Irish racecourses will be permitted to increase their outdoor capacity by “up to 50%” for upcoming meets from 6 September, as part of the government’s latest COVID-19 response roadmap.
Under the new guidelines, racecourses across Ireland will also be permitted to operate at 60% indoor capacity “for hospitality purposes” – however racegoers must be consuming food and beverages in addition to providing evidence of their Digital COVID Vaccine Cert (DCC).
“It has been a very difficult 18 months for everybody in society, and racing can be proud of the way it has come through it,” commented Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland.
“However, without racegoers, racing has been missing one of its essential ingredients. Like many industries, there is still much work to do, but there is now real progress and forward steps to normality.”
The next step in the Irish government’s response roadmap will see both indoor and outdoor capacity increase to 100% on 22 October.
Kavanagh continued: “Welcoming back racegoers in measured but increasing numbers, is one of those steps and from Monday, Irish racecourses will be free to use 50% of their capacity to allow racegoers back on the track in real numbers.”
“And as we know, this good news comes just in time for some of our most important race meetings: the Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh on September 11 and September 12, and Listowel’s Harvest Festival which begins on Sunday September 19.
“I would like to thank all our customers for their patience and look forward to race meetings becoming just that again – a place where racegoers can meet each other in a safe environment and enjoy our great sport.”