Racing Victoria (RV) on Wednesday provided the following update regarding Victorian thoroughbred racing in light of the announcement by the State Government that COVID restrictions will further ease from Thursday 17 June 2021.
The State Government has announced an easing of restrictions in Greater Melbourne from Friday, 18 June 2021. Racing Victoria understands the entertainment and leisure provisions within the directions will allow a maximum of 150 people (with no more than 75 indoors) to attend metropolitan race meetings.
Due to the limited number permitted to attend and the logistics required to facilitate this, RV and upcoming host clubs have collectively determined that racing will be spectator free at racetracks within Greater Melbourne until at least next Thursday, 24 June 2021 and when greater crowd limits are approved.
As such, race meetings scheduled in the Greater Melbourne region over the next week at Flemington (19 June 2021), Sportsbet-Pakenham (22 June 2021) and Cranbourne (23 June 2021) will proceed with only competing participants, essential staff, limited media and officials in attendance. All spectators (including owners, members and the general public) are not permitted to attend these race meetings.
RV will continue to liaise with Government and health advisors over the coming days and will provide a further update as soon as practicable on attendance at metropolitan meetings, with the return of owners being the initial priority.
The State Government has announced a further easing of restrictions in Regional Victoria from Friday, 18 June 2021. Racing Victoria understands the entertainment and leisure provisions within the directions will allow a maximum of 1000 people (with no more than 300 per indoor space) to attend country race meetings.
Spectators (including owners, members and the general public) who wish to attend an upcoming country race meeting should visit country.racing.com to determine opportunities for attendance and what requirements, including any pre-registration, are in place for their event.
RV also advises that from Friday, 18 June 2021, owners, media and non-essential persons will be permitted to attend public and private training facilities and licensed racing premises across Victoria, subject to any provisions imposed by individual Clubs or training stables in managing their COVID safe plans.
In line with the updated Government guidelines, the following rules apply regarding face masks at race meetings and licensed premises across Victoria from Friday, 18 June 2021. A face mask:
• must be carried at all times;
• must be worn indoors except if at home, or if an exemption applies; and
• must be worn outdoors where 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained.
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson said, “Following discussions with the relevant Clubs, racing spectator free at meetings in Greater Melbourne is the most practical decision at this point in time until spectators are permitted to return in larger numbers.
“We are pleased for our Country Clubs whom we understand will be able to welcome crowds of up to 1000 people back on course from this Friday but note, after discussions with Country Racing Victoria, that some may not be able to initially achieve the full quota due to infrastructure, logistics or lead times.
“I would encourage all those wishing to attend an upcoming country race meeting to visit country.racing.com for further information regarding capacity, ticketing and any requirements around pre-registration.
“We will continue to liaise with the State Government regarding the possibilities for increased attendance at metropolitan meetings beyond next Thursday and will provide a further update to our stakeholders as soon as possible.”
“In providing this update I want to again remind and encourage all industry participants that if you’re unwell and displaying any COVID symptoms please get tested, notify the Stewards and isolate until you get your result. Everyone has done a fantastic job to safely continue racing and training to now and we want to keep it that way.”