No RCA plan to bring in mandatory Covid passes despite Chelmsford move
The Racecourse Association has confirmed there are no plans to introduce mandatory Covid passes at tracks despite the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Chelmsford announced on Sunday that racegoers attending its meetings will have to show Covid passes – detailing an individual's vaccination record and test results – to be permitted entry, starting from Thursday's evening fixture.
Although officials at the Essex track stated the new variant, which was first reported in South Africa but has spread to countries across the world including the UK, was not the "overriding factor" behind the decision to make Covid passes mandatory, the decision raised questions of how other British courses might respond.
However, an RCA spokesperson said there are no plans to replicate that move at English racecourses. People attending outdoor venues in Scotland with more than 4,000 people in attendance have been required, since October 1, to prove they have been vaccinated and in Wales since October 11.
A RCA spokesperson said: “Further to recent speculation, the RCA can confirm that there are currently no plans to introduce mandatory Covid certification at British racecourses other than in devolved nations where venues are already required to facilitate the initiative when attendances reach a certain limit.
“We remain in close contact with the appropriate departments across national governments to ensure all British racecourses are at the forefront of relevant information should the situation change.
“In the interim, the RCA will continue to follow the advice given by national governments and provide guidance to our member racecourses, allowing them to safely welcome spectators and participants.”
Racegoers in England have faced no restrictions on attendance since the lifting of government lockdown measures on July 19.
Prime minister Boris Johnson announced last weekend that face coverings would become mandatory again in shops and on public transport in England in response to the Omicron variant, but hospitality settings were exempt from the changes.
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