NZTR Weekend Racing Update

19 August 2021

As at Thursday 19 August 3pm

Since March 2020, and as recently as this week, NZTR and the other racing Codes have been lobbying the Government to agree a set of protocols by which racing could be conducted at Alert Level 4.

However, the Government’s response, which we must respect, is that at Alert Level 4 only essential activities can continue. An activity that is not essential must cease regardless of the risk of Covid transmission. This is a different approach to Australia where racing has been able to continue. The Government has made it clear that racing does not meet its definition of an “essential activity” and there is no flexibility to vary this approach regardless of what protocols are in place.

We know that this is disappointing, but we must recognise the Government’s extensive support for our industry over the years, realise that the Government has sought to act in the best interests of all New Zealanders, and do as we are instructed. As soon as we return to Alert Level 3, we will be able to resume racing and trialling under strict protocols.

As a reminder, racing at Alert Level 3 means that:

  • All attendees must wear masks at all areas of the racecourse, with jockeys being permitted to temporarily remove their masks during the running of their races. Refusal will result in expulsion from the race meeting;
  • The race meetings will be conducted behind closed doors, i.e. only jockeys, trainers and their staff (along with their nominated horses), and others essential to servicing the meetings will be allowed on-course;
  • There will be no on-course catering, so people must bring their own food to the race meetings;
  • All attendees will be required to complete and bring a health declaration form to the race meetings;
  • All attendees will be required to scan into the race meetings through the NZ Covid Tracer App;
  • All attendees must practise social distancing where possible;
  • All attendees are encouraged to frequently use soap and or hand sanitiser; and
  • Anyone with cold or flu symptoms or who has been identified as any kind of potential contact of Covid-positive people should stay home and arrange a Covid test.

Refusal to meet these requirements constitutes a breach of the Rules of Racing, and may result in expulsion from the race meeting.

NZTR will provide a further update tomorrow, once the Government has announced whether Alert Level 4 will continue past 11:59pm on Friday night in the rest of the country. Please note that NZTR is currently considering contingency plans should the entire country remain in Level 4 past this time.

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