British horseracing has issued new guidance to racegoers as it makes final plans for the safe return of full crowds in England from Monday.
The government confirmed earlier this week the fourth step in the Covid roadmap will go ahead from July 19, allowing venues to return to full capacity with no social distancing.
The Scottish and Welsh Governments have since announced their own rules, and racegoers are advised to check in advance with racecourses in Scotland and Wales to ensure they understand the variations and differences in key dates.
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While English racecourses will no longer have limits on crowds from next week, as legal restrictions come to an end, the public has been asked to observe a number of “requests”.
Those requests include being vaccinated against coronavirus and taking up the government’s offer of free lateral flow tests, so spectators can “consider taking one before you travel” to a racecourse.
The government has said it will encourage high-risk venues to use a system of Covid certification – and while British racing will not be introducing such a system at this stage, the British Horseracing Authority and the Racecourse Association are “working with DCMS to develop the detailed operation guidance needed to safely introduce certification”, should it be required.
On behalf of the sport, David Armstrong, chief executive of the RCA, said: “We thank all our racegoers for the responsible behaviour they have shown since they were able to return to racecourses, and we are very excited to welcome back all racegoers from Monday in England and later in August in Wales and Scotland.
“As an outdoors event, people can have confidence in attending a race meeting in safety.
“Nevertheless, we encourage all to continue to follow the recommended advice and in particular to check on any restrictions that are still in place in Scotland and Wales. The safety of our racegoers will always be our top priority.
“We continue to liaise with our colleagues from other major sports and local and national authorities to ensure we are all operating to the highest levels of public safety. That includes planning for a system of Covid certification should that be required.”
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