The NSW government is considering a proposal for a crowd of up to 15,000 at this year’s Everest.

The NSW government is considering a proposal for a crowd of up to 15,000 at this year’s Everest.Credit:Getty

NSW Jobs and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres presented the plan to crisis cabinet,which includes temperature checks upon entry and mandatory face masks.

The 15,000 crowd proposal would be three times larger than the planned cap for outdoor sporting events post lockdown under the NSW COVID-19 road map.

An ATC spokesman said the organisation had been working with the state government and pointed to modelling that suggested the 70 per cent vaccine target would be met before the event.

The spokesman added they will be implementing bubbles for racing industry participants as part of race day,as they have been doing throughout the pandemic.

“The ATC has been working with government for many months on COVID restrictions and has sent modelling across a range of scenarios,” the spokesman said.

“Several different models indicate rates will reach 70 per cent before the race.”

But NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said he wouldn’t feel comfortable green lighting a crowd for the races if the rest of the city was still in lockdown.


“We’re certainly not going to have a situation whereby you can go to the races on Saturday,but you can’t go to church on Sunday,and still can’t get a haircut on Monday,” Mr Perrottet told theHerald.

The 15,000 crowd would adhere to one person per two square metres outdoors,and one person per four square metres indoors,according to government sources familiar with the plan.

The NSW government is yet to decide on the proposal,but Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Thursday warned the event could face restrictions.

“The Everest will be running on that date if the state has opened under the 70 per cent road map. The capacity at the moment is 5000 people,” he said.

“Whilst people can seek exemptions,I’ve got to be honest,I don’t think that would be appropriate at the very early stage of the 70 per cent road map.


“Does it fall before or after The Everest? Well,we don’t know and those organisers of The Everest will have to take into account that they may be running The Everest under today’s conditions.”

The race last year went ahead with a crowd of about 11,000 after receiving an exemption,along with other major events including the musicalHamilton.

The Everest is set to be the state’s first major event since Sydney was thrust into lockdown in late June.

ATC chief executive Jamie Barkley last week said the body was planning for “multiple scenarios” regarding crowd numbers ahead of the Spring Racing Carnival.

Senior government sources indicated they would soon likely field more proposals from several sporting codes as Sydney rebounds from lockdown. The Matildas soccer team is set to play America on November 27 and 30 in Sydney.

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