Racing Victoria (RV) wishes to advise of changes to the biosecurity protocols in place in Victoria to allow for the safe continuation of racing and training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The protocols, which were developed in accordance with all current Government directives, guidelines and advice, have served 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 protocols are continually reviewed based on Government directives, risk analysis, industry compliance, participant feedback and the broader community landscape.
New South Wales Travel Restrictions
The Victorian Government has announced that effective from 11:59pm (AEDT) tonight, 20 December 2020, the Greater Sydney area and the Central Coast of New South Wales will be designated as a ‘red zone’.
That means people who live in these communities, or have visited these communities since 11 December 2020, cannot enter Victoria. Anyone from this zone found trying to enter Victoria in breach of this order will be subject to 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.
Victorians who have recently visited or are currently in Greater Sydney and the Central Coast, other than those in the Northern Beaches area, will be given until 11:59pm (AEDT) on Monday, 21 December 2020 to return home.
Those returning must register for an exemption on the Service Victoria website and then get tested within 24 hours of returning to Victoria. They must then self-quarantine for 14 days at home.
The Victorian Government has also announced that the Northern Beaches area of NSW will also be elevated to a ‘hot zone’. Victorians in the Northern Beaches area remain subject to the NSW’s Chief Health Officer’s stay at home orders and will not be permitted to enter Victoria until otherwise advised.
Any licensed participants who are required to undergo 14 days quarantine will need clearance from the Stewards before being permitted to attend any racecourse or licensed premises at the conclusion of their quarantine period.
Any licensed participants who spent time in Greater Sydney or the Central Coast on or from 11 December 2020 and have already returned to Victoria are directed to contact the Stewards immediately and to self-isolate as they will be required to submit a negative COVID test before being permitted entry to a Victorian racecourse or licensed premises.
This is in addition to the order that took effect from 11.59pm (AEDT) on Friday, 18 December 2020 that any licensed participants or owners who have spent time on the Northern Beaches on or from 11 December 2020 are not permitted to attend any Victorian racecourse or licensed premises until they have completed 14 days self-isolation upon arrival in Victoria. Licensed participants will also need to obtain permission from the Stewards before attending any Victorian racecourse or licensed premises.
The rest of regional NSW remains a green zone, but residents in these areas will still need to apply for and receive a valid permit to enter Victoria. Those living in Local Government Areas (LGAs) along the Victorian-NSW border will not need a permit but will instead be able to use their driver’s license as a passport to travel between Victoria and NSW.
The LGAs in the border zone on the Victorian side are: Alpine, Benalla, Bendigo, Buloke, Campaspe, East Gippsland, Gannawarra, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Shepparton, Swan Hill, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Yarriambiack.
The NSW LGAs are: Albury City, Balranald, Bega Valley, Berrigan, Broken Hill, Edward River, Federation, Greater Hume, Hay, Lockhart, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Wagga Wagga, and Wentworth.
Owner Attendance at Racecourses & Licensed Premises
In addition to all Government orders, effective from 11.59pm (AEDT) tonight, 20 December 2020, any owners who spent time in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast or Northern Beaches of NSW on and from 11 December 2020 are not permitted to enter a Victorian racecourse or licensed premises until otherwise advised.
Horse Transportation from NSW into Victoria
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, transportation of horses from NSW (and other states and territories) to Victoria is allowed provided the horses are transported by an approved float company (as set out in Racing Victoria’s protocols) and is permitted by any Government regulations which are in force at the time.
RV will continue to monitor the situation in NSW closely and will make changes to the industry’s biosecurity protocols as required to ensure the safe continuation of racing and training in Victoria.
All licensed participants and owners in Victoria are asked to follow all public health advice and to stay home and get tested if they, or anyone they live with, is unwell and displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.