Racing Victoria (RV) is holding out on putting in place restrictions on racecourses in response to Victoria’s latest COVID-19 challenge

Racing Victoria (RV) is holding out on putting in place restrictions on racecourses in response to Victoria’s latest COVID-19 challenge

Racing Victoria (RV) is holding out on putting in place restrictions on racecourses in response to Victoria’s latest COVID-19 challenge which continues to take grip in record numbers.

RV Chief Executive Giles Thompson said the ‘racing bubble’, which had been in place for much of the pandemic to protect the industry participants, may not be an effective strategy this time around.

“We’re all exposed to it this time around there is no doubt about it,” Thompson admitted.

“The key challenge we’ve got is that it’s everywhere, so therefore creating bubbles and those types of things is pretty futile.

“The best response we have in racing remains largely unchanged and that is firstly being fully vaccinated.”

Thompson however did not rule out new refined strategies that could be in place on key days across the upcoming autumn carnival.

 

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He said decisions on particular ticket offerings and racecourse layouts would be in the hands of the racing clubs in line with Government guidelines at the time.

“Once you have the virus as far and wide as we have at the moment, it is everywhere, you can shield the participants for a few hours, but the rest of the week is where they are most exposed anyway,” Thompson said on RSN 927.

“There is no point putting something in place if it really isn’t going to make any difference if it’s just for show and an inconvenience.

“Noted of course the owners who have put up with plenty over the last 18 months already.

“It has to be able to do something for us, and that’s what we will continue to look… what we could put in place particularly as we hit those peaks days.”

One of the industry’s biggest challenges will be to protect raceday participants such as jockeys and key raceday personnel.

With testing sites causing chaos across the state, Thompson said selected participants that have access to an industry partnered testing facility who had previously been receiving results in less than an hour were now waiting up to 24 hours.