HERE is the latest on racing in Australia, where the industry will continue in full operation – for the next two days at least.
Racenet.com.au reports that Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula said racing had the green light to continue on Monday and Tuesday, until the national cabinet next meets to decide if further coronavirus measures are warranted.
Pubs, cinemas, gyms and a significant number of businesses have been forced to shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has now infected more than 1000 people in Australia.
Pakula told RSN that all three codes of racing will operate for the next 48 hours but that situation could change quickly.
“Today and tomorrow is still the green light but as we’ve seen in other parts of the economy, this thing is very changeable,” Pakula said.
“We’re changing every few days. Enjoy it while we can.”
Pakula said he expected racing to shut down at some stage but was unsure when that would happen.
“I think there will be a period, and hopefully it won’t be a long period, when racing will more than likely have to stop,” Pakula said.
“But while we can race, we should enjoy it.”
While Pakula conceded there could be a time when it is impossible to continue racing, he said the sport had done everything right to convince health officials that it was safe to keep the sport going.
But he said the health department would have the final say on racing’s short-term future.
“Everyone in the industry is making the best arguments they can make and acting in as unified a way as possible to make the case to health officials,” Pakula said.
“Racing has been very proactive, they have taken the social distancing measures, they locked the crowds out before they were required to do so.
“They are doing everything right.
“Ultimately, health officials will make decisions based on what they think is needed to slow the spread of this disease.
“We’re just going to have to accept and respect that.”