Temperature checks introduced to tackle coronavirus spread in Australian racing
Tough new measures - including compulsory temperature checks - have been announced by Racing Victoria to stop coronavirus spreading into the racing industry.
In an unprecedented move to keep the industry going as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic, races in Victoria will be run behind closed doors until at least April 13.
Starting from Tuesday's meeting at Cranbourne, all those permitted to attend racedays must not have a temperature at or above 37.6.
Racing Victoria also announced interstate and international jockeys will only be permitted to compete within Victoria if they travel to the state by private vehicle or charter flight.
It means Hugh Bowman will either have to charter a flight or drive to Melbourne to ride Bivouac in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Those defined as permitted people at race tracks until April 13 are: licensed jockeys and trainers engaged at the meeting, registered stable staff with runners at the meeting, raceday officials and limited media and broadcast staff.
Restrictions are also in place for trackwork, trials, training centres and jumpouts.
Racing Victoria boss Giles Thompson said the unprecedented situation needed unprecedented actions to support an industry that needs to be racing to survive.
“We have two clear priorities at this time; to protect the health and wellbeing of our industry stakeholders and indeed the wider community, and to provide an appropriate framework under which racing can continue for the many people whose livelihoods depend on it," Thompson said.
“A decision on our meetings after April 13 will be made in the coming weeks as the situation evolves, and more timely information is available from the government and health authorities.
“We have implemented strict measures for those attending race meetings and I again ask that any permitted attendee who is feeling unwell not attend and seek medical advice where appropriate. This same approach should apply for those attending trackwork also.
“In making today’s announcement, I want to thank all within the industry, in particular our owners, for their cooperation and understanding in this unique and challenging time. It is important that the racing community works together so we can continue racing for the benefit of all.”
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