PORT Macquarie's biggest social event of the calendar could become the latest victim of the COVID-19 crisis.
While the 2020 Port Macquarie Cup looks certain to go ahead, a decision on whether fans will be allowed into Port Macquarie Race Club on race day is still to be determined.
President Michael Bowman indicated a decision on whether punters will be allowed is likely to be made by the end of August.
"A lot of planning has to go into it, but we don't want to jump the gun and make our planning based on something that might be changed in a week's time," he said.
Even if spectators are allowed in, fewer tickets are likely to be allocated meaning race day will have a distinctly different look to previous years.
A lot of planning has to go into it, but we don't want to jump the gun and make our planning based on something that might be changed in a week's time.Port Macquarie Race Club president Michael Bowman
Current health regulations prevent people standing around and mingling with all attendees at any establishment required to be seated.
"Fans will have to be seated, so we've got to work that out, but we're still two and a half months away from the event," Bowman said.
"We don't want to get too wrapped up in the way protocols are at the moment but obviously (fewer tickets) has got to come into consideration."
Every possibility is on the table after race meetings at Grafton and Coffs Harbour have been member and owner-only events.
Bowman was hopeful Port Macquarie wouldn't have to go down a similar path.
"There are different ways of doing it and I would say it will be a ticketed event, but how we manage that we will have to see how many are allowed in first," he said.
The meeting will go ahead regardless, so it will still be the same quality of horse and jockey, but the number of people and how we manage that will be different.Michael Bowman
"The meeting will go ahead regardless, so it will still be the same quality of horse and jockey, but the number of people attending and how we manage that will be different."
Victoria's surging case numbers have resulted in the tightening of restrictions elsewhere around the country.
"I know at Warwick Farm - because it's a hotspot - they're not admitting owners, members or the general public at that meeting," Bowman said.
"Hopefully things will improve, but while ever Victoria is getting worse and worse, we'll have to tighten things up here."
The 2020 Port Macquarie Cup is scheduled to run on October 9.
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