Message from ROA
Following the publication on Monday 22 February 2021 of the UK Government’s plan to ease lockdown restrictions in England the industry Covid-19 group has carefully studied the implications for racing in England. Similar analysis will be undertaken on plans for Scotland and Wales as they are published by the respective Governments.
The Plan is a four-step process, whereby certain limits of social interaction are removed no earlier than a given date, the first of which is Monday 8 March. Each step will be assessed by government against a number of tests designed to monitor the spread of Covid-19 before restrictions are eased. Any changes to racing protocols will move in parallel with the steps set out in the roadmap and are therefore dependent on the government’s timetable.
Return of owners to racecourses
The return of owners will represent a significant development in the return to normality and will be achieved in stages, beginning with Step One B’s date of Monday 29 March. British Racing remains extremely grateful for the ongoing support of owners while they have not been able to attend race meetings during the national lockdown.
Monday 29 March is the earliest date at which their return can be facilitated in line with the current government guidance. While Step One A begins on Monday 8 March, allowing people to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their own household, support or childcare bubble or one person from another household, the ‘Stay At Home’ restriction does remain in place.
From Monday 29 March, the government intends for up to six people/two households to be permitted to meet outdoors. We intend for owners to be able to return to race meetings in line with these regulations. At this stage, racecourses will not be able to provide hospitality and strict attendance rules will remain in place, including, including a health screening process.
Further enhancements to the owner experience will be permitted from Step Two, which comes into force from Monday 12 April at the earliest. In line with the resumption of outdoor hospitality on that date, our goal is for racecourses to be able to re-introduce outdoor hospitality for owners, in line with Government guidance. This step will allow owners to further enjoy the raceday experience.
The government has said it is continuing to review the data on which this timetable is based. We will continue to be in close touch with officials, monitor the situation and work as an industry to ensure that owners return to racecourses at the earliest possible date.
Full details of the four step process and the BHA statement can be found here.
Once again, we would like to thank you, the Owners, for your continued support during these difficult times.