THE Victorian Government has confirmed racing will continue while other parts of the economy are shut down as part of the state’s latest tactic to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Premier Dan Andrews announced Victoria was in a State of Disaster on Sunday afternoon as the pandemic continued to claim lives.
Andrews announced a nightly curfew on the public on Sunday and closed some businesses for at least the next six weeks.
But it will be business as usual for all three sectors of the Victorian Racing Industry. Andrews noted the industry could continue on animal welfare grounds but also said the industry’s protocols made racing a “low risk activity”.
Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said those strict protocols, that included the banning of all bar essential personnel from race meetingsand trackwork, were a key reason the industry was able to continue during an unprecedented period of public restrictions. (Jockeys are regarded as essentials in Australia).
“It is these biosecurity protocols, coupled with the diligence and cooperation of all within Victorian racing, that has seen 190 race meetings and over 1600 races safely conducted in Victoria during that period without a single case of COVID-19 in our industry,” Thompson said in a statement.
“We have today been advised by the Victorian Government that racing and training can continue under the strict biosecurity protocols that have safely guided our industry throughout the past four-and-a-half months without a COVID-19 case. – Racenet.