SHOWGOERS will be offered free masks on entry at this year's Ekka, which officially starts on Saturday but is preceded by a number of events including stud cattle judging on Thursday and Friday.
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said the distribution of free masks would help to protect patrons from COVID.
"We want Ekka visitors to enjoy this year's show safely and experience all it has to offer - Australia's best livestock, produce, food, fashion and fireworks," Ms D'Ath said.
"The last thing we want when the Ekka returns is to see showgoers having to spend the next week in isolation with COVID-19 or influenza."
It is the first time Ekka has been held since 2019.
Ms D'Ath said with the pandemic now in its third wave, showgoers needed to take precautions to stay safe at the show, as they could not rely on vaccinations alone.
"We know that masks can play an important role protecting Ekka visitors," she said.
"We're encouraging all Ekka-goers this year to mask up, not only for themselves, but for everyone visiting Queensland's biggest show.
"If you are sick or have symptoms, stay home and don't go to the Ekka."
If you are sick or have symptoms, stay home and don't go to the Ekka.- Yvette D'Ath, Health Minister
RNA chief executive Brendan Christou said patrons would be particularly encouraged to mask up in the Ekka's indoor pavilions.
"More than 70 per cent of the Show is outdoors with more than 20 hectares of open space for Ekka visitors to walk around and enjoy," Mr Cristou said.
"We have been working closely with the chief health officer and Queensland Health to ensure Ekka patrons are as safe and protected as possible.
"We sincerely thank them for their ongoing support and assistance in helping bring the state's biggest event back for the people of Queensland to enjoy.''
COVID-safe practices include: washing hands regularly, keeping up-to-date with your vaccinations, maintaining a safe distance from others when possible, and wearing a mask when appropriate.
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