The majority of people who attend Canberra arts organisation events say they would feel encouraged attending future events if face masks were mandatory, a new survey has found.
The study also showed Canberrans are growing more comfortable taking public transport and flying domestically with the ongoing suppression of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.
The September ACT audience outlook monitor, prepared by arts consultancy Patternmakers with support from ACT government agency artsACT, found 72 per cent of Canberra audiences would be encouraged by a mandatory mask requirement.
In May, only 39 per cent of respondents said they would feel encouraged to attend an arts or cultural event in the ACT by a mask requirement, suggesting the COVID-19 pandemic has seen attitudes to face masks shift quickly in recent months as people adapt to new protocols in public spaces.
The survey, which polled more than 12,000 people nationally, also found 72 per cent of Canberra audiences agreed temperature checking on entry to venues would make them more comfortable to attend.
More than half of Canberra audiences reported participating in online cultural events more often since the pandemic began than before, while only 39 per cent of respondents said they had paid for an online cultural experience.
The survey, which tracked audience attitudes in May, July and September, showed 40 per cent of Canberra audiences had attended an in person event in September, compared to only 27 per cent in July and 1 per cent in May. Respondents said they appreciated using number caps to ensure social distancing could be enforced in cultural and entertainment venues.
"Clearly important to have the appropriate spacing and temperature checks in place, but it was only a minimal inconvenience. The organisers understood these are supposed to be enjoyable experiences and smoothly integrated COVID protocols to the point where it was only minimally noticeable," one respondent said.