Country shows are set to return in early 2021 with the NSW Nationals in Government announcing COVIDSafe guidelines that will allow locals and visitors to once again be in attendance.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said our local shows are a proud tradition and it is great they have been given the green light for next year.

“I am delighted our farming communities will once again have the opportunity to showcase their interests – from quilting and horse riding, to wood-chopping and scone making,” Ms Cooke said.

“We know a substantial amount of planning goes into a local show and it is great to be providing this update to organisers, so they can put COVIDSafe plans in place as part of their preparation for next year.”

Ms Cooke said local shows are amongst some of the most important events on our calendar and draw crowds from across the region, giving local businesses exposure and keeping money flowing through our small communities.

“The NSW Nationals in Government will be working closely with organisers and industry associations to ensure COVIDSafe measures are in place for each Show.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said shows can go ahead from January 2021 with up to 5,000 people able to attend at any given time.

“Country shows are the beating heart of regional communities and visiting a show is one of the highlights of living in the bush. Shows boost business and community spirit and it is important that people can enjoy these events safely and responsibly,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We’ve done the hard work and deserve to enjoy ourselves, however I must stress that it will be essential for both organisers, and attendees to follow guidelines as the last thing we want is outbreaks in regional towns.”

Organisers will have to complete a COVIDSafe Event Plan, and ensure social distancing at venues, controlled access at entry points to minimise crowding and a limit to the number of attendees depending on venue size with one person per 4 square metres.

Organisers are encouraged to use the Service NSW COVIDSafe QR codes to enable safe management of crowd numbers and contact tracing. 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 will be available online at www.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19