To ensure that Christmas pageants, ANZAC day parades, cavalcades and other parade type events are COVID-safe, there are a range of COVID management strategies that must be considered.

If your event will have more than 1,000 patrons, you will require a COVID Management Plan (the Plan). You must consider this information below and include it in the Plan, in addition to the guidance in the COVID Management Plan template.

If you have less than 1,000 patrons attending and don’t require a COVID Management Plan, you should review how these considerations will be managed and add them into your COVID-Safe Plan.


Detailed description of the activity

  • It is best practice to hold the parade/pageant in a controlled/restricted space. This may involve setting up fences around the perimeter of the space, but it will support capacity monitoring and contact tracing measures.
  • A fixed seated venue for spectators is preferable for a COVID-safe event. For example, holding a Christmas pageant at a sporting oval with allocated seating where possible for spectators.
  • Consider how many spectators are reasonably expected to attend. You could use your pageant/parade historical information to understand how many people have attended in the past – for example, 2019 and before. Having an idea of potential number of spectators will help in having a better planning outcome for your event.
  • Include all subsidiary activities such as food vendors, face painting, fireworks, and retail/market stalls in your planning.
  • If participants/spectators are unable to physically distance, a face mask is recommended to be worn – for example, during rallies.

Site layout, site maps and publicly accessible spaces

  • A publicly accessible area equals the total area metres square (m2) minus areas that are not available or accessible to the public – for example, infrastructure, equipment, stalls, and food trucks.
  • Ensure calculations of publicly accessible spaces are accurate and reflect the area predominately used by the public for the event . For example, the area that will be used to view the event.
  • When determining capacity and publicly available space, consider the space patrons will realistically use to view the event. For instance, patrons would not sit behind buildings or trees or in areas where they cannot see the pageant/parade.
  • A breakdown of the event area, including the size in m2 and maximum capacities of each space must be planned for and provided in your plan. This must include:
    • the pageant/parade space, and
    • number of participants, and
    • the footpath/verge area, and
    • maximum number of spectators.
  • Consider the location of amenities. For example, toilet facilities, 1.5-metre spaced floor markings and barriers in areas where queues are expected to form.
  • We have included an example for street and venue-based pageant/parade within this document to help you.

Distancing and density

  • Spectators must be prohibited from entering the parade/pageant set up and disband area. This area is only for workers and participants.
  • Physical barriers such as tensile barriers, crowd control barriers, bunting/flagging rope and posts may be needed to assist in managing/separating spectators from parade/pageant participants.
  • Physical barriers such as tensile barriers are helpful in managing/separating queues and walkways. Consider where physical barriers may be needed to assist in queue management.
  • Good signage such as ‘No public access beyond this point’ will be beneficial if it’s added to barrier systems that defines parade/pageant set up and disband area.
  • One person per four square metres density (1 person per 4 m2) is recommended for areas where picnic rugs or mats will be used.
  • Consider how distancing between social/family groups will be managed among spectators. The COVID Marshal strategy should address this issue by ensuring COVID Marshals are evenly distributed along the route with a specific focus on highly populated locations.
  • Consider how distancing between parade/pageant participants will be maintained and managed during the event. This is especially important at the start and finish of the parade when crowding may occur.
  • Ensure the Plan contains details of how food stalls/vendors/merchandise stalls will be spaced out to minimise queuing and congestion. It’s recommended that stalls are spaced at least 1.5 m apart.
  • Consider using floor markers to achieve the 1.5 m physical distancing around the venue in areas where queues may develop such as around the food stalls, merchandise stalls, toilets, and entry and exit gates.
  • For events with large numbers of participants, consider staggering the assembly time by assigning participants to groups with different arrival/starting times. A COVID Marshal should be assigned to each group to ensure physical distancing.
  • For some pageant/parade type events, it is expected that spectators may begin to arrive at the location much earlier than the start of the event. Provide details on how distancing will be managed as people are arriving.

Contact tracing

The South Australian Government’s COVID SAfe Check-In system must be used. A QR code is provided upon completion of a COVID-Safe Plan. Please note that the completion of the COVID-Safe Plan is for the purposes of gaining a QR code. The measures in the COVID Management Plan will override the requirements of the COVID-Safe Plan.

  • Ensure the Plan contains details of how staff will ensure that the COVID SAfe QR Check-In system is used by all patrons, participants, officials, volunteers etc.
  • Multiple QR codes should be displayed at different areas visible to patrons. Describe where they will be displayed. This may include QR codes attached to light posts or fencing.
  • Clearly state that all attendees (spectators, participants, staff, volunteers and COVID Marshals) must sign in using the COVID SAfe Check-In system.
  • COVID Marshals must actively promote spectators checking in with the COVID Safe QR Code. COVID Marshals should patrol the parade route carrying copies of the QR Code and request spectators to use them.
  • If spectators are unable to check in using the QR Code, COVID Marshals are to direct them to where they can check in manually using a paper-based record.
  • Manual contact tracing must be available for those that can't scan the QR code (e.g. pen and paper). Please ensure you detail the hygiene measures that will be in place to minimise touch points – for example, hand sanitiser at contact tracing tables and cleaning of pens between use and collection of contact tracing information by staff member.

Wellbeing declaration

  • Ensure the methods you will use to obtain all attendees’ health and wellbeing declarations are described (e.g. declaration on ticketing, condition of entry, verbal upon attendance) and when and where it will be gained (e.g. pre-event, on the day, or other methods). Where ticketing or conditions of entry are used, please provide copies of the information/tickets as supporting information.
  • If tickets can be purchased at the gate, it is recommended that a verbal wellbeing declaration is gained at the time of purchase.
  • Signage and pre-event communication should be used to remind people not to attend if they are unwell.
  • Ensure you have a strategy to obtain the wellbeing declaration from all vendors, performers, volunteers and staff.


  • Fireworks may be permitted. Certain fireworks require exclusion zones and will need to be managed if there is an impact on the patron accessible areas. SafeWork SA is the regulatory body that approves fireworks displays. You can visit SafeWorkSA/firework display for more information.
  • As part of the planning, physical distancing needs to be monitored by COVID Marshals, and consideration given to managing the potential for large gatherings outside of the event
  • Where food/beverages are provided, they must be single serve and handed to the patron by staff. There must not be any communal food and beverage service areas.
  • Where face painting is provided, the Plan must detail the distancing, density and hygiene measures that will be in place.
  • If bands are playing as part of the pageant/parade, greater physical distancing should be observed for these participants; for example 2 metres apart.
  • If supplying a free water source such as a SA Water Quench Bench ensure that hygiene and regular cleaning is provided for the high touch items e.g., taps – the water fountain type of water units are generally not permitted with bottle fillers preferred.

Safe physical distancing diagram

The graphic below may assist in your education of spectators/public, and your COVID Marshals. This example depicts social groups seated on picnic rugs, chairs and standing to view the pageant/parade. The blue line depicts the pageant/parade route frontage.


The type of signage and locations are important to provide information for people coming to the pageant/parade that compliments all your pre-event communications.

Mandatory signs will include:

  • QR COVID Check In scan – positioned at entrances
  • COVID safe 1.5 m physical distancing
  • Stay home if unwell – do not enter this pageant/parade site if you are unwell
  • A capacity sign for indoor areas.

Other signs could include:

  • Face masks required
  • Hand Sanitiser/good hand washing
  • Covering your cough.

Supporting information

  • A detailed site map (or site maps), including:
    • Entry and exit gates/points
    • COVID marshal locations
    • Locations of food vendors, toilets, other attractions.
  • A map of the match/parade routes showing the start and end points.
  • Photos of the previous year’s event, if possible.
  • Other documents provided as supporting information must be referenced in the Plan.

Who can I contact if I have a question?


Call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787

  • Consider having a good set up and disband finishing area where participants can be segregated from any spectator/public access during your planning.
  • If the parade/pageant is to be held on the street, consider making the parade route longer and using areas with wider footpaths or verges to allow more room for distancing of spectators. Avoid routes that may cause bottlenecking.
  • Note: As it may not be possible to control the number of spectators who attend parades and pageants held along open streets, the estimated attendance must be as accurate as possible to enable effective management.

The following scenario and site map is an example that could be used for a street pageant/parade:

There are 3 roadways leading into the pageant/parade.

  • Main Road access each end and Smith Street access

Spectators will park in the roadways outside the pageant/parade zone.

Participants and staff can park in the community park area.

The local community park and Jones Court will be used as set up and disband (finish) zones for participants staff and floats etc to be separated from spectators.

Steps to take

  • Consult with the local council and community groups. Their input and assistance will be vital.
  • Determine a manageable setup and disband (finish) zone so that the spectator viewing area can be defined between these zones.
  • Measure the (light blue) public viewing areas and determine square metres i.e. the roadway being used for the pageant/parade measures 500 linear metres viewing area extends 10 metres = 500x10 = 5,000 m2.
  • Deduct the food, stalls, toilet areas and areas spectators will not be able to view the pageant/parade from the public viewing area.
  • Determine how the entry point/s will work and include on your site plan including queuing QR codes and hardcopy check in locations.
  • Determine how many COVID Marshals and the best locations for them to be and include where your COVID Marshals will be positioned on your site plan.
  • Define participant and staff only areas and include these on your site plan – ensure there are methods to restrict public access.
  • Have a separate QR/hardcopy for staff and participants – have assigned COVID Marshal/s to look after these areas.
  • Involve the local council in setting the parking restrictions. For instance, set up no parking 100 metres either side of the venue to provide room for people entering the parade/pageant zone.
  • Promote all the parade/pageant COVID safety measures through all of your accessible communication methods.

The local sporting or community venue may be an easier place to manage COVID safety.

  • Plan to have a good set up area/disband finishing area that can be segregated from any spectator/public access.

The following scenario and site map is an example that could be used for a venue based pageant/parade:

  • Spectators will park in the roadways outside the venue.
  • Participants and staff can park in the existing venue carpark
  • There is an existing grandstand where 300 people can sit
  • There is some existing perimeter fencing in place
  • There are change rooms and toilet areas under the grandstand that can be used for participants and staff
  • There is an existing COVID Safe Plan for the venue – kiosk and bar
  • The venue has a liquor license in place.

Steps to take

  • Consult with the local council, sporting arena management and community groups. Their input and assistance will be vital.
  • Check the effectiveness of any existing perimeter fencing and designated entry points – otherwise fencing or other methods will need to be added to restrict unauthorised entry. These could include the following combination:
  • Barriers and bunting with signage – no public access, and
  • Additional staff at key locations where the public may tend to access the area to instruct them where to enter, and
  • Good public community education/information platforms.
  • Involve the local council in setting the parking restrictions. For instance, set up no parking 100 metres either side of the venue.
  • Have a separate area where participants and staff can set up for the parade and disband after the pageant/parade that is segregated from any spectator/public access. This could include using change rooms and office areas and internal car park areas – define these on your site plan.
  • Arrange for bunting/barriers and no public access signs to define participants and staff zones. Explain how you manage these on your COVID Management Plan.
  • Have a ticketing system to manage how many people can sit in the grandstand. For instance, only have enough tickets for the capacity.
  • Determine the square metres of general spectator viewing areas to calculate your total square metres. Do not include areas where toilet blocks, food vendors, stalls and people cannot view the parade/pageant etc. locations
  • Measure the (blue) public viewing areas and determine square metres i.e.  the area measures 800 linear metres viewing area extends 10 metres = 800x10 = 8,000 m2.
  • Deduct the food, stalls and toilet areas and areas spectators will not be able to view the pageant/parade i.e. 1,200 m2 = 6,800 m2 viewing.