Patrons will soon be permitted to return to Queensland racecourses following the approval of an Industry COVID Safe Plan.
Having sought and received approval through Queensland Health – click here to see the approved plan - a staged return to on-course activities will commence across the state from Monday.
In line with the Queensland Government’s Roadmap to easing restrictions, clubs who opt-in to the racing industry’s COVID Safe Plan will be permitted 20 patrons per designated area during stage two.
This will increase to 100 patrons per designated area during stage three.
In order to be compliant with the COVID Safe Plan, clubs will be required to meet a range of guidelines including the segregation of licensed participants from patrons and social distancing measures including no more than one person per 4 square metres in each designated area.
Importantly, each race club will need to conduct its own site assessment to determine how many designated areas it can make available to patrons.
Clubs who elect not to opt-in to the racing industry’s COVID Safe Plan will be required to adhere to the conditions contained within the Queensland Government’s Roadmap to easing restrictions.
“We know that members, owners and punters have been champing at the bit to be permitted on-course and it’s pleasing that they will now be able to do so,” Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
“The approval of an Industry COVID Safe Plan means this can be done in a safe and considered manner.”
In addition to raceday attendance, owners will now be permitted to attend stables and training venues.
Trainers will be responsible for contact tracing as part of stable visits, while non-licensed participants attending trials or jumpouts will be required to watch from designated areas.
Racing Queensland General Manager Corporate Affairs and Policy Mary Collier said the industry should be commended for the manner in which they had navigated such a challenging period.
“The Queensland racing industry has done a phenomenal job banding together and the return of patrons on-course is another positive step in the right direction,” Ms Collier said.
“Our 40,000 participants have been extremely patient over recent months and this is reward for their collective efforts.”