New COVID-19 measures coming into effect from tomorrow – Wednesday 15 December

14 Dec 2021 BHA Features Financial/Political

• COVID status certification for all people at fixtures with 4,000-plus attendees
• Certification required for entry to Weighing Room Complex at all fixtures
• Face coverings re-introduced in outdoor close-contact operational areas

British racing is prepared for the introduction of COVID status certification at racecourses in England from Wednesday 15 December, following the publication of updated UK Government guidance for sports venues. 

 Racing is also taking additional steps, as set out below, to help protect our people and our sport from the risk of COVID-related disruption.  

 Certification for ALL racecourse attendees 

 As already confirmedall attendees at fixtures in England where attendance is likely to exceed 4,000 will be asked on arrival for evidence of COVID status certification.  

 For the avoidance of doubt, this will apply to every individual aged 18 or over who intends to enter the racecourse at these meetings. 

 To enter the racecourse, every individual must: 

  • Be fully vaccinated (at least two doses) 
  • Or have completed a negative lateral flow or PCR test before attending, ideally within the previous 12 hours or at most within the previous 48 hours 
  • Or be exempt based on approved medical exemption or clinical trial participation 

 One of the above will always be required at these fixtures. Attendees are therefore advised to prepare for the use of COVID status certification at all fixtures, as specific attendance numbers cannot always be known in advance. 

 Any person who does not have valid Covid status certification will be refused entry. 

 Certification for entry to the Weighing Room complex 

 To continue to protect racing’s business-critical attendees, everyone entering the Weighing Room complex will be required to present evidence of COVID status certification at all fixtures, including those where attendance is unlikely to exceed 4,000. This will apply across all British racecourses.  

 The Weighing Room is already subject to tighter infection control measures, with mandatory face coverings and social distancing requirements. COVID status certification adds another layer of protection – further reducing the risk of COVID-related disruption. 

 Weighing Room personnel will be required to present evidence of vaccination, a recent negative COVID test, or proof of exemption at every fixture, regardless of attendee numbers. Entry will be refused if valid COVID status certification is not provided on arrival. 

 COVID Status certification – what you need to do 

 All attendees are advised to prepare to provide evidence of COVID status certification to enter the racecourse. 

  • The easiest way to share COVID-19 vaccination records or test results is through the NHS COVID Pass, which is available to download or can be requested as a letter, either online or by calling 119. International attendees if vaccinated in another country can show alternative proof of vaccination. 
  • If you cannot provide evidence of vaccination status, a negative lateral flow or PCR test will enable you to enter the racecourse. Rapid lateral flow tests can be ordered through the NHS website or collected from a pharmacy. Proof of a negative lateral flow or PCR test can be shown using the NHS COVID Pass, or with a valid email or text from NHS Test and Trace. A photograph of a negative test will not be accepted, nor will the actual test.  

More information about the NHS COVID Pass and how to provide proof of COVID status in England, Scotland and Wales is available here. 

 Face coverings again mandatory at all times in outdoor operational areas 

 Face coverings will be reintroduced in outdoor racing operational areas on British racecourses, including the parade and pre-parade rings, saddling and unsaddling areas, horse walks, racecourse stables, at the start and (for jockeys) it is advised they are worn during the race. 

 Every individual working in or entering these areas, including Weighing Room personnel, officials, trainers, owners, and guests, will again be required to wear a covering. 

 This precaution will help further protect business-critical personnel in those areas where close contact and mixing between Weighing Room staff and other attendees creates additional risk of transmitting the virus. 

 In line with government guidance, face coverings will also be required in most indoor settings on course, unless food or drink is being consumed. 

 Commenting on the tightening of restrictions, the BHA’s Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Jerry Hill, said:  

 “Racing must continue to do all we can to protect the health and livelihoods of our people and maintain business continuity. These measures are considered essential to support this objective at a time where cases of the Omicron variant of the virus are increasing exponentially and other sports are facing COVID-related fixture cancellations.  

 “It’s vital therefore that we remain vigilant and take every possible precaution to safeguard our business-critical workforce, without whom the industry may struggle to staff all fixtures. This means getting vaccinated, testing regularly, and following the infection control measures on course, especially in higher-risk indoor and outdoor close contact areas.” 

 Updated BHA Guidance and Operating Procedures 

 The requirements that will come into effect from Wednesday 15 December are being incorporated into the BHA Guidance and Operating Procedures 

 The latest version of this document will always be available on the BHA website and will be updated periodically in accordance with changes to government guidance. 

 Useful information: