Current UK Government regulations require anyone returning from a country not covered by the travel corridor exemption to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Great Britain.
However, elite sportspersons and essential support staff (i.e. jockeys, trainers and stable staff) may be eligible for exemption from the 14-day self-isolation period, subject to applying for and receiving written evidence from a national governing body.
To help safeguard the domestic racing industry from risk associated with international travel, the BHA has published a protocol for its licensed and registered jockeys, trainers and members of stable staff returning from competition in non-exempt countries. The protocol can be read here.
The protocol gives eligible participants the option to apply for exemption status, which would require those returning from a non-exempt country to self-isolate for at least 7 days while undertaking a laboratory testing programme. This offers an alternative to the 14-day self-isolation period.
Participants seeking exemption status will need to complete the BHA online application form prior to travelling, which asks for information about travel plans, accommodation arrangements in the non-exempt country, and self-isolation details in GB.
They will also need to agree to complete two COVID-19 PCR Antigen Tests on return to GB – one as soon as possible following arrival; the second seven days after return – and remain in self-isolation until negative test results are received and verified by the BHA Medical Department.
All participants returning from a non-exempt country must remain in self-isolation, either as a group of individually, from the day of arrival in GB until they have completed either the COVID-19 testing programme or the 14-day UK Government isolation period.
Those in self-isolation must not undertake any regular yard work or return to the racecourse during this period. Full details on how to self-isolate can be found on the UK Government website.
A Frequently Asked Questions document has been developed to support participants planning to travel to non-exempt countries for competition, which includes a step-by-step guide to completing the exemption application process.