Racecourses gearing up for the return of spectators
- Racecourse Association supporting racecourses to welcome spectators from Wednesday 2 December
- New tiered restrictions apply to English racecourses only—35 Racecourses in Tier 2, 16 in Tier 3
- Further guidance from authorities forthcoming
The Racecourse Association (RCA) welcomes the return of spectators to English racecourses from Wednesday 2 December and is supporting racecourses in preparing for this significant milestone.
Following the Government’s announcement of new national tiered restrictions in England on Thursday 26 November the RCA learnt that 35 racecourses would be placed into Tier 2, allowing for up to 2,000 spectators to attend. 16 racecourses remain in Tier 3 meaning only owners may attend.
Racecourses in Scotland and Wales remain behind closed doors and the RCA will continue to support discussion with devolved Governments to push for a safe return of spectators. A further review of the national tier system in England will take place by Wednesday 16 December.
The RCA, racecourses and the wider industry have worked tirelessly to prepare for the return of spectators. A new set of operating protocols have been created for each tier to allow for a safe and enjoyable raceday experience which abides by the important guidance issued by both Government and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA). When attending a raceday within a Tier 2 zone, spectators will be required to:
- Purchase tickets in advance
- Provide full contact details for all within their party
- Wear a face covering at all times, unless eating or drinking
- Travel by private transport where possible
- Ensure social distancing from fellow racegoers outside of their household bubble
A Code of Conduct, consistent across all major sports, will be issued for each racecourse and spectators will be required to honour the sentiment of this code whilst enjoying their raceday.
As has been the case since the initial lockdown in March, the RCA and racecourses are grateful for the continued support of racehorse owners and we are delighted to confirm that owners will remain on course in all three tiers in England and all Covid-19 levels in Scotland. Specific protocols and what can be expected from racecourses will be shared with owners in due course.
David Armstrong, Chief Executive of the RCA, commented: “the RCA is pleased to see such progress being made with regards to the return of spectators and we now have a clear date to aim for in 2nd December. The speed at which the new protocol has been created is testament to the skill and dedication of all who have worked on it.
“The RCA has consistently said throughout the pandemic that bringing back spectators at the earliest, safe opportunity was our priority. We are now in a position to do that, albeit in small numbers to start with, and begin to recover from the damage caused by Covid-19.
“We have all missed racegoers—the atmosphere, the camaraderie and the fact many livelihoods depend on them. I hope that being back on a racecourse goes some way to providing some much-needed respite from what has been an incredibly challenging year.”
Notes for Editors
The list of English racecourses within each tier is as follows:
AINTREE, ASCOT, BATH, BRIGHTON, CARLISLE, CARTMEL, CATTERICK, CHELMSFORD CITY, CHELTENHAM, CHESTER, EPSOM DOWNS, EXETER, FAKENHAM, FONTWELL PARK, GOODWOOD, HAYDOCK PARK, HEREFORD, HUNTINGDON, KEMPTON PARK, LINGFIELD PARK, LUDLOW, NEWBURY, NEWMARKET, NEWTON ABBOT, PLUMPTON, RIPON, SALISBURY, SANDOWN PARK, TAUNTON, THIRSK, WINCANTON, WINDSOR, WORCESTER, YARMOUTH, YORK.
BEVERLEY, DONCASTER, HEXHAM, LEICESTER. MARKET RASEN, NEWCASTLE, NOTTINGHAM, PONTEFRACT, REDCAR, SEDGEFIELD, SOUTHWELL, STRATFORD, UTTOXETER, WARWICK, WETHERBY, WOLVERHAMPTON
Racecourses in Scotland and Wales are subject to separate, devolved Covid-19 restrictions and are subsequently not included in these tiers. Full guidance and operating protocol has been created for these racecourses as soon as they are able to welcome spectators.