Theatregoers were told to leave a New Year’s Eve performance of Moulin Rouge! The Musical midway through the second half at Melbourne‘s Regent Theatre on Friday. 

While at first the audience was given no explanation as to the sudden evacuation, it later emerged a staff member had tested positive to Covid-19.

As reported by News.com.au, a spokesperson told The Age: ‘We made the decision to discontinue this afternoon’s performance of Moulin Rouge! The Musical after a positive Covid-19 test result within the wider company was made known to us.’

The show WON'T go on: Melbourne theatregoers were told to LEAVE a New Year's Eve performance of Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Friday, midway through the second half, after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19. Pictured: the cast on November 12 in Melbourne

The show WON'T go on: Melbourne theatregoers were told to LEAVE a New Year's Eve performance of Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Friday, midway through the second half, after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19. Pictured: the cast on November 12 in Melbourne

The show WON’T go on: Melbourne theatregoers were told to LEAVE a New Year’s Eve performance of Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Friday, midway through the second half, after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19. Pictured: the cast on November 12 in Melbourne

There will be an update shortly as to the status of future performances.

Journalist Benedict Brook Tweeted about the performance’s cancellation midway through the second half, and later told News.com.au that the audience was first told ‘there would be a break in the performance’ due to an ‘unforeseen incident’.

A staff member then reportedly told theatregoers five minutes later that ‘the show will not be going on’. 

Positive case: While at first the audience was given no explanation as to the sudden evacuation, it later emerged a staff member had tested positive to Covid-19. Pictured: dancers at the Moulin Rouge on July 3, 2018 in Paris

Positive case: While at first the audience was given no explanation as to the sudden evacuation, it later emerged a staff member had tested positive to Covid-19. Pictured: dancers at the Moulin Rouge on July 3, 2018 in Paris

Positive case: While at first the audience was given no explanation as to the sudden evacuation, it later emerged a staff member had tested positive to Covid-19. Pictured: dancers at the Moulin Rouge on July 3, 2018 in Paris 

Victoria reported 5,919 new infections and seven deaths on Friday, while New South Wales recorded 21,151 new cases and six deaths – a new pandemic record with figures almost double the 12,226 cases reported on Thursday. 

In Victoria, 428 patients are being treated in hospital – up from 395 – while 54 are in ICU – down from 55. Most of those in intensive care are unvaccinated. 

Meanwhile, huge queues have continued to form outside testing clinics across Australia despite a raft of changes made to testing requirements, isolation rules and definitions of a close contact announced by Scott Morrison on Thursday. 

NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT will on Friday adopt a new definition of a close contact agreed to at Thursday’s national cabinet meeting.

Unforeseen incident: Journalist Benedict Brook Tweeted about the performance's cancellation midway through the second half, and later told News.com.au that the audience was first told 'there would be a break in the performance' due to an 'unforeseen incident'

Unforeseen incident: Journalist Benedict Brook Tweeted about the performance's cancellation midway through the second half, and later told News.com.au that the audience was first told 'there would be a break in the performance' due to an 'unforeseen incident'

Unforeseen incident: Journalist Benedict Brook Tweeted about the performance’s cancellation midway through the second half, and later told News.com.au that the audience was first told ‘there would be a break in the performance’ due to an ‘unforeseen incident’ 

Latest figures: Victoria reported 5,919 new infections and seven deaths on Friday. Pictured: Melburnians on their way to celebrate New Year's Eve on Friday

Latest figures: Victoria reported 5,919 new infections and seven deaths on Friday. Pictured: Melburnians on their way to celebrate New Year's Eve on Friday

Latest figures: Victoria reported 5,919 new infections and seven deaths on Friday. Pictured: Melburnians on their way to celebrate New Year’s Eve on Friday 

In those jurisdictions, a close contact will only cover household or intimate contacts who spent more than four hours with a positive case.

They will only need a rapid antigen test and will be able to leave isolation after seven days if they return a negative RAT on day six.

Positive cases regardless of vaccination status will be able to leave isolation after seven days from their positive test but will need to return a negative RAT on day six. 

South Australia will continue with a 10-day quarantine period for cases and close contacts.

New pandemic record: New South Wales recorded 21,151 new cases and six deaths - a new pandemic record with figures almost double the 12,226 cases reported on Thursday

New pandemic record: New South Wales recorded 21,151 new cases and six deaths - a new pandemic record with figures almost double the 12,226 cases reported on Thursday

New pandemic record: New South Wales recorded 21,151 new cases and six deaths – a new pandemic record with figures almost double the 12,226 cases reported on Thursday 

Symptomatic close contacts will still need to take a PCR test and a positive RAT will need to be confirmed by a PCR test.

Tasmania will join the new arrangements from January 1, with the Northern Territory and Western Australia to make announcements in the coming days. 

Mr Morrison encouraged Australians to get their booster shots when they become eligible, saying high vaccination rates gave the government confidence in adopting the new measures.

Around 4.1 million Australians will be eligible for their booster shot by the end of Friday, and this will jump to 7.6 million when the interval between a second and third dose is shortened to four months on January 4. 

AUSTRALIA’S NEW COVID RULES

Who should get a PCR test? Anyone who has symptoms or who has got a positive rapid antigen test

New definition of close contact: Someone who has spent at least four hours in a household or a care facility with a positive case. Workplaces do not count.

New isolation period: Positive people and close contacts must isolate for seven days or 10 in SA. This is regardless of whether the close contacts test negative or not

Timing: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT will implement the changes at midnight.

Tasmania will follow on January 1 while the Northern Territory and Western Australia will not adopt the scheme until they get more Covid cases in the weeks ahead.

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