‘A great way to open up’ festivals and sports events back vaccine passports

A number of major events across South Australia and Victoria are considering only allowing fully vaccinated people to attend.

The Adelaide Festival and Fringe are considering whether to introduce a vaccination style passport scheme for their programs next year.

Fringe director Heather Croall said she supported the idea of vaccine passports as a way to open up events.

“If SA Health was to make vaccination passport on entry a requirement … we would be supportive of that, seeing how successful it has been overseas,” she told The Advertiser.

“Countries that have been in lockdown for many months are now enjoying enormous festivals and concerts, and living life – it seems it is a great way to open up.”

Croall said the passport program would be conditional on achieving the national target of 80 per cent vaccinated.

“It looks like that could happen before December in South Australia,” she said.

Moonee Valley Racing Club is also pushing to make the Cox Plate the first major sporting event in Melbourne to open to large crowds on condition they are double jabbed.

The pilot program is being pulled together for the October 23 race and could set a template for other major events including the Australian Open and now twice cancelled Melbourne Grand Prix.

“I think realistically, if we were able to move forward under that model, it would be 3000 to 5000 people spread across the course in various zones,’’ Moonee Valley Racing Club chief executive Michael Browell told the Sunday Herald Sun.

“We’re taking a wait-and-see approach and we’ll see what happens September 23 and then whether or not the government wants to embrace this double vax pilot scheme for these events.

“And if they do, we would be able to mobilise pretty quickly to put that into place.”

Sports and Racing Minister Martin Pakula said the government would continue to Moonee Valley and other clubs about what may be possible.

“Ultimately clubs will submit Covid safe plans and they will be assessed by the public health team based on the epidemiological conditions at the time,” he said.