Saturday, May 16, 2020

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) today published a protocol document for key personnel necessary to run race fixtures, which will resume behind closed doors in Ireland on 8 June.

The document details Covid-19 protocols for each industry group and the procedures which must be undertaken by all racecourses hosting race fixtures. A series of educational webinars will be announced next week to assist further understanding of the changes people will encounter when returning to work on the racecourse.

These protocols have been developed by Horse Racing Ireland in consultation with the IHRB and are essential to safeguard everyone’s health and wellbeing, and to ensure that racing will resume in a safe and appropriate manner.

Racing behind closed doors will begin in Ireland on 8 June Photo: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said:

“We have worked closely with the IHRB and the Senior Medical Officer Dr Jennifer Pugh in strengthening our protocols ahead of a return to racing.

“The new system of health screening will include the registration of every attendee at every race meeting, from jockeys, trainers, IHRB staff, to racecourse staff, cleaning staff and so on. Everybody will be required to complete a baseline health screening questionnaire followed by a set of further screening questions every 24-hours before attendance at a race meeting.

“We have further strengthened the screening process with the installation of a thermal camera system to check attendees’ temperatures. Nobody with an elevated reading will be allowed entry.

“The infection control policy is such that all surfaces will be regularly disinfected both before racing and throughout the race day, all indoor areas will be well ventilated, and only those essential to that area are present.”

In line with Government advice, persons over the age of 70 will not be permitted to attend in the initial stage of the return.

Brian Kavanagh added:

“It is incumbent on everybody in the industry to familiarise themselves with the new protocols, to partake in the upcoming webinars which will help bring these protocols to life and to ensure that the racecourse continues to be a safe place to work.”

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