Since the pandemic began, many of Australia’s favourite events have been cancelled to meet social distancing and lockdown requirements.
With no end to the virus in sight, some public holidays which revolve around key sporting events and state-specific celebrations may be impacted.
Here is a list of upcoming public holidays in each state and territory and whether you can expect to get all your usual long weekends for the remainder of 2020.
August 3 – Picnic Day (NT)
Picnic Day is a regional public holiday celebrated in Northern Territory of Australia and is celebrated on the first Monday in August.
The day often involves several local and regional community events including the Harts Range annual races.
Although many of these events are yet to be confirmed, the community is entitled to the day off will still be able to receive their public holiday regardless of COVID-19.
August 12 – Royal Queensland Show (Queensland)
Brisbane has already cancelled its annual show due to coronavirus, however the public holiday will be unaffected.
« Due to the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, increasing social distancing measures and public gathering restrictions being implemented, the RNA has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) in the best interests of public health, » the Royal National Association told Nine.com.au in a statement.
« Ensuring the health and safety of the Ekka community and the general public is paramount.
« This is the biggest worldwide health crisis in generations, these are very challenging and unprecedented times, and nothing is more important than ensuring the best outcome for public health is achieved. »
It is just the third time in the Ekka’s 143-year history that the show has been cancelled.
Despite the show being cancelled, Queenslanders will still be able to enjoy a day off.
For Brisbane, the public holiday has been moved from Wednesday, August 12, to Friday, August 14, to allow for a long weekend.
Communities around Queensland are able to apply to have the public holiday moved this year depending on whether their own shows can go ahead.
Sep 28 – Queen’s Birthday (WA), Reconciliation Day (ACT)
The Queen’s Birthday and Reconciliation Day are both enshrined in WA and ACT legislation and are considered standard public holidays.
Neither of the two holidays will be impacted by the virus.
October 2 – Grand Final Day (Victoria)
Victorians enjoy a day off on the Friday before the AFL Grand Final but due to coronavirus, the date of this season’s decider is yet to be confirmed.
October 5 – Labour Day (ACT, NSW, SA), Queen’s Birthday (Queensland)
Labour Day is a standard public holiday for NSW, the ACT and SA and occurs on the first Monday in October.
Queenslanders will also get a long weekend at the beginning of October.
Neither of these holidays will be impacted by coronavirus.
October 22 – Royal Hobart Show (Tasmania)
The Royal Hobart Show, which usually takes place in late October, has already been cancelled.
« We’ve already made the decision to cancel because of the lead-in time needed to organise and the uncertainty around the situation, » CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania, Scott Gadd, told Nine.com.au.
« Our public holiday is enshrined in legislation so if there was any attempt to chance the public holiday they would have to change the legislation, and that is highly unlikely. »
Mr Gadd said the day will be an opportunity for Tasmanians to enjoy themselves regardless of the virus.
« If the restrictions allow we will still do something for Show Day, it won’t be a full-blown show, but we will aim to do something, » he said.
« If we don’t run a show, people will just have a day off to do something else. »
November 2 – Recreation Day (Tasmania)
People in the northern part of Tasmania will still be entitled to their Recreation Day holiday regardless of coronavirus restrictions.
November 3 – Melbourne Cup (Victoria)
The Melbourne Cup will be hosted on November 3, meaning Victorians will enjoy the day off.
But whether Flemington Racecourse will be able to host the same number of spectators as usual is yet to be decided.
« We are planning for the Lexus Melbourne Cup to proceed on the first Tuesday in November, as it has for almost 160 years, » a Victoria Racing Club (VRC) spokesperson told Nine.com.au.
« We hope that this year the Lexus Melbourne Cup, rather than being the race that stops the nation, will be the race that starts the nation.
« We are planning for a number of different scenarios for the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival so that we can emerge from this crisis and stage one of the nation’s greatest events that bolsters not only Victoria’s tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, but the spirits of a nation.
« We expect to have greater clarity around social distancing restrictions in the coming weeks, which will give us more certainty around which of the scenarios we are planning for the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival is likely to come to fruition. »