Horse racing is one of the many sporting events to have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. The last meetings to take place in Britain were behind closed doors at Wetherby and Taunton in March.
But the government has now granted permission for elite sport to resume in England.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden outlined stage three of the government’s elite and professional sport guidance on Saturday, saying competitive sport can return without spectators under strict health guidlines
“The wait is over,” said Downden. “Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments.
“This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors.
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“It’s now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it’s right for them to restart.
“This is a significant moment for British sport. By working with clinicians every step of the way, we’re creating the safest possible environments for everyone involved.”
When will horse racing resume?
Racing will resume at Newcastle tomorrow (Monday, June 1) will a 10-race card.
The fixture will begin at 1pm with races every 35 minutes until the final race at 6.15pm.
Both Newcastle and Kempton will race on June 2, followed by Kempton and Yarmouth on June 3 and Newcastle and Newmarket on June 4.
Royal Ascot remains in its traditional spot in the calendar this year, beginning on June 16.
The decision to restart horse racing has been well received by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).
“This is an important stage towards a complete return for our industry and will help protect livelihoods and businesses,” BHA Chief Executive Nick Rust said.
“The timing is crucial for the breeding sector and we thank the government and officials at DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) and Public Health England for their assistance in planning a safe return to racing.
“There is still a tough battle ahead before we can get fully back in business but this is a resilient and world-leading industry and we are ready for the task.”
Racing will utilise a three-stage screening process in order to comply with the government guidelines.
Those at the course will undergo medical checks before departure and on arrival, with social distancing officials in place and no spectators in attendance.
The BHA’s chief medical adviser, Dr Jerry Hill, said: “Our approach to screening and surveillance has been developed following discussions with Public Health England as part of the Chief Medical Officers in Sport Group.
“It is based on the low level of background risks at an outdoor event in a non-contact sport with attendees from mainly rural areas.
“It is responsible, makes sensible use of medical resources but is flexible so we can adapt in accordance with changing government policy and as our knowledge of Covid-19 increases over time.”
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