Mandatory COVID-19 testing for Weighing Room entry is to end earlier than scheduled, following the confirmation of changes to self-isolation rules in England.
Those working in the Weighing Room from today, Thursday 24 February, will no longer be required to present evidence of a negative lateral flow test prior to entry.
The adjustment to racing’s timetable for easing restrictions reflects the reduced business continuity risk to the industry from changes to self-isolation requirements and the downward trend COVID-19 infection data.
Regular self-testing will still be encouraged. Anyone testing positive for the virus will be advised to stay at home, in line with government guidance, until they can demonstrate evidence of negative tests.
Access to the Weighing Room will continue to be restricted to essential personnel, while existing infection control measures within the complex will remain in place for the time being to help minimise the risk of transmission.
While self-isolation rules have changed in England, people living, traveling or working in Scotland and Wales should continue to follow the legal requirement to self-isolate and wear face coverings indoors, as mandated by the Scottish and Welsh Governments.
Commenting on the changes to racing’s plans, BHA Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Jerry Hill, said:
“Throughout the pandemic, we have endeavoured to make evidence-based decisions that protect our people and safeguard the industry against COVID-19-related disruption.
“In recent months, testing for Weighing Room personnel has been a crucial part of this strategy and I’d again like to thank everyone for their continued patience and cooperation.
“Changes to self-isolation rules, together with promising signs in infection data, enable us to bring forward the end to mandatory testing – although testing on a voluntary basis is still recommended.
“As emphasised previously, COVID-19 still exists, so please continue to do what you can to reduce your own risk and prioritise the health and livelihood of others.”