The Horsham and District Racing Club has received a welcome boost on the eve of the Santa Day races, with Racing Victoria announcing the maximum number of spectators permitted to attend race meetings can increase from 500 to 1,000.
In order to ensure a COVID safe environment, spectators must still be allocated a specific seat and will be unable to move around the racecourse, unless there is a specific reason, such as purchasing food.
Punters must still carry a face mask but are only required to use it when they are unable to meet safe distancing requirements indoors and outdoors.
Racing Victoria will continue to segregate spectators and racing participants.
RV chief executive Giles Thompson said it would be up to clubs to decide how many punters they were willing to welcome.
"Following the absence of COVID-19 within Victoria for an extended period, we are delighted to welcome an increased number of spectators to our race meetings from this Friday," he said.
"As previously communicated, it is up to each Racing Club to decide whether they wish to submit an application for spectators to attend having considered their ability to satisfy the necessary COVIDSafe requirements and/or undertake appropriate pre-promotion.
"Details on how to register or attend a race meeting will be published on the individual Club websites so I encourage all racegoers interested in attending an upcoming meeting to get in contact with the Clubs directly.
"As part of Victoria's Public Events Framework, Clubs can make an application for more than 1,000 spectators, although we note that this is a more complex process that requires an extended period for the Government and health officials to review and make a determination.
"We note that some Clubs have submitted applications for more than 1,000 spectators for race meetings from 18 December onwards and, together with those Clubs, we are awaiting further advice from Government on the possibility of this occurring and when further steps can be taken."
Horsham's Santa Day Races is scheduled for December 23.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.