British Racing’s COVID-19 Steering Group has urged the racing industry to heed the Government’s advice regarding the recent coronavirus outbreak, following the appropriate guidance published on Tuesday 3rd March.
According to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), British racing has been in regular contact with DCMS and DEFRA over the past two weeks to keep them informed of the racing’s industry’s developing plans and the potential impact of COVID-19 on the sport and the industry.
BHA Chief Executive Nick Rust, who chairs the Group, said: “The government’s action plan is a good guide to how the government’s response may develop over the coming weeks and months. That’s why I’d encourage all businesses and employers working in racing to read it and consider the potential impacts on them and their staff.
“We want to do our very best to look after racing’s customers and the people who work in our industry so that we can minimise the risks to human health and the potential disruption to racing and to normal life.
“We continue to encourage our customers and all those working in racing to follow the guidance from Public Health England as this is the best way to contain the spread of COVID 19. The employers in our industry do a great job in providing for their staff and we know that many have taken steps already in line with government guidance.
“The industry’s COVID 19 group is sharing this guidance with the organisations who represent the different parts of racing and identifying particular issues that may apply to them, whether that is for racecourses or those who breed, train and look after our horses.
“We want all those involved in British racing to be as well-prepared as possible.”
Following an emergency COBRA committee meeting on Monday, the Prime Minister emphasised that it was ‘business as usual’ and the racing industry continues to operate on this basis.
Meanwhile, the COVID 19 Group is planning for all phases of the government response and is in contact with the range of bodies representing different parts of the racing industry.
It comes after doubts were cast over whether next week’s Cheltenham Festival would go ahead, however, Cheltenham officials have given every indication that they expect the festival to go ahead as planned. The BHA on Friday agreed that it saw no reason to “develop a policy regarding abandonment of any specific fixtures due to coronavirus at this time”.