British Racing’s COVID-19 Industry Group has issued the following update in response to the UK Government’s confirmation that England will move to Plan B of its COVID-19 Autumn and Winter Plan.
The implementation of Plan B will mean the introduction of mandatory Covid Certification to gain entry to racecourses in England where the overall attendance exceeds 4,000, bringing English racecourses in line with those in Scotland and Wales.
From Wednesday 15 December, all racecourse attendees at fixtures in England that exceed the 4,000 threshold will be asked to provide on arrival at the venue either proof of full vaccination or a recent negative test. This will apply to all racecourse attendees, including participants, owners, officials, and spectators.
COVID status certification clearly has significant operational implications for racecourses and participants, but it is an eventuality for which the industry has been preparing.
We are expecting the publication of further government guidance for sports venues early next week, after which we will be able to confirm the specific arrangements that will be in place from 15 December.
In the meantime, we recommend that all regular racecourse attendees prepare for the introduction of COVID status certification by doing the following:
• If you are fully vaccinated, download your NHS COVID Pass through the NHS App, from NHS.UK, or by obtaining a letter from NHS.UK or by calling 119.
• For anyone not vaccinated, please ensure you have access to lateral flow testing kits, as proof of a negative test will be required for racecourse entry. More information about how to order rapid lateral flow tests in available on the NHS website.
One of the above will always be required for fixtures where the attendance is expected to exceed 4,000, but as attendance numbers may not always be clear in advance, we advise that participants are ready for the use of COVID status certification at any fixture from 15 December.
Our priority remains protecting the health of all racecourse attendees and safeguarding the industry from the risk of COVID-related disruption, which we have seen cause recent fixture cancellations in other sports.
We continue to support and encourage vaccination as the strongest possible defence against COVID-19 – reducing the risk of transmission and serious illness.
All racecourse attendees can bolster their protection further through physical mitigations, such as face coverings, social distancing, and regular handwashing.