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COVID-19 Update – Owner Attendance

Racing Victoria (RV) wishes to advise of an update to the biosecurity protocols that have allowed for the safe continuation of racing and training in Victoria throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The protocols, which are developed in accordance with all current Government directives, guidelines and advice, serve to protect the health of industry staff, participants and the wider community; maintain 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs and ensure daily care and exercise can be afforded to all thoroughbred racehorses.

The update follows yesterday’s announcement by the Victorian Government that Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions will be reimposed across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire for a period of six weeks from 11.59pm this evening.

As a result, the protocols allowing limited owner attendance at Victorian race meetings have been updated with immediate effect as follows:

  • Owners who reside in a Local Government Area where Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions are in place are not permitted to attend any race meeting in Victoria until otherwise advised. As of 8 July 2020, this includes all owners residing in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire; and
  • No owners will be permitted to attend race meetings at tracks located in Local Government Areas where Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions are in place until otherwise advised. As of 8 July 2020, this order applies to the following 11 racetracks – Flemington, Caulfield, Sandown, The Valley, Werribee, Yarra Valley, Mornington, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Kilmore and Seymour.

Owners who reside outside of metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will continue to be allowed to attend Victorian race meetings located in areas where Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions are not in place.

Permitted owners will continue to be bound by the protocols published by RV on 22 June 2020 including the requirement for pre-registration; limits on the number of owners and time spent on course; adherence to all social gathering guidelines; and segregation from all racing participants.

As a classified workplace, all racing and training will continue across Victoria under the industry’s strict biosecurity protocols, as it did when Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions where previously in place up until the end of May 2020.

As it has done throughout the pandemic, RV will continue to review all industry protocols based on risk analysis, industry compliance, participant feedback and the broader community landscape, to ensure the safe continuation of racing and training.

RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “Acting in the best interests of the industry and the community, we have suspended owner attendance at the 11 racetracks based in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire with immediate effect.

“In line with Government directives, we’re also advising all owners who reside in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire that they can no longer attend any race meetings throughout Victoria until otherwise advised.

“We sympathise with all our owners who had waited so patiently for the opportunity to return to the racetrack late last month, and we thank them in anticipation of their cooperation and understanding in these unique circumstances.

“Racing and training will continue in Victoria under the strict biosecurity protocols that have been in place since March. That said, I implore all licensed and registered participants to remain vigilant and to continue to adhere all industry protocols and Government directives as they have done for more than 160 race meetings.

“For the avoidance of doubt, trainers, jockeys, and stable employees who reside in areas with Stage 3 restrictions are permitted to continue attending training centres, Licensed Premises and race meetings in their capacity as an approved worker.”