British Horse Racing declares crowds can return to track
Spectators will return to British horse racing tracks from May 17, following confirmation from the UK Government that they were on track to continue coming out of a Covid-19 lockdown.
UK horse racing has largely gone on unimpeded throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, although it has been behind “closed doors” with no spectators.
The lessening of restrictions will also allow owners, trainers and jockeys to fraternise more freely, with this part of the race-day experience heavily restricted because of social distancing and Covid protocols.
“It is extremely exciting that we are finally able to welcome racegoers back to our racecourses,” CEO of the British Horse Racing Authority Richard Wayman said.
“It will allow racing’s many fans to come back to the sport they love after more than a year away.
“We know there is a huge public demand for families and friends to meet up, outdoors, enjoy great food and drink and the unique social occasion of a race meeting.”
BHA chief medical advisor Dr Jerry Hill said patrons were safe to return to the horse racing track in a covid-safe environment.
“Low COVID-19 prevalence, rising vaccination levels and the wider availability of NHS testing have put British racing in a position to ease some of the infection control measures that our sport has followed so diligently since June last year.
“Like other sports, we are taking a measured approach, with incremental changes to balance protecting key raceday personnel with the return of a more traditional racecourse experience, particularly for owners and trainers.
“For now, all those going to a meeting, as participants, owners, or racing fans, will still be asked to observe social distancing and other COVID restrictions as in other areas of life.
“If we can all maintain those responsible behaviours for the next few weeks, it will help speed the return of 100% attendances and the further relaxation and in due course removal of physical COVID-19 infection control measures.”
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