at Opera House venues.

Let's stay safe together

When to stay home. For the safety and wellbeing of everyone, you must not visit the Opera House if: you feel unwell or if you are displaying any of the COVID-19 symptoms as identified by NSW Health; you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test; you are required to self-isolate; you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days before your intended date of visit to the Opera House; or you have returned from overseas or have visited a “positive COVID-19 case location” (as outlined by the NSW Government) in the last 14 days before your intended date of visit.

Get together, but keep apart. As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by staff and signage. Within venues, please adhere to spaced seating plans and always take your allocated seat.

Follow the signs, and sign-ins. Follow the separate entry and exit points, screening and bag-check procedures, and physically distance in all queues. If you’re dining or attending a tour, you will need to sign-in on arrival with a QR code or in writing. We also recommend downloading the COVIDSafe app, as per government advice.

Keep clean. Practise good hygiene by washing your hands regularly with soap, using hand sanitiser, covering sneezes and coughs, and disposing of tissues promptly.

Wear a mask. The Opera House strongly recommends that patrons over the age of 12 wear a face mask while attending a performance. While not required across the wider precinct, facemasks are strongly recommended when 1.5 metre physical distancing cannot be maintained. Please be aware that some members of the community may have issues with wearing masks due to health conditions. We ask that you be respectful to others as reasons for not wearing a mask are not always obvious.

Pay with card. Contactless payment methods are strongly encouraged, so please bring a credit or debit card for onsite purchases. If you’re visiting a restaurant at the Opera House, you can use order-at-table options and we encourage you to remain seated to help with physical distancing.

And remember...

Visiting the Opera House when you are unwell puts yourself and others at risk. Attending while under quarantine or isolation orders is prohibited, and if you appear to have COVID-19 symptoms you may be denied entry or asked to leave to minimise the risk to others. Please also consider your own safety and wellbeing and whether attending is the right thing for you. By visiting the Opera House at this time, you voluntarily assume the risks posed by COVID-19.

Seeing a show?

We’ve made a number of changes to the booking process and seating plans to help keep you safe:

  • We encourage you to purchase your tickets in advance online or via the phone, and you’ll now only receive eTickets when buying online.
  • To help maintain physical distancing, the Joan Sutherland Theatre will be sold at a reduced capacity of 50%, in a physically distanced seating pattern.
  • Tickets will be sold as single seats, with every second seat remaining off sale for distancing purposes. We ask you to sit in the allocated seat.
  • Venue foyers and doors will open earlier than normal, and some shows will no longer have intervals.
  • Standard bag check facilities remain available, but we encourage you to leave larger items at home.
  • Refreshments will be available for purchase from theatre bars, and should be consumed while seated in specific foyers spaces. Food and beverages will not be allowed in performance venues and should be consumed while seated in specific foyer spaces to maintain physical distancing.
  • If you’ve booked tickets for other people, you need to be responsible for maintaining contact details for all of your guests for the purpose of contract tracing if required.

If you can no longer attend due to COVID-19

If you are no longer able to attend, please exchange your tickets online or contact our Box Office on 02 9318 8200 no later than three hours before the event begins. Options for you may include:

  • Exchanging your tickets for a different future performance of the same production, subject to availability. If you exchange for a lower value ticket, we will refund you the difference in the ticket price. If you exchange for a higher value ticket, we will charge you the difference in the ticket price, subject to availability.
  • Exchanging your tickets for a different Opera Australia production, subject to availability. If you exchange for a lower value ticket, we will refund you the difference in the ticket price. If you exchange for a higher value ticket, we will charge you the difference in the ticket price.
  • If a ticket exchange is not available, we may issue a credit note for the value of your ticket to be used towards the purchase of tickets to a future Opera Australia event.

And remember…

Unless required by law, refunds will be considered at our discretion on a case-by-case basis. We may require reasons and/or evidence supporting your request for a refund, and we appreciate your understanding.

Want to read the fine print?

Please refer to our updated Terms and Conditions for detailed information about our ticketing policies.

Frequently asked questions - COVID Safety at Sydney Opera House