Racing and the Coronavirus

RELEASED ON BEHALF OF: Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, Kenilworth Racing, Gold Circle, the Racing Association, the National Horseracing Authority and the Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust

In light of the guidelines and restrictions regarding public gatherings as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 15 March to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, Kenilworth Racing, Gold Circle, the Racing Association, the National Horseracing Authority and The Thoroughbred Horseracing Trust have unanimously agreed to implement the following Protocols and Procedures with immediate effect:

  1. Racing to continue, but with no public attendance on course

From Tuesday 17 March, all race meetings will be closed to the public until further notice. Consequently, the Joburg Prawn Festival at Turffontein scheduled for 4 April and the Klawervlei raceday scheduled for Durbanville on Saturday 28 March are cancelled, although the race meetings at which they were scheduled will take place.

Only essential racing participants will be allowed access to racecourses on race days. These include owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, officials and staff deemed necessary to host a race meeting safely and successfully.

  • Access control to be strictly adhered to and facilities for participants to be limited

Access points to racecourses will be limited, as will hospitality venues for participants allowed at racecourses on raceday in order to strictly comply with the guidelines and restrictions imposed.

  • Sanitization measures to be put in place

Hand sanitizer, accompanied with the necessary signage and instructions, will be made available to all racing participants allowed on course.

The same sanitization measures will be applied at training centres which will include all grooms. In addition, various restrictive measures to be implemented as a cautionary, as well as potential lockdown procedures, are being put into place in the eventuality of an outbreak at any of the grooms’ accommodation.

  • All non-racing events cancelled

All non-racing events, such as conferences, hosted at the various racecourses across the country will be cancelled with immediate effect.

  • Off Course Betting Outlets

In line with the published restrictions, attendance at all Off-Course Betting Shops will be limited to under 100 persons as required. In addition, sanitization measures will be put in place at all outlets.

Racing fans are encouraged to open online betting accounts instead of placing bets at Off-Course Betting Shops.

  • Government Hotline

Attention is drawn to the government hotline – 0800 029 999 – which provides easy access to important information on the subject.

The Racing Operators reserve the right to deny access to any of their venues to any person displaying Covid-19 symptoms.