Following further discussions with relevant authorities, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has determined that the fixture at Leicester racecourse scheduled for Tuesday 7 July will proceed as planned, behind closed doors and with strict safety measures in place.
It remains the case that the local lockdown has effectively reinstated restrictions as they were on 14 June. Racing was permitted at this time in accordance with UK government guidelines, and therefore racing fixtures are permitted to go ahead in the region.
The sport’s detailed safety measures, which include health screening of all attendees and strict social distancing protocols, will be in place at the fixture. The focus of these measures is to safeguard officials, participants and local communities.
Alongside discussions with local authorities, the BHA has also engaged with representative bodies regarding the issues arising from local lockdowns. A protocol has been agreed which facilitates cross-industry engagement following announcement of a local lockdown.
As a result of the decision to proceed with an earlier protocol, regrettably owners will not be able to attend the Leicester fixture on 7 July. Admission of owners to racing fixtures was not permitted on 14 June. Attendance at other fixtures remains unaffected.
The BHA has also contacted Racetech, who have liaised with their employees and confirmed that a team of stalls handlers will be provided for the fixture in order to ensure races can be started from starting stalls.
This decision will remain under review should circumstances change significantly in the local area.
A spokesman said:
“We are grateful for the input of representative bodies in developing our protocols for responding to local lockdowns. Everyone in the sport remains in agreement that safety is the number one priority while racing’s behind closed doors resumption continues.
“The sport’s strict health screening and social distancing protocols continue to ensure that racecourses are amongst the most controlled of workplaces, and that local communities are not affected by behind closed doors fixtures.”