Racing Victoria (RV) has issued the following update regarding Victorian thoroughbred racing in light of today’s announcement by the State Government that all of Victoria will enter a five-day Stage 4 lockdown from 11.59pm (AEDT) this evening (12 February 2021) until 11.59pm (AEDT) on Wednesday, 17 February 2021.
Effective from 11.59pm (AEDT) this evening and until otherwise advised the following will be implemented:
- Race meetings will continue during the five-day period with only competing participants, essential staff and officials permitted to attend as occurred throughout previous periods of Stage 4 restrictions;
- All spectators (including owners, members and the general public), non-broadcast media and non-essential staff are prohibited from attending Victorian race meetings;
- All owners, media and non-essential persons are prohibited from attending Victorian public and private training facilities and licensed racing premises at any time; and
- Face masks are compulsory at all Victorian race meetings, training centres and licensed premises at all times. Riders are permitted to remove their mask only when on horseback and when they have exited the mounting yard on raceday.
In an abundance of caution, the Moonee Valley Racing Club have announced that all spectators (including owners, members and the general public), non-broadcast media and non-essential staff are prohibited from attending tonight’s race meeting at The Valley.
Furthermore, the Buchan & Gelantipy Racing Club have requested that tomorrow’s Buchan Cup meeting be postponed. RV will work with the Club on a potential future date for the meeting.
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson said, “We note the announcements by the Victorian Government regarding the reimposition of Stage 4 restrictions for the next five days to contain the Holiday Inn COVID cluster and keep Victoria from entering a third wave of the virus.
“Throughout the pandemic Victorian racing’s clear objectives have been to protect the health and wellbeing of industry staff, participants and the wider community; maintain 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs; and ensure essential daily care and exercise can be afforded to our horses.
“Racing and training can continue in Victoria at this time under biosecurity protocols that saw our sport safely continue throughout previous periods of Stage 4 restrictions.
“As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to take decisive action to ensure that we provide the safest environment possible for both those participating in Victorian racing, as well as the wider community.
“With immediate effect all spectators, including owners, are banned from attending race meetings in Victoria until otherwise advised, with a return to essential staff and active participants only who will be continuing to complete daily health checks as they have done throughout the pandemic.
“I also want to take the opportunity to remind everyone within the Victorian racing industry of the critical need to abide by all Government directives in the days ahead. Please also get tested, isolate at home and contact us immediately if you or a close contact have been to an exposure site or are displaying any COVID symptoms.”
Clubs conducting race meetings over the next five days will be contacting spectators (including owners, members and the general public) that have pre-registered to attend directly to advise them that they are no longer permitted to do so.