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Covid passes and ID scanning introduced at Chelmsford as safety measure

Chelmsford: new measures will be in place for its next fixture on Thursday
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Racegoers will be required to show Covid passes and provide identification to attend fixtures at Chelmsford, which has introduced new measures following the emergence of the Omicron Covid variant and the increased terror threat in the UK.

Concern over the safety of the public and staff has prompted Chelmsford to make Covid passes – detailing an individual's vaccination record and test results – mandatory.

Two cases of the variant were detected on Saturday, one of which is in Brentwood, Essex, around ten miles from the racecourse.

Suitable photo ID – which can be a passport, driving licence or government or international issue photo card – will be scanned as a condition of entry. The course said this was in response to the government raising the terror level to severe in the UK after the explosion at Liverpool Women's Hospital a fortnight ago. 

The changes will be in place for Chelmsford's next fixture on Thursday evening, with clerk of the course Andy Waitt explaining that prioritising safety was the reason for the new measures.

He said: "The variant is not the overriding factor, we've been thinking about the Covid passes for a little while. It seems to be working [in other sports] and it's just a precautionary measure. In our view, it's good practice for the protection of the public and our staff.

"A lot of sports grounds have done the IDs as a security measure, so that if there are any undesirable people who have been barred or banned we can identity them more easily and stop entry. It's done because of the raised security level.

"It won't make much difference to the raceday experience. People will just have to show a pass and a piece of identification."

When asked about other racecourses following suit, Waitt replied: "I would hope so, yes. The overriding idea is protection for the staff and the general public coming in."

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It won't make much difference to the raceday experience. People will just have to show a pass and a piece of identification

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