Further to my correspondence of recent weeks, I write to provide you with another update on the plans for Victorian racing, this one in light of the State Government’s changes to COVID restrictions which took effect today.
In doing so, I again wish to thank you for your support of Victorian racing during what has been another challenging period for our State in this global pandemic.
Pleasingly, we are able to welcome back owners to more race meetings from this weekend, including at Caulfield tomorrow, whilst continuing to closely monitor the situation both here in Victoria and New South Wales (NSW).
Race Meeting Attendance
With effect from today, Friday, 25 June 2021, the State Government has advised that race meetings that were previously approved as Tier 1 or Tier 2 events under Victoria’s Public Events Framework will be permitted a maximum of 5,000 attendees with:
- A seated capacity of 50%
- Density quotient of 1 person per 4 square metres for non-seated areas
- 300 people per indoor space
Accordingly, the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) has advised that tomorrow’s Caulfield race meeting will be open to spectators under the conditions above with free admission and mandatory registration via QR code upon entry.
Given the short lead-time there will be no seated dining at Caulfield, however bars and food outlets will be open with TAB facilities available.
The MRC advises that owners will have access to the public concourse and Level 1 (public). The Connections facility will not be accessible for owners tomorrow and entry to the Mounting Yard is not permitted under industry protocols.
Those race meetings previously registered as Tier 3 events will be permitted a maximum of 1,000 attendees with no more than 300 indoors. This applies to all other race meetings programmed in Victoria over the next seven days.
It remains the decision of each Club on whether spectators will be permitted at an individual race meeting, however we expect that each will be making owners and members a priority.
Should you wish to attend an upcoming race meeting I encourage you to visit the Club’s website to determine opportunities for attendance and what requirements, including any pre-registration, are in place for their event.
Subject to epidemiology and the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, from 11.59pm (AET) on 1 July 2021, Victoria is scheduled to return to the Public Events Framework as it was before the current outbreak.
Should this occur, additional spectators may be permitted to attend the Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) Flemington Finals Day meeting on Saturday, 3 July 2021. Please keep your eye on communications from the VRC over the next week regarding this.
Impact of NSW Restrictions on Owner Attendance at Racecourses & Stables
The State Government has declared the NSW Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Greater Sydney including Central Coast, Gosford, Shellharbour and Wollongong as a COVID red zone with effect from 1.00am this morning - Friday, 25 June 2021.
Any Victorian resident who has been in one of the red zones (other than for transit) must obtain a red zone permit to enter Victoria and will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days.
Any non-Victorian residents who have been in one of the red zones (other than for transit) are not permitted to enter Victoria.
In addition to compliance with all relevant Government directives, any owner who has spent time in a NSW red zone from 11 June 2021 is not permitted to enter a Victorian racecourse, training facility or stables in the 14 day period following their arrival in Victoria.
Any owner who has spent time in a NSW red zone from 11 June 2021 and subsequently attended a Victorian stable between prior to today is required to notify the trainer immediately.
Horse Transportation from NSW into Victoria
For the avoidance of any doubt, the transportation of horses from all areas of NSW to Victoria remains permitted provided that the horses are transported by an approved float company that is permitted to do so under any Government directives.
If you do attend a race meeting or visit a training facility, please ensure that you follow the State Government’s directives on face masks which state that:
- masks must be carried at all times;
- masks must be worn indoors except if at home or an exemption applies; and
- masks must be worn outdoors where 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained.
As we have seen again across the nation this past week, the situation regarding the pandemic is a dynamic one that requires all within our industry to be vigilant to ensure the safe continuation of racing and training in Victoria.
Our priority remains to protect the health of industry staff, participants and the wider Victorian community; maintain 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs; and ensure daily care and exercise can be afforded to all thoroughbred racehorses.
It is pleasing that we can welcome owners back to more race meetings from this weekend and we will be continuing to advocate for increased spectator limits when that is appropriate to do so.
Like our participants, we ask that you comply with all relevant Government directives and, importantly, do not attend a Victorian racecourse or training facility if you, or a close contact, are feeling unwell and displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.
Thank you in anticipation of your continued cooperation and I wish you the best of luck on the racetrack.