Deputy Premier John Barilaro said work is underway to ensure COVID safe measures are in place to allow up to 5000 people at any given time to attend shows in the new calendar year, starting with Bowral, which is scheduled to kick off on Saturday 9 January 2021.
“This is really exciting news for regional communities because country shows play a vital role in promoting agriculture and injecting money into local economies,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Country shows are a highlight of the regional events calendar, boost business and are an opportunity for farmers to showcase their produce and livestock.
“The NSW Government is dedicated to making country shows the hallmark of the regional events calendar while providing stimulus for regional towns, having committed over $35 million for community showground upgrades, supporting over 1300 jobs.
“Regional communities have done the hard work and deserve to enjoy themselves, but it is crucial that both organisers and attendees follow COVID Safe guidelines to guard against an outbreak in country towns.
“I encourage everyone from the city to get out there and immerse yourself in a country show and get a valuable insight into life in the bush.”
Safety measures will include social distancing at venues, controlled access at entry points throughout the show to minimise crowding, a limit to the number of attendees depending on venue size and the one person per 4 square metre rule.
Organisers are encouraged to use the Service NSW COVID Safe QR codes to enable safe management of crowd numbers and enable contact tracing.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said getting country shows back up and running will be a massive boost to morale in the bush.
“Shows bring together all the best things about regional communities – and after a tough year dealing with the impacts of bushfires, drought and COVID-19, bringing communities together has never been more important,” Mr Toole said.
“We’re keen to see visitors share in the fun and I know country shows look forward to receiving attendees with open arms, but it’s essential we all do our bit to remain COVID-safe.
“Locals and tourists planning to attend a country show will be reminded to self-monitor for symptoms and if feeling even slightly unwell or awaiting a test result, should postpone or cancel their plans.”
The NSW Government is working with the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW to explore options for the 2021 Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Guidelines and checklists for country shows are available online.