Albury Racing Club has made a last minute call to prevent patrons aged under 18 to attend its Cox Plate day meeting today in response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the city among younger people.
Albury is one of the few coronavirus hotspots in the state as vaccination rates kick-in.
Club chief executive Steve Hetherton said it was a decision made with an abundance of caution due to 150 cases linked to the present outbreak and health authorities urging those aged between 12 and 24 to get jabbed.
"It will be a fully vaccinated event," he said.
"We generally don't get a lot of 16 to 17 year-olds at the races anyway.
"It just makes it easier to make it 18 and over.
"Under the current circumstances we just want to make the day as safe as possible."
Under the NSW roadmap out of the pandemic, the club could have had a maximum crowd of 5000 oncourse.
But even with the crowd capped at 1800 it will still be the biggest crowd for an Albury race meeting since Gold Cup day in March.
Albury Racing Club’s Spring Carnival race day on Saturday 23rd October is now restricted to persons aged 18+.— Albury Racing Club (@AlburyRacing) October 22, 2021
The Club has not taken this decision lightly but believe it’s the correct decision in light of recent local Covid cases.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Mr Hetherton said racegoers would face strict entry protocols entering the track today.
They include a two step process involving an initial vaccination status and licence checks followed by a QR entry at the gate.
"There will be tickets on sale on the day, but you can't get to the gate until you show your vaccination status first," he said.
In another safeguard, dedicated zones for jockeys,other raceday participants and general crowd zones.
Temporary fencing will prevent public access to the stables and mounting yard areas.
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