Owners - returning to the racecourse

We are delighted to see owners returning to courses. Below you will find a step by step guide to returning, along with the BHA’s full protocols as well as an extensive Q&A on why the current guidance remains in its present form.
 
It is encouraging to see so many of you taking the opportunity to go to the races under these protocols and we encourage you to get in contact at info@roa.co.uk with any suggestions as to how racecourses might be able to improve the owner experience.

Step 1: 

  • Upon entry of your horse a confirmation email will be sent by the racecourse outlining the PASS weblink to register the two nominated names who will be attending the racecourse.
  • Please check your spam / junk mail filter in case the email has gone into these areas.

Step 2: 

  • Once your horse has been declared a further confirmation of declaration email will be sent by the course along with the PASS link https://www.rcapass.com/, providing another opportunity to register the two nominated names who will be attending the racecourse. 
  • This email will be after 2pm on the day of declaration.        
  • For any PASS queries please contact the PASS helpdesk on 01933 270333 or by email pass@weatherbys.co.uk
  • Details on using the PASS system can also be found on our PASScard page: https://www.roa.co.uk/raceday/pass.html

Step 3: 

  • Owners will have until 4pm on the day before the race meeting to nominate the attendees names 
  • Please note badges will not be sent in advance and owners will receive wristbands/badges upon arrival at the racecourse.

Step 4

Before arrival, owners are asked to:

A) Complete a short online COVID-19 learning module: 

https://www.roa.co.uk/raceday/covid19/return/elearning.html

  • Please watch the videos, fill in the online form, and confirm that you have understood the information provided
  • If you have any problems with the learning, please contact: info@roa.co.uk, or call us on 01183 385680
  • You will receive a confirmation email when you have completed the learning, but you are not required to present this on arrival at the racecourse
  • This only needs to be completed once – before your first visit to the racecourse

B ) Assess your own health using the personal health assessment questions: 

https://www.roa.co.uk/raceday/covid19/return/health-questionnaire.html

  • Please do this before each visit to the racecourse, to help minimise the risk for you and other owners

C) Familiarise yourself with the guidance for owners attending a behind closed door race meeting below.

  • This is updated regularly and provides important information to help support you in preparing for and attending the racecourse, so please read this short document before each racecourse visit

Step 5:

  • Upon arrival at the racecourse owners will be asked a series of health questions and will be required to complete a temperature check.
  • You will also need to show photo ID to gain admittance. This could be driving license, passport etc.

Step 6:

  • Once admitted owners will have a designated entrance to the racecourse, along with designated areas on course.

For all further information and access to the FAQ’s please see below:

 

Press Release

Return of owners to the racecourse

  • Industry plans will allow owners to attend race meetings behind closed doors from 4 July
  • ‘Test events’ scheduled this week to pilot new protocols ahead of wider rollout
  • Attendance limited to two owners per horse in the early stages, with dedicated ‘owner zones’ to manage infection control and in line with government guidance for elite sports venues
  • Guidelines published to help owners adjust to new protocols and procedures

Racehorse owners will be able to start attending race meetings behind closed doors from Saturday 4 July in a safe and risk-managed way, under plans agreed by the Racecourse Association (RCA), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) and British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

 

The return of owners to the racecourse will be a phased process, with interim safety and infection control measures in place to minimise risk for owners, prioritise the wellbeing of all attendees, and ensure that the sport is aligned with government guidance relating to attendance at elite sports venues.

 

Two test fixtures will be held on Wednesday 1 July at Southwell and Kempton Park to pilot the protocols and allow for a thorough review of the processes in place to facilitate a smooth implementation. This will enable owners to experience racing behind closed doors and provide useful feedback ahead of the wider planned rollout from Saturday 4 July. Owners will be notified directly via email about how to register for the test events, once their horse is declared to run.

 

The protocols only apply to racecourses in England at this stage, but British racing continues to engage with the Scottish and Welsh Governments on the return of owners to the racecourse for behind closed doors fixtures.

 

The RCA is also working directly with all racecourses to support their preparations and ensure they are ready to welcome owners back at the earliest opportunity. Not all racecourses will be able to accommodate owners immediately, they remain subject to local authority clearance and operational restrictions. If a racecourse is unable to accommodate owners, owners will be notified in advance.

 

Under current plans, owners will be able to attend all fixtures scheduled for Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July. More information about attendance at fixtures being held from Monday 6 July will be published later this week.

 

Guidance for owners

 

To support owners in adjusting to these new operating procedures, and to clarify why they are necessary, a guidance document has been produced, which details the essential protocols that must be followed by all owners attending race meetings behind closed doors. The document is available here.

 

The following measures will apply to all race meetings able to facilitate the return of owners until further notice:

  • A maximum of two owners (or representatives) per horse can attend for their race(s) only. 
  • Pre-registration ahead of all race meetings using the RCA’s Privilege Access Swipe System (PASS) and only confirmed attendees will be granted access to the racecourse. Owners will be emailed automatically with details on how to register once their horse is declared to run.
  • A health screening process, which includes the BHA’s COVID-19 online learning module and a personally administered health assessment in advance of raceday, followed by health questions and a temperature check upon arrival.
  • Owners to arrive no earlier than 45 minutes before their first horse is due to run and leave the racecourse within one hour following the final race in which they have a confirmed runner.
  • Dedicated ‘owner zones’, which will separate owners from raceday workers (trainers, stable staff, jockeys, officials, media etc.) for infection control purposes. No movement will be permitted between the two areas.

These temporary measures will be eased gradually subject to government guidance for sports venues and public health requirements, and a more integrated raceday experience will be re-introduced at the earliest opportunity.

 

These protocols, and others contained within the guidance for owners, have been developed in line with British racing’s protocols for behind closed doors racing. They are approved by the UK Government and underpinned by specific government guidance around the return of elite domestic sporting competition behind closed doors, which sets the minimum standards that sport is required to meet to resume competition.

 

The BHA’s Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Jerry Hill, said: “As with our wider approach to resumption, the return of owners is predicated on a phased, risk-managed plan, which establishes infection control protocols that are essential for the safe continuation of racing during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

 

“These include pre-entry screening for owners and segregated areas to facilitate social distancing at no closer than two metres – measures that prioritise the safety of our attendees, are consistent with government guidance for elite sports fixtures behind closed doors, and are supported by the UK Government.”

 

RCA Chief Executive, David Armstrong, said: "We are delighted to be able to welcome back owners to the racecourse, albeit in limited numbers for now.  Owners are critical to our sport and their patience and support during lockdown has been vital. The special measures that are set out in the new protocols should enable owners to enjoy the racing experience again but to do so in a safe and responsible fashion."


ROA Chief Executive, Charlie Liverton, said: “It’s great to have owners back on the course and I’d like to thank the BHA, the racecourses and the team at the ROA for their hard work since the resumption of racing to put in place protocols for owners to attend.

 

“Owners contribute so much to this sport and it has been frustrating not to be on the track to see their horses run. Their patience and loyalty has been very much appreciated during this challenging period. There is still more work to do and we will continue to work with owners and racing’s stakeholders to get our sport back up and running in full with people across the UK able to enjoy a day’s racing on course when it is safe and appropriate to do so.”

The full protocols for owners returning to racing behind closed doors can be downloaded here.

  • For further information on the return of owners to racecourses, please contact the ROA on 01183 385680 or via: info@roa.co.uk.
For owners with specific questions about the RCA’s PASS, please contact the PASS Helpdesk on 01933 270333 or via pass@weatherbys.co.uk.

Guidance notes

Returning to the racecourse – a guide for owners attending an elite sporting competition

Contents

Section A: General guidance............................................................. 2

  1. Overview [UPDATED]............................................................... 2
  2. Government guidance............................................................... 3
    1. General guidance.................................................................. 3
    2. Guidance for behind closed doors sport [UPDATED]............. 3
  3. Racecourse attendance............................................................ 3
  4. Medical explanatory note – entry screening and social distancing 4

Section B: Prior to arrival at the racecourse.................................... 4

  1. Registering to attend a race meeting [UPDATED]..................... 4
  2. Online COVID-19 learning module............................................ 5
  3. Personal health assessment [UPDATED].................................. 6
  4. Owners’ responsibilities............................................................. 6
  5. What to bring............................................................................. 7
  6. Travelling to the racecourse................................................... 7

Section C: Arrival at the racecourse................................................. 7

  1. Attendance list....................................................................... 7
  2. Entry screening [UPDATED].................................................. 7

Section D: On the racecourse........................................................... 8

  1. The Owner Zones.................................................................. 8
  2. Briefing areas........................................................................ 8
  3. Catering [UPDATED]............................................................. 8
  4. Face coverings [UPDATED].................................................. 9
  5. Betting facilities..................................................................... 9

Section E: Leaving the racecourse................................................... 9

  1. Departure process [UPDATED]............................................. 9

 

Section A: General guidance

  1.  Overview [UPDATED]

From Saturday 4 July, a limited number of racehorse owners will be able to attend race meetings held behind closed doors, in the first stage of a phased plan for owners to return to the racecourse. This document outlines the protocols that must be followed by all owners attending race meetings behind closed doors, to help safeguard the health and wellbeing of all attendees.

To minimise risk for owners and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all attendees, the following provisional measures will be in place during the early stages of return and until further notice:

 

  • The number of owners (or representatives) per horse that can attend will be determined by individual racecourses. This will be based upon the capacity of their owners’ zone and limits agreed with the government (which are calculated based on the maximum number of runners a racecourse can host).
  • Pre-registration is essential. This process will be administered by the RCA’s Privilege Access Swipe System (PASS) and only confirmed attendees will be granted access to the racecourse. Owners will be emailed automatically with details on how to register once their horse is declared to run.
  • All owners attending a fixture are required to complete a two-stage health screening process. This includes an online learning module and personally administered health assessment to be completed in advance of raceday, followed by health questions and a temperature check on arrival at the racecourse.
  • Owners will have access to dedicated ‘owner zones’, which will be separated from the ‘green zone’ used by raceday workers (trainers, stable staff, jockeys, officials, media etc.) by at least two metres or a barrier. For infection control purposes, movement between the two areas of the racecourse will be restricted to essential racecourse (e.g. cleaning) staff only. However, there will be briefing areas where owners can speak to trainers in line with the protocols.

All owners attending a race meeting must ensure that they have read and understood this document, together with the relevant sections of the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) guidelines and operating procedures for behind closed doors racing. Owners are also requested to familiarise themselves with current government advice on COVID-19 (see 2, below).

Please note that this owner-specific document falls under the BHA guidelines and operating procedures for behind closed doors racing. Unless otherwise stated below, the wider industry protocols take precedence.

This document will be updated periodically, in line with changes to government guidance around COVID-19 and the return of sport.

  • For further information on the return of owners to racecourses, please contact the ROA on 01183 385680 or via: info@roa.co.uk. The ROA is contactable 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and 9am-12pm Saturday and Sunday.

 

  • For specific questions about the RCA’s PASS please contact the PASS Helpdesk on 01933 270333 or via pass@weatherbys.co.uk. The PASS helpdesk is contactable 9am- 5pm Monday to Friday.
 
  1.  Government guidance
  1.  General guidance

This document has been developed in line with government guidance, and all owners must ensure they have read and are familiar with basic public health advice on COVID-19 before attending the racecourse.

Please note that government guidance in England, Scotland and Wales may vary at any time, so attendees should be aware of any differences:

  1.  Guidance for behind closed doors sport [UPDATED]

The UK Government has also published specific guidance around the return of elite domestic sporting competition behind closed doors, which sets the minimum standards that sport is required to meet to resume competition.

This underpins the protocols, entry requirements and screening processes defined in this document and British racing’s guidelines and operating procedures for behind closed doors racing.

All racecourses also remain subject to local authority clearance and if a racecourse is unable to accommodate owners, you will be notified in advance. In the case of a local lockdown being imposed on an area in which a racecourse is located, it will be necessary to minimise the number of individuals on course to reduce risk of transmission and manage infection control. As such, in line with government guidance, fixtures staged within a local lockdown will only be accessible to essential functional participants and will not be able to host owners.

Owners should note that as Welsh Government regulations allow for a maximum of 30 people in the ‘owners’ zone’ at any one time, racecourses in Wales will have stricter attendance and time restrictions on course.

  1.  Racecourse attendance

As noted in the previous section, British racing must comply with specific government guidance on the return of elite sporting competition behind closed doors.

This means that during competition, racecourses are classed as elite sport venues (as distinct from other hospitality businesses) and must adhere to strict guidelines around entry requirements, such as health screening and restricting access to personnel with essential functional roles.

These guidelines recognise that social distancing restrictions will inevitably be breached by a small number of staff during the course of a race-meeting due to the nature of the sport. This is why those attending a sports venue face a more detailed screening process and why numbers are limited to minimise the risks.

In the early stages of resumption, minimising the number of individuals on course has helped ensure that new and revised protocols for behind closed doors racing are operating effectively and that participants have been able to adjust quickly to different ways of operating.

As a result of this work, British Racing is now able to commence its phased plan for the return of owners, with interim measures in place initially to ensure this is done in a practical and risk- managed way. These provisional arrangements will help ensure that owners can return to the racecourse in a way that safeguards your wellbeing and that of raceday workers.

These interim measures will be reviewed regularly in line with government guidance, with the view to easing them at the earliest possible opportunity. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding.

  1.  Medical explanatory note – entry screening and social distancing

As part of British racing’s commitment to return safely to racing behind closed doors in line with the government guidance outline above, a health screening process is in place for all racecourse attendees to safeguard their health and wellbeing. This process has been developed in consultation with government and public health officials.

Racing is a predominantly rural sport, which takes place in outdoor locations where the risk of virus transmission is recognised to be lower. It is also a non-contact sport, which enables social distancing at two metres to be delivered more consistently that other sports.

In the early stages of resumption, the number of attendees at the racecourse was also kept to an absolute minimum, to mitigate risk even further. However, as the number of people on the racecourse increases, the ability to maintain social distancing is diminished and the likelihood of attendees who are not trainers, stable staff or jockeys being from more urban areas where

Covid-19 cases have been higher, is increased.

To reduce the potential of an interruption to racing because of a case of Covid-19 causing 14-day quarantine of racecourse contacts, the decision has been made to:

    • physically separate owners coming onto a racecourse from other raceday workers by using a zoning approach, to ensure social distancing is in place at all times
    • require all owners attending race meetings to undergo a two-step health screening process, which comprises an online learning module and personal health assessment prior to raceday, and entry screening (health questions and temperature checks) on arrival at the racecourse.

This approach, supported by government, also means that there would be currently no need to revise other elements of the screening program such as by introducing laboratory testing for all racecourse attendees.

This is an evolving landscape and hopefully as cases continue to fall, we can look forward to a more integrated raceday experience, which we would like to achieve at the earliest opportunity.

 

Section B: Prior to arrival at the racecourse

  1.  Registering to attend a race meeting [UPDATED]

The number of owners (or representatives) per horse that can attend will be determined by individual racecourses. This will be based upon the capacity of their owners’ zone and limits agreed with the government (which are calculated based on the maximum number of runners a racecourse can host).

Pre-registration is essential, and anyone not registered to attend will not be granted access.

Owners planning to attend to watch their horse(s) run must register their attendance using the existing RCA’s Privilege Access Swipe System (PASS) – an existing system which manages the complimentary access into racecourses for owners.

This should be completed as early as possible in advance of the race meeting. The deadline to register to attend is 4pm the day before the fixture.

Once a horse is declared to run, registered owners (or Syndicators/Club Managers) will receive a confirmation email inviting them to register those who will be attending the race meeting.

To register your attendees, please log into PASS (https://www.rcapass.com/) and submit the names of the individuals who will attend the racecourse. As explained above, all names must be submitted by 4pm the day before the fixture. Changes after that time will not be possible.

For the avoidance of doubt, for Syndicates and Racing Clubs, it will be the responsibility of the Syndicator/Club Manager to submit the names of those individuals attending the fixture.

Internationally based owners who are not registered in the UK, should contact the racecourse directly to register attendance. This should be completed 4pm the day before the fixture. For Racing Managers who require assistance registering attendance on behalf of owners please contact the PASS helpdesk.

Children can attend as one of the owners/representatives if pre-registered. All children attending will undergo the entry screening process as standard.

If you have reduced mobility or a disability of any kind and require additional assistance on raceday, please notify the racecourse directly once you have registered your attendance through PASS, and they will assist you further.

Please note that if a horse is declared a non-runner, the owner should not attend the fixture.

For assistance with the PASS system, please contact the PASS helpdesk on 01933 270333 or by email: pass@weatherbys.co.uk.

  1.  Online COVID-19 learning module

All owners (and guests) are asked to complete an owner-specific online COVID-19 learning module prior to raceday.

This will ensure owners have a baseline understanding of COVID-19, social distancing, and hand and respiratory hygiene, to help keep you and other safe on the racecourse.

The online learning can be accessed here. Please watch the videos and complete the online form, confirming that you have understood the information provided.

The online module only needs to be completed once (before your first racecourse attendance) and owners do not need to produce proof of completion on arrival at the racecourse.

Please note that owners who have already taken the Racing2Learn education module do not need to complete this online COVID-19 learning module.

For support, please contact the ROA on 01183 385680 or via: info@roa.co.uk. The ROA is contactable 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and 9am-12pm Saturday and Sunday.

  1.  Personal health assessment [UPDATED]

Unlike participants and raceday workers, owners will not be required to complete a mandatory health screening questionnaire prior to attending the racecourse. This reflects the fact that owners will be on course for a shorter period, they will not interact with other raceday attendees, and are more able to maintain social distancing at all times.

However, to minimise risk for yourself and other owners, we ask that all owners assess their own heath ahead of attending every fixture. To do this, owners should ask themselves five questions:

  1. Are you in a vulnerable person category, as defined by NHS guidance?

If yes, please consider carefully whether you should attend a race-meeting. If you need further advice, please contact your GP.

  1. Do you have a fever, cough, and/or a loss of sense of smell or taste? These are symptoms of Covid-19 infection.

If yes, you cannot attend a racecourse until you have contacted NHS 111 and completed any testing or quarantine period.

  1. Have you been contacted by NHS Test and Treat within the last 7 days and advised to self-isolate?

If yes, you cannot attend a racecourse.

  1. Have you travelled from a country not on the UK Government exempt list in the last 14 days?

If yes, you cannot attend a racecourse until you have completed 14 days quarantine from the date of your return to the UK unless in a specified exempt job.

  1. In the past 7 days have you had contact with any laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 patients when you were NOT wearing the appropriate PPE or in the past 14 days has any member of your household had symptoms of Covid-19?

If yes, you cannot attend a racecourse until you have contacted NHS 111 and completed any testing or quarantine period.

Owners are not required to submit their responses but must answer the questions truthfully and stay away from all racecourses if required.

  1.  Owners’ responsibilities

Owners should be aware the BHA has made a number of changes to the Rules of Racing to cover the new and revised protocols in place following resumption. All owners entering a racecourse should be aware of the Covid-19 specific requirements that sit within the Rules of Racing and which are outlined here.

Please also be aware that by attending a racecourse, owners acknowledge and agree that notwithstanding the risk mitigation strategies employed by the BHA and other industry bodies in accordance with Government guidance, it is impossible to eliminate all risk and there remains the potential for unintended transmission of COVID-19 between attendees.

All attendees must play their part in minimising the risk to themselves and others by complying with these guidelines, racecourse terms and conditions of entry, and the COVID-19 requirements as set out in the Rules of Racing.

  1.  What to bring

Please make sure you arrive at the racecourse with your:

    • Photographic ID (a copy on your phone is acceptable) – you will require this to gain entry to the racecourse.
    • Your RCA PASS card - if you have been allocated one as a registered owner.

You may also wish to consider bringing your own alcohol-based hand sanitiser and a face covering (see 16 below).

  1.  Travelling to the racecourse

Where possible, we ask owners should travel to, and arrive at, the racecourse separately and follow government guidance. If, on arrival, one person does not pass the required screening checks, everyone in the vehicle will be requested to leave the site. This is to help protect the health and wellbeing of other raceday attendees.

We also ask that owners and trainers do not travel to the racecourse in the same vehicle, as they will be entering different infection control zones on arrival at the racecourse. We know that the more interactions between different people from different households (and particularly from different areas of the country), the greater the risk of transmitting the virus. By travelling separately, owners and trainers can reduce the risk of infection in their respective racecourse zones.

Section C: Arrival at the racecourse

  1.  Attendance list

Only owners who have registered their attendance using the RCA’s PASS should travel to the racecourse. The deadline to register to attend is 4pm the day before the fixture.

Owners who are not registered to attend will not be granted access to the racecourse and should not attend the fixture. If a horse is declared a non-runner the attached owners should also not attend the fixture.

Please note that all owners badge schemes are suspended at present and all attendees must be attached to a runner.

  1.  Entry screening [UPDATED]

Owners are asked to make their way to the owner’s entrance, which will be clearly signposted. This will be staffed from one hour before the first race, so no entry will be permitted before this time.

On arrival, owners will be asked to provide photo ID as proof of identity, before answering three further questions about their current health. This will be followed by a temperature check. Your temperature will be taken twice in quick succession, with the lower reading recorded. If on both occasions this temperature exceeds 37.8°C, owners will not be granted access to the racecourse and will be advised to travel home.

Any individual that fails the on-course screening will be required to either:

    • provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test, which can be booked on the NHS website.
    • or complete a minimum of 7 days of isolation depending on advice received from NHS Test and Trace before re-admittance to a racecourse. For more information please contact the ROA on 01183 385680 or via: info@roa.co.uk.

Owners are reminded that if any member of the same vehicle fails to clear the entry screening process all those travelling together will be denied entry onto the racecourse. Individuals will be re-admitted to the racecourse once the individual with the raised temperature has either had a negative test or if positive all contacts have followed the advice received from NHS Test and Trace.

On successful completion of the entry screening process, owners will be able to gain access to the racecourse and will be provided with a wristband identifying that they have undergone the required screening. As with the rest of the racecourse, the entrance will be monitored throughout the day by a Social Distancing Officer to help maintain social distancing and all COVID-19 protocols.

For more information about the PASS data protection policy and how your information will be managed, please visit https://www.rcapass.com

Section D: On the racecourse
  1.  The Owner Zones

To mitigate the risk of the transmitting COVID-19, owners on course will have access to a dedicated owner zones, which will be separated from raceday workers (trainers, stable staff, jockeys, officials, media etc.). For infection control purposes, no movement will be permitted between the two areas of the racecourse.

The owner zones may consist of both outside and indoor space and will include access to toilets. It will not allow access to the parade ring, the Winners’ Enclosure, or winning connections.

At all points on the racecourse, irrespective of whether inside or outside, owners should ensure they adhere to government guidance and strict social distancing measures. A Social Distancing Officer will be located in the owner zones to help maintain social distancing and all COVID-19 protocols.

  1.  Briefing areas

Where possible, racecourses can establish briefing areas, where owners will have the opportunity to speak to their trainers and / or jockeys before and after the race, while continuing to maintain social distancing and adhering to other infection control measures.

Racecourses are working to introduce briefing areas for all fixtures where it is practicable to do so. Provision may vary depending on the racecourse, and owners will be advised as to how the briefing area will operate on arrival at the fixture.

  1.  Catering [UPDATED]

Racecourses will be permitted to offer hospitality for owners in line with UK Government guidance for restaurants, pubs and bars. While this has been supported by Government, all other aspects of the raceday will continue to comply with guidance on the return of elite sporting competition behind closed doors.

The option of hospitality will be subject to local risk assessments and owners should note that Government guidance may differ between England, Wales and Scotland which could affect this provision.

  1.  Face coverings [UPDATED]

At present, in line with UK government guidance, face coverings are not mandatory for owners on racecourses as two metre social distancing will be possible.

Detailed advice on the use of face coverings can be found here, and owners should note that regulations for wearing face coverings may differ across the UK.

  1.  Betting facilities

As stated in British racing’s guidelines and operating procedures for racing behind closed doors, there will be no betting facilities or on-course bookmakers in attendance until further notice.

Section E: Leaving the racecourse

  1.  Departure process [UPDATED]

Most racecourses will have one-way systems will be in place, so owners can return to their vehicle without crossing paths with others and hand hygiene stations will be provided on exit.

Upon leaving the racecourse, wristbands for the raceday should be removed by the owner and disposed of by racecourse staff. Wristbands cannot be retained for future use.

FAQ's - Owners returning to racecourses

FAQ’s – Owners returning to racecourses

Q         Why do owners need specific protocols for attending a race fixture?

A          The protocols have been designed to help protect you and others when attending a race meeting behind closed doors during ongoing COVID-19 situation.

They have been developed in line with British racing’s protocols for behind closed doors racing, and are underpinned by specific UK Government guidance on the return of elite sporting competition behind closed doors. The government guidance sets the minimum standards that sport is required to meet in order to resume competition behind closed doors.

Through its resumption planning, racing has been able to ensure that our sport can continue in a safe and approporate manner. This has been done to safeguard everyone’s health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of a case of COVID-19 causing a 14-day quarentine of racecourse contacts.

The interim measures for owners will be reviewed regularly in line with government guidance, with the view to easing them at the earliest possible opportunity. In the meantime, thank you for your support and understanding.

Q         But isn’t this just the same as going shopping, to the pub or a restaurant? Why are these  protocols need to be more stringent?

A          When holding fixtures behind closed doors, racecourses have to comply with specific government guidance for elite sports. This has been designed to support elite sport in delivering a safe, co-ordinated return to competition behind closed doors – and in a more controlled environment than most day-to-day activities.

When racing takes place, rececourses are classed ‘competition venues’, which must adhere to minimum standards to mitigate risk, such as restricting access to essential functional personnel (with no spectators) and  screening for all individuals.

This distinguishes racecourses from other hopsitality businesses, such as pubs and restaurants, which are bound by separate government guidance. Consequently, on days when racing is not taking place and the racecourse is not classed as ‘competition venue’, those courses with pubs, bars and restaurants on site are permitted to open these to the

Q         How many passes can I get?

A        The number of owners (or representatives) per horse that can attend will be determined by individual racecourses. This will be based upon the capacity of their owners’ zone and limits agreed with government (which are calculated based on the maximum number of runners a racecourse can host).

These limits, in line with UK Government guidance on the return of elite domestic sporting competition behind closed doors, help ensure we can better facilitate social distancing (at two metres) and mitigate the risk of transmitting the virus.

Information about allocations and registering to attend a fixture will continue to be communicated to owners via email in advance of raceday.

Owners should note that as Welsh Government regulations allow for a maximum of 30 people in the ‘owners’ zone’ at any one time, racecourses in Wales will have stricter attendance restrictions on course.

Q         Which areas of the racecourse will I be able to access?

A          All owners attending behind closed doors fixtures will have access to dedicated areas, known as ‘owner zones’, which will separate owners from race day workers (trainers, stable staff, jockeys, officials, media etc.). These areas may consist of both indoor and outdoor space and will include access to toilets.

Unfortunately, the owner zone will not enable access to the parade ring, the Winners’ Enclosure, or winning connections. Racecourses are however working to develop ‘debrief’ areas where owners will be able to speak to their trainer and/or jockey pre- and post-race, while maintaining social distancing and adhering to wider infection control protocols. 

Q         Why do we need to have dedicated areas for owners?

A          Separating owners from raceday workers is an interim measure, designed to ensure we can get owners back onto the racecourse quickly and in a practical and risk-managed way.

Since resumption, racecourse access has been restricted to the minimum number of personnel required to service a fixture. As this number increases, the ability to maintain social distancing is reduced.

By introducing dedicated owner zones, racecourses will be able to maintain social distancing for all attendees and better manage any risk of spreading the virus, whilst ensuring that racing continues to take place in a safe and controlled environment. This is crucial, particularly as racecourse attendance increases, along with the likelihood of a rise in the number of attendees from more urban areas where COVID-19 cases have been higher.

This approach, supported by government, also means that there would be currently no need to revise other elements of the screening programme, such as by introducing laboratory testing for all racecourse attendees.

Racecourses are already working to develop ‘debrief’ areas, which will enable conversations between owners and trainers (and other connections) without the need to physically move between the infection control areas.

As with the wider resumption of racing, restrictions have been put in place initially to facilitate a smooth implementation and enable owners to adjust to new protocols. These will be gradually eased at the earliest possible opportunity.

Q         Can I speak to my trainer / jockey?

A          Whilst owners and trainers/jockeys will be required to remain in their respective infection control areas, racecourses are already working to implement ‘debrief areas’ which will facilitate conversations between connections in a way that does not breach social distancing. Each racecourse will manage this situation differently, so please check the arrangements with the particular racecourse.

Q         I can go to the pub or restaurant without being screening, why not a racecourse?

A          A health screening process is in place for all racecourse attendees to safeguard their health and wellbeing, in line with government guidance.

 

As noted above, racing is required to comply with specific UK Government guidance around the return of elite sporting competition behind closed doors. This means that during competition (i.e. a race fixture), racecourses are classed as elite sport venues, as distinct from other businesses like pubs and restaurants.

 

Under government guidance, racecourse pubs and restaurants are permitted to open (from 4 July) on days when racing is not taking place. However, when a racecourse is hosting a fixture, it must adhere to strict entry requirements, such as health screening and restricted access to only personnel with essential functional roles.

 

Q         Why are owners required to complete a different screening process to other raceday attendees?

 

A          Owners are asked to complete a two-stage screening process, which consists of an online COVID-19 learning module ahead of the fixture, and health questions and temperature checks on arrival at the racecourse. This approach, combined with social distancing and other infection control measures on the racecourse, will mitigate risk on a raceday.

 

Unlike raceday workers (trainers, jockeys, stable staff, officials etc.), owners are not required to complete the compulsory health screening questionnaire. This reflects the fact that owners will be on course for a shorter period of time, will be better able to maintain social distancing, and will not be interacting more widely with raceday personnel.

 

However, to help protect yourselves and other attendees, owners are asked to assess their own health ahead of attending each fixture, by asking themselves the five questions (see section 7 of the Owner protocols). Please answer these honestly and do not attend the racecourse if advised, as this will put others at risk.

 

This approach, combined with social distancing and other infection control measures on the racecourse, will mitigate risk for owners at the fixture.

Q         When will things return to normal for owners?

A          It is not possible to say with certainty, as we are following government guidance in relation to the return of sport behind closed doors, which restricts racecourse access and movement when competition (i.e. a race fixture) is being held.

 

However, our plans for the return of owners are based on a phased approach, which introduces interim measures in the early stages, which we will aim to gradually ease at the earliest opportunity to re-introduce a more integrated raceday experience for owners.

 

In the meantime, racecourses are working hard to deliver an owner experience that allows you to watch your horses run, while adhering to government guidance and the necessary safety precautions in place to minimise the risk to you and others on raceday. 

 

Prior to arrival at the racecourse:

Q.        What do all owners need to do before they arrive at the racecourse?

A.        

Step 1: 

  • Upon entry of your horse a confirmation email will be sent by the racecourse outlining the PASS weblink to register the nominated names who will be attending the racecourse.
  • Please check your spam / junk mail filter in case the email has gone into these areas.

Step 2: 

  • Once your horse has been declared a further confirmation of declaration email will be sent by the course along with the PASS link https://www.rcapass.com/, providing another opportunity to register the nominated names who will be attending the racecourse. 
  • This email will be after 2pm on the day of declaration.        
  • For any PASS queries please contact the PASS helpdesk on 01933 270333 or by email pass@weatherbys.co.uk
  • Details on using the PASS system can also be found on our PASScard page: https://www.roa.co.uk/raceday/pass.html

Step 3: 

  • Owners will have until 4pm on the day before the race meeting to nominate the attendees. 
  • Please note badges will not be sent in advance and owners will receive wristbands/badges upon arrival at the racecourse.

Step 4

Before arrival, owners are asked to:

A) Complete a short online COVID-19 learning module: 

https://www.roa.co.uk/raceday/covid19/return/elearning.html

  • Please watch the videos, fill in the online form, and confirm that you have understood the information provided
  • If you have any problems with the learning, please contact:
  • You will receive a confirmation email when you have completed the learning, but you are not required to present this on arrival at the racecourse
  • This only needs to be completed once – before your first visit to the racecourse

B ) Assess your own health using the personal health assessment questions: 

https://www.roa.co.uk/raceday/covid19/return/health-questionnaire.html

  • Please do this before each visit to the racecourse, to help minimise the risk for you and other owners

C) Familiarise yourself with the guidance for owners attending a behind closed door race meeting below.

  • This is updated regularly and provides important information to help support you in preparing for and attending the racecourse, so please read this short document before each racecourse visit

Step 5:

  • Upon arrival at the racecourse owners will be asked a series of health questions and will be required to complete a temperature check.
  • You will also need to show photo ID to gain admittance. This could be driving license, passport etc.

Step 6:

  • Once admitted owners will have a designated entrance to the racecourse, along with designated areas on course.

Q.        How do I register that I will be attending on raceday?

A.         As above Step 4 to register your attendees, please log into PASS https://www.rcapass.com/ and submit the names of the individuals who will attend the racecourse. As explained above, all names must be submitted by 4pm the day before the fixture. Changes after that time will not be possible.

Q.        What if I am a member of a syndicate?

A.         For syndicates and racing clubs, it will be the responsibility of the syndicator/club manager to submit the names of those individuals attending the fixture. It is recommended that the syndicator attends as one of the allocated persons to help ensure the remaining syndicate members are kept updated. For more information on filming at racecourses please refer to: https://www.roa.co.uk/raceday/racing.html

Q.        How do I access the PASS system?

A.         Please visit https://www.rcapass.com or contact the PASS Helpdesk on 01933 270333.

Q.        I am an international owner without access to PASS, how do I register my attendance?

A.         Internationally based owners who are not registered in the UK, should contact the racecourse directly to register attendance. This should be completed by 4pm the day before the fixture. For Racing Managers who require assistance registering attendance on behalf of owners please contact the PASS helpdesk.

Q.        How many passes can I get?

A.         The number of owners (or representatives) per horse that can attend will be determined by individual racecourses. This will be based upon the capacity of their owners’ zone and limits agreed with government (which are calculated based on the maximum number of runners a racecourse can host).

Q.         Can children attend the racecourse?

A.         Children can attend as one of the two nominated partners if pre-registered to attend.  All children attending will undergo the entry screening process as standard.  

Q.        I’ve got an entry/declared runner, but I haven’t received an email?

A.         Please contact the PASS Helpdesk on 01933 270333 and the team can assist you further.

Arrival at the racecourse:

Q.        What do I need to bring with me on raceday?

A.         Please make sure you arrive at the racecourse with your:

  • Photographic ID (a copy on your phone is acceptable) – you will require this to gain entry to the racecourse.
  • Your RCA PASScard - if you have been allocated one as a registered owner.

You may also wish to consider bringing your own alcohol-based hand sanitiser and a face covering.

Q.        What will happen if I arrive and my name is not on the list?

A.         The racecourse staff will be able to assist you on the day, however, please be prepared to assist the team by stepping away from the designated entrance to enable other owners to continue safely whilst the team and yourselves resolve the matter.  You may be required to contact the PASS Helpdesk on 01933 270333 to enable your details to be updated to the raceday list.

Q.        What if my horse is a non-runner on the day?

A.         Only owners who have registered their attendance using the RCA’s PASS system should travel to the racecourse. If a horse is declared a non-runner the attached owners should also not attend the fixture.

Q.        What will happen when I arrive at the racecourse?

A.         Step1: On arrival at the racecourse you will be asked for your details and valid ID.

            Step2: You will be asked a series of three questions relating to your current health on the day

            Step3: A temperature check will be taken. Your temperature will be taken twice in quick succession, with the lower reading recorded.

Q.        What will happen if I fail the temperature check when I arrive?

A.         Your temperature will be taken twice in quick succession, with the lower reading recorded. If on both occasions this temperature exceeds 37.8°C, owners will not be granted access to the racecourse and will be advised to travel home.

            Owners are reminded that if any member of the same vehicle fails to clear the entry screening process all those travelling together will be denied entry onto the racecourse.

Q.        I failed my temperature test when I arrived at the racecourse and couldn’t attend – when can I next visit a racecourse with a declared runner?

A.         Any individual that fails the on-course screening will be required to either:

provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test, which can be booked on the NHS website.

or complete a minimum of 7 days of isolation depending on advice received from NHS.

On the racecourse:

Q.        What areas of the racecourse will I be able to access?

A.         The owner zones may consist of both outside and indoor space and will include access to toilets. It will not allow access to the parade ring, the Winners’ Enclosure, or winning connections.

Q.        Why can owners and raceday workers not interact on raceday?

A.         To mitigate the risk of the transmitting COVID-19, owners on course will have access to a dedicated owner zones, which will be separated from raceday workers (trainers, stable staff, jockeys, officials, media etc.). For infection control purposes, no movement will be permitted between the two areas of the racecourse.

This approach, supported by government, also means that there would be currently no need to revise other elements of the screening program such as by introducing laboratory testing for all racecourse attendees.

Q.        Will there be food and drink available on the day?

A.         Racecourses are permitted to offer hospitality for owners in line with UK Government guidance for restaurants, pubs and bars. While this has been supported by Government, all other aspects of the raceday will continue to comply with guidance on the return of elite sporting competition behind closed doors.

The option of hospitality will be subject to local risk assessments and owners should note that Government guidance may differ between England, Wales and Scotland which could affect this provision.

Q.        Will there be presentations on the racecourse?

A.         Not at this stage of the proposal, therefore the current arrangements for distributing prizes to the winning and placed connections will continue unchanged.

Q         Can racecourses send owners a winning memento?

A          While there remain challenges with making presentations on course, racecourses can send winning owners a memento following a fixture.

Q.        How long can I stay on the course after my horse has run?

A.        There are no restrictions around departure times, except for in Wales as Welsh Government regulations allow for a maximum of 30 people in the ‘owners’ zone’ at any one time.

Q.        Do I have to wear PPE/Facemasks?

A.         At present, in line with Government Guidance, face coverings are not mandatory for owners on racecourses as 2 metre Social Distancing will be possible.

Leaving the racecourse:

Q.        Do I have to leave the racecourse after my horse has raced?

A.         There are no restrictions around departure times, except for in Wales as Welsh Government regulations allow for a maximum of 30 people in the ‘owners’ zone’ at any one time.

Q.        Who do I call if I have a query?

A.         If owners have any questions about PASS, they should contact the PASS Helpdesk on

01933 270333 and for all other queries should contact the ROA on 01183 385680.

We thank you for your assistance in advance by supporting the measures in place.  As you will appreciate this is an evolving landscape and hopefully as cases continue to fall, we can look forward to a more integrated raceday experience, which we would like to achieve at the earliest opportunity.  To assist us with developing our protocols and support please do ensure any feedback following your return to racing is provided by email to the ROA info@roa.co.uk.

 

 

 

If you need assistance in using or setting up your PASS access online, please contact the PASS helpdesk on 01933 270333 or via pass@weatherbys.co.uk.

For further information on the return of owners to racecourses, please contact the ROA on 01183 385680 or via: info@roa.co.uk