Coronavirus Scare Forces British Horseracing to Consider Closed Door Operations

Mar 19

As countries worldwide instigate shutdown measures to help protect the populace from the virus that is killing thousands all across the globe, the British Horseracing Association (BHA) is also preparing to take their activities behind closed doors. With this move, the association will be operating the track without any spectators in the stands. This move is in line with the social distancing guidelines set by the government and to help reduce the chances of the virus spreading among those who enjoy the sport.

The closed-door policy is set to stay in effect until the end of March or until further notice. Aside from having no spectators in the stands, the competitors will also be asked to practice the same social distancing policies set for everyone else. This means they won’t be allowed to stand within 6 feet of each other. This rule covers everyone involved in the operation from the crew to the jockeys to the attendants.

With more and more people getting sick from the virus, this move is justified albeit challenging to the industry. Monday’s race is already set to occur without any spectators and very few people within the facility. The association’s CEO is said to have agreed wholeheartedly to this move to ensure the safety of all involved. Following the government’s mandate is just one of the things they are willing to do in order to keep customers and players safe from the virus.

The Grand National set to be held on April 4 still has to be discussed with the government. Once plans have been put in place and decisions have been made, the public will be informed of these as soon as information is available.