The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today confirmed an addition to its Elite Traveller Exemption (ETE) protocols for elite sportspeople and essential support staff who are frequent travellers for competition in a country not covered by the travel corridor exemption.
Under the new protocol, which is effective immediately, jockeys, trainers and stable staff who make frequent trips abroad for competition at Covid-19 secure venues in non-exempt countries may choose to register for a “Frequent Private Traveller” option. Whilst actively under this program, which requires regular weekly testing and daily post-travel monitoring with the BHA Chief Medical Adviser Dr Jerry Hill, individuals who travel to compete at international venues on day-trips and via private transport will be exempt from self-isolation on their return. The protocol was developed by Dr Hill in consultation with the PJA and senior riders.
For the first seven days after return to the UK, individuals are only exempt from self-isolation for the purposes of training or competing. Otherwise, they must self-isolate as usual.
In order to be applicable for the new, additional scheme, individuals must register with Dr Hill at least four days before their first trip abroad. Journeys to and from the international venue must be undertaken in private cars or planes and return journeys must be completed on the same day with no overnight stays. Private cars must have a maximum of two occupants and private flights must only be shared if 2m social distancing can be maintained. Full details regarding travel requirements are listed in the Notes to Editors.
Monitoring of individuals who travel under this scheme will last for a minimum of 21 days and will include:
- Weekly Covid-19 test organised through BHA Medical Department funded by the applicant with the first test result returned prior to initial trip abroad. A minimum of three tests will be required under this scheme with two taking place after any trip.
- Daily reporting of symptoms and temperature to the BHA CMA in the seven days after return from travel. Reporting will require the download of the BHA Smartabase Athlete Ap to allow reporting automatically via a smartphone.
The above protocols are in addition to the existing racecourse requirements for behind closed doors racing in Britain.
Any positive tests will require immediate self-isolation for 10 days pending further investigation
In the first seven days after return to Great Britain, individuals must either be at home, travelling alone to training or competition, training while socially distanced (including fitness work or riding out) or competing only. At a racecourse such individuals must wear face coverings at all times whilst inside unless eating, drinking, showering or changing.
Any deliberate or accidental breaches of this protocol will be investigated and may result in immediate suspension pending further action. Breaches will have the effect of voiding the Elite Athlete Exemption and therefore travellers will then be required to complete 14 days self-isolation in keeping with UK Government policy. Border Force and Public Health England will also be notified.
This protocol is an additional option, on top of the existing policy which remains in place and which allows athletes to apply for a General Elite Athlete exemption. This protocol requires travellers to self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days on arrival in GB while undergoing a laboratory testing programme.
Notes to Editors
- Full guidance of the options available to GB Registered Participants on return from a non-exempt country can be found here.
- Full details of the requirements under the Frequent Traveller Exemption are as follows:
- Minimum duration 21 days (no maximum)
- Register with Dr Jerry Hill, BHA Chief Medical Advisor, at least 4 days before first trip abroad
- Journeys must be undertaken in private planes or cars. Commercial flights and other transport e.g. coaches/horse-boxes are excluded.
- Return journeys must be completed on the same day
- During the journey social distancing must be maintained – any sharing of private flights with other jockeys must only be done if 2m social distancing can be adhered to
- Masks should be worn for the entire journey except for eating, drinking and border controls. Masks should be at least Type IIr Surgical masks or FFP2 or higher
- Hand sanitizer should be used as a minimum before and after entering and exiting the vehicle
- Private cars should have a maximum of two occupants.
- All journeys should be direct and not include overnight stays. Fuel stops for cars outside the UK should be avoided
- Weekly PCR Covid-19 Test organised through BHA Medical Department funded by the applicant with the first test result returned prior to initial trip abroad. Minimum three tests will be required under this scheme with two taking place after any trip.
- Positive tests will require immediate self-isolation for 10 days pending further investigation
- Daily reporting of symptoms and temperature in the seven days after return from abroad to the CMA. [NB this is in addition to any racecourse requirements] Reporting will likely require the download of the BHA Smartabase Athlete Ap to allow reporting automatically via a smartphone.
In the seven days after return to GB travellers must:
- Either be at home or
- Travelling alone (no car sharing) to training or competition or
- Training whilst socially distanced – fitness work or riding out or
- At a racecourse they must wear face coverings whilst inside unless eating, drinking, showering or changing.