British Racing’s COVID-19 Steering Group encouraged the racing industry to follow the government’s advice on the latest coronavirus outbreak, following the related guidelines released on Tuesday, March 3rd.
According to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), during the last two weeks British racing has been in regular contact with DCMS and DEFRA to keep them up-to-date of the development plans of the racing industry and the potential impact of COVID-19 on the sport and industry.
Nick Rust, chief executive of BHA, who chairs the Party, 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 a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee on Monday, the Prime Minister emphasised that it was’ business as usual’ and that the racing industry is still working on that basis.
The COVID 19 Team, meanwhile, prepares for all aspects of the government response and is in touch with the number of organisations representing different parts of the racing industry.
This comes after questions have been raised over whether the Cheltenham Festival next week would go ahead, but Cheltenham officials have given every sign they expect the festival to go ahead as planned. The BHA decided on Friday that it saw no need to “develop a policy regarding abandonment of any specific fixtures due to coronavirus at this time”.