THE state government has officially cleared the way for the return in 2022 of the iconic Bendigo Easter Fair.
Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said that thanks to people in Bendigo and central Victoria who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated at some of the highest rates in the state, the Bendigo Easter Fair can 'go ahead with certainty' in 2022.
"Now it's time to enjoy the rewards of this incredible effort and it's fantastic that this event, which brings thousands of visitors to Bendigo, can go ahead with certainty," Mr Andrews said.
In line with event rules which came into effect at 11.59pm on Thursday, the Department of Health has advised that should the event organisers expect more than 30,000 attendees per day, they will need to publish their COVIDSafe Plan for the event to proceed.
The government says organisers will not need to check the vaccination status of people watching the dragon parade.
"This is fantastic news, not just for the Easter Fair, but for the City of Greater Bendigo," he said.
"It's what we have been working for, and it will be wonderful both mentally and economically for the region.
"Now we can implement the plan we have had in place for three years."
The state government says venues with a vaccination mandate including restaurants, cafes and non-essential retail will still need to follow COVIDSafe measures including asking patrons to check in and confirm that they are fully vaccinated.
"This news is welcome certainty and well deserved after hitting such high vaccination rates," Ms Allan said.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said being able to plan with certainty means the community can have a fantastic event that brings locals together and thousands of visitors to Bendigo.
Mr Mulqueen said the 2022 Bendigo Easter Fair, postponed in both 2020 and 2021 due to the global pandemic, has the potential to be a blockbuster, given the fact people have missed the event during restrictions and lockdowns, and the 150th anniversary celebrations could now finally be staged.
The Bendigo Easter Fair is expected to lure as many as 70,000 people to the centre of the city for a massive community celebration, and provide a significant boost to accommodation, retail and hospitality venues that have been devastated throughout the pandemic.
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