New South Wales and Victoria have now enacted public gathering restrictions but there is no change to the status of the upcoming Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships or Formula Ford rounds.
Round 1 of the Motorsport Australia Championships, which includes TCR Australia and the VHT Australian S5000 Championship, is set to take place at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 27-29 while national Formula Ford competition begins for 2020 at a state meeting at Winton, in regional Victoria, on the same weekend.
The Public Health (COVID-19 Public Events) Order 2020 was enacted last night by NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard, under the state’s Public Health Act 2010, in line with the update delivered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier that afternoon that states/territories would legislate to ban certain public gatherings drawing over 500 people due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the order, which takes effect today and is currently to be repealed on June 14, “a person must not hold a public event at which there are, or are likely to be, 500 persons or more in attendance at any one time.”
A ‘public event’ includes that which “requires the purchase of a ticket or the payment of an entry fee” according to the order, and covers sporting events.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews this morning declared a four-week state of emergency which makes certain organised mass gatherings an offence.
“It is not optional in any way,” said Premier Andrews.
“There will be significant disruption, there will be significant difficulty caused by these orders and many events having to be cancelled.
“These powers have never been used before. That gives you, I hope, a really clear sense about the unprecedented nature of this public health emergency.
“If they are over 500 people and they are not essential and there are clear definitions about that, then they are not to go ahead.
“There are significant penalties for event organisers who fail to comply with that order.
“There are significant penalties across the board when it comes to these orders made under the public health and wellbeing about and under a state of emergency. I would just say, though, that we don’t anticipate having to be fining people.”
A Motorsport Australia spokesperson confirmed to Speedcafe.com that its position from yesterday afternoon is unchanged in light of the confirmations from those state governments.
“The current advice is that many events are still able to continue, in line with any restrictions in place,” said the spokesperson.
“However, Motorsport Australia is monitoring the situation closely.”