Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and other top jockeys in action at Longchamp over the weekend will now not have to miss Newmarket's Future Champions Weekend after the BHA on Tuesday evening confirmed an addition to its Elite Traveller Exemption protocols.
The updated protocols, for elite sportspeople and essential support staff who are frequent travellers for competition in a country not covered by the travel corridor exemption, also cover trainers and stable staff, opening the possibility that John Gosden might choose to go to Paris on Sunday to see Enable bid for a historic third win in the Arc.
Under the new protocol, which is effective immediately, jockeys, trainers and stable staff who make frequent trips abroad for competition at Covid-19 secure venues in non-exempt countries may choose to register for a 'frequent private traveller' option.
Individuals who travel to compete at international venues on day trips and via private transport will be exempt from self-isolation on their return under this option, which requires weekly testing and daily post-travel monitoring with the BHA's chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill. The protocol was developed by Dr Hill in consultation with the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and senior riders.
For the first seven days after returning to the UK, individuals are exempt from self-isolation only for the purposes of training or competing. Otherwise, they must self-isolate as usual.
In order to be eligible for the new scheme, individuals must register with Dr Hill at least four days before their first trip abroad. Journeys to and from the international venue must be undertaken in private cars or planes and return journeys must be completed on the same day with no overnight stays. Private cars must have a maximum of two occupants and private flights must only be shared if 2m social distancing can be maintained.
Monitoring of individuals who travel under this scheme will last for a minimum of 21 days and, in addition to existing requirements, will include:
- Weekly Covid-19 test organised through the BHA medical department, funded by the applicant, with the first test result returned prior to initial trip abroad. A minimum of three tests will be required under this scheme with two taking place after any trip.
- Daily reporting of symptoms and temperature to Dr Hill in the seven days after return from travel. Reporting will require the download of the BHA Smartabase Athlete App to allow reporting automatically via a smartphone.
- Any positive tests will require immediate self-isolation for ten days pending further investigation.
In the first seven days after return to Britain, individuals must either be at home, travelling alone to training or competition, training while socially distanced (including fitness work or riding out) or competing only. At a racecourse such individuals must wear a face covering at all times while inside unless eating, drinking, showering or changing.