The Victorian state government have refused to rule out the possibility of spectators returning for the Spring Carnival in 2020.
The state government outlined its roadmap to a COVID normal by as early as November 23rd on Sunday.
Racing.com have reported that work is still being done on what the Spring Carnival could look like and an alteration to the roadmap for such events is possible.
Under the current plans, it clearly states that “major events will be the subject of additional work and further consideration’’, including racing.
But Racing.com are reporting crowds on course have not been ruled out under this special provision.
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said further announcements are expected in following weeks.
“The timing of the spring carnival means that any kind of significant crowds are unlikely in 2020.
“We will consider bespoke arrangements for major events – including the carnival – and to that end, government will work with the racing industry and the Chief Health Officer about what options might be feasible and safe over the next three months.”
There had been a growing hope that crowds of around 5000 would potentially make it on course by the time the spring’s majors came around.
Andrews said current modelling meant restrictions had to be extended and he would not compromise the state’s COVID-19 strategy just to have people on course during the spring carnival.
“The events will still go on. The question is whether there will be people on site watching it,” Andrews said.
“That will be to extent that it’s safe.
“Compromising the strategy for a day at the races for 5000 people or 25000 people is not worth it. It’s just not worth it.
“As much as I respect the contribution that sector makes, we have got to do it safe.
“Whilst we can give people a sense of crowds. We do want to have a specific look at a number of major events that are brand, jobs, it’s all of those things.
“It’s a little bit too early to have a definitive number and to be yes or no.
“The key point is to just work through that in a steady way, never compromising the strategy, never doing anything other than following the advice.
“I know people want certainty, particularly those who run those events. We are taking that off line if you like.”