Essential staff only at race meetings in Tier 4 areas

29 Dec 2020 BHA Features

British horseracing has been in regular contact with government and public health officials – national and local – over the past few days.

In view of increased rates of transmission and the prevailing situation nationwide, industry leaders have agreed with government that the following restrictions will come into place from 1 January 2021 to limit attendance to essential staff only at meetings in Tier 4 areas.

No owners will be permitted to attend Tier 4 race-meetings.

In general only individuals essential to staging the fixture should attend meetings in Tier 4.

To further reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, it has also been agreed that no owners living in Tier 4 will be permitted to attend race-meetings in Tiers 1-3.

In Scotland, areas which are under Level 4 restrictions equate to Tier 4 and therefore these restrictions will also apply to any Scottish fixtures which fall in Level 4 regions.

All meetings are subject to local authority agreement and owners are asked to check with individual racecourses before attending.

Owners attending racing in Tiers 2 and 3 are reminded that they must comply with the BHA’s protocols as well as national guidance, and satisfy themselves that their travel to, and attendance at, race meetings is legitimately linked to their business involvement in British racing.

All those attending racing behind closed doors, including participants, are asked to note the government’s latest statements about the risks of virus transmission and ensure they continue to follow racing’s protocols.

The BHA’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Jerry Hill, said today

“Racing has worked hard to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus through the tough protocols people have followed when attending race meetings. With the NHS under pressure and a more virulent strain of COVID now circulating, we have agreed that these new restrictions are appropriate to the situation and will keep their use under review for Tiers Two and Three. No one should attend at all if they feel unwell and any participant showing symptoms should immediately self-isolate and arrange a Covid-19 test.”

The BHA’s Chief Operating Officer, Richard Wayman, said

“Our priority since June has been to keep racing going as this is vital to the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people who depend upon our industry. We have worked hard with government to secure permission for owners to keep attending, with numbers restricted during the national lockdown. Owners are the lifeblood of our sport and we understand the disappointment these additional restrictions will cause. However, the measures, which will be kept constantly under review, will help reduce risk on the racecourse and ensure that racing is able to continue safely through these most challenging times.”

The BHA and racecourses will continue to liaise with Government, Public Health England and local Safety Advisory Groups.