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COVID-19 IMPORTANT INFORMATION – NSW PARTICIPANTS

COVID-19

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – NSW PARTICIPANTS

27 MARCH 2020

Racing NSW has implemented important measures to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the community and within the racing industry.

General

Conduct of race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork

Jockeys

Trainers, stablehands and other essential personnel

Horses travelling

Race Clubs

Safe Work Australia - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice for Employers

GENERAL

Information provided by the Department of Health has advised that COVID-19 spreads from person to person most likely with the following ways

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face

The Department of Health recommends

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Maintain at least 1.5 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene - Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and as soon as possible, thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water and avoid touching any surfaces until you have done so.
  • Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth - Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • If you have any of the following symptoms; fever (high temperature), cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early - Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. You should isolate yourself and immediately seek medical advice by calling Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 or your medical practitioner.

Government restrictions

  • Sunday 15 March 2020 - Any person that travels to Australia from a foreign country after midnight on Sunday 15 March 2020 is required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
  • Monday 16 March 2020 - Essential gatherings must continue to adhere to the following guidance and restrict the number of people present to 500 for outdoor gatherings and 100 for indoor gatherings.
  • Friday 20 March 2020 – Density restrictions for indoor venues of one person per 4 square metres.
  • 9pm on Friday 20 March 2020 - Only Australian citizens, residents and their immediate family can travel to Australia.
  • Midday on Monday 23 March 2020 – Lockdown on non-essential busineses with the following facilities being restricted as set out below:
    • pubs, registered and licensed clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
    • gyms and indoor sporting venues
    • cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs
    • restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
    • religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metres rule applies)

CONDUCT OF Race Meetings, Barrier trials and trackwork - Restrictions on public access PROTOCOLS Effective 16 March 2020 - Still Current

The only persons that will be permitted to attend thoroughbred race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork (including access to licensed training stables) in New South Wales will be Essential Personnel. No public access will be permitted, including for owners (unless providing an essential service, for example, an owner who is also a trainer).

Essential Personnel at race meetings are the following persons:

  • Racing NSW Stewards and Veterinarians
  • Trainers, Jockeys and Stablehands with a runner at the race meeting
  • Barrier Attendants, Starters and essential Track Staff
  • Clerks of the Course
  • Judges and Sectional Timing Teams
  • Weighing Room Staff and jockeys’ attendants
  • Race day Event Staff and security including horse stalls, mounting yards and float carpark
  • Club Doctor and Ambulance Services
  • Farriers and other essential service providers
  • Broadcast services including Race Caller
  • Effective 27 March 2020, other than essential broadcast media, media are prohibited from attending race meetings.
  • One photographer per racecourse at provincial and country meetings and two in the metropolitan area.
  • Restricted operational Race Club staff and management

Essential Personnel will be required to leave the racecourse after their horses have run.

No on course wagering facilities will be available.

Access

No more than two access points to the racecourse with one required access point through the Horse Stall area (for both horses and Essential Personnel) and one optional access point (for Essential Personnel only that have been approved by Racing NSW and the Race Club).

Access will not be permitted to any Essential Personnel that:

  • Is suffering from coronavirus symptoms or is otherwise unwell;
  • Has been to a country considered at higher risk of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, being mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea (and any such other countries added to that list from time to time);
  • Is subject to self-isolation requirements imposed by the Government;
  • Has been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus;
  • Has an elevated temperature.

Further, if any Essential Personnel is in a high-risk group such as older people or people with underlying illnesses that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease, including those with diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure and people with suppressed immune systems, that person should not attend race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork (including accessing licensed training stables).

Enhanced hygiene measures

Sufficient cleaning staff are to be engaged to provide ongoing and continual disinfection of common surfaces used by Essential Personnel during the conduct of the race meeting. This is to include at a minimum twice daily periodic disinfection of all common surfaces including but not limited to door handles, handrails, lift call buttons, internal lift buttons and escalator handrails, light switches, fridges, microwaves, cabinets, tap handles, phones and keyboards etc.

Hand sanitizer stations to be installed in all areas used by Essential Personnel and cleaning staff are to continually monitor hand sanitizer stations, soap & hand drying for replenishment.

Barrier trials - Metropolitan

  1. Effective 1 April 2020 Metropolitan barrier trials will be restricted to horses that are only trained at the racecourse where the barrier trials are being conducted.
  1. To support the barrier trial program, each metropolitan racecourse will continue to conduct weekly jump-outs for horses trained at the course.

Trackwork, barrier trials and stable attendance protocols effective 16 MARCH 2020 – Still Current

  1. Only Essential Personnel are permitted to attend trackwork, barrier trials and trainers’ stables (licensed premises).
  1. Owners are not permitted to attend these venues.
  1. Should any Essential Personnel display the COVID-19 symptoms detailed above, do not attend your workplace and notify your employer of the symptoms you are experiencing and advise of your unavailability to attend work. You should isolate yourself and immediately seek medical advice by calling Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 or your medical practitioner.

JOCKEYS (including apprentices) - IMPORTANT INFORMATION – SPECIFIC ADDITIONAL MEASURES

In addition to protocols previously put in place (see below), the following additional measures have been introduced. To take effect Friday 27 March 2020, the first race meetings affected will be Muswellbrook and Sapphire Coast 27 March 2020.

  1. A jockey not currently located in NSW (effective 5pm 23 March 2020) is not permitted to attend and/or ride at a NSW racecourse or licensed premises until further notice.
  1. A jockey that is currently located in NSW and subsequently leave NSW are not permitted to attend and/or ride at a NSW racecourse or licensed premises until further notice.
  1. The state of NSW has been segregated into three regions as illustrated in the map below.
    1. Metropolitan (ATC racecourses)
    2. North (Gosford, Wyong, Newcastle, HNWRA, MNCRA & NRRA)
    3. South/West (Hawkesbury, Kembla, SDRA, SERA, CDRA, WRA)

Jockeys are required to select the region they shall ride in and must not accept rides in other regions.

  1. We have compiled a list of jockeys with their selected regions & a list of upcoming meetings with their designated regions. Please click here to access the PDF.
  1. Jockeys who elect to ride in the metropolitan area, are not permitted to ride in any other region and can only attend trackwork on Tuesdays (at a metropolitan racecourse) but are still permitted to ride in barrier trials in the metropolitan area. All other jockeys can continue to ride regular trackwork but can only race-ride or barrier trial in their selected area.
  1. Jockeys are required to nominate by no later than Tuesday 24 March 2020 which one of the three designated regions they shall ride in. Should a jockey fail to nominate a region then Racing NSW shall determine the region upon which the jockey shall ride in.

Jockey race day protocols (Effective 16 March 2020) – Still Current

  1. If you are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms described above, do not attend the racecourse and contact your local Stewards. Immediately seek medical advice by calling Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 or your medical practitioner
  1. If you are feeling well, upon arrival on course you must not enter the jockey’s room until your temperature has been checked (where equipment is available) and verified within normal parameters.
  1. A jockey experiencing an elevated temperature will be given the opportunity to have a further temperature assessment 15 minutes following the first assessment.
  1. Should the rider’s temperature remain elevated he or she will not be permitted to enter the jockey’s room and shall be required to leave the racecourse. A medical clearance to the satisfaction of Racing NSW will be required before riding again.
  1. Upon entering the jockeys’ room, the jockey must immediately shower for a minimum of 5 minutes for hygiene purposes.
  1. Once in the jockeys’ room, wherever possible, jockeys will be required to segregate a minimum of at least 1.5 metres apart. Jockeys’ rooms shall be divided into multiple rooms at the direction of the Stewards.
  1. Whenever possible, between races jockeys should use hand sanitizers provided by the club. All gear should be cleaned/disinfected between races.
  1. Direct contact between other jockeys and persons should be avoided at all costs and maintain social distancing (1.5 metres apart) from all persons.
  1. Should you feel unwell or experience any of the symptoms of COVID-19 throughout the day, ensure you advise the Stewards who will obtain medical assistance.
  1. Once you have fulfilled your final engagement, thoroughly clean/disinfect gear, shower and leave the jockeys room and racecourse immediately.
  1. The use of spas on all racecourses is prohibited until further notice.

Jockey colours 

  1. Trainers or owners are required to provide separate colours for each individual jockey. If this cannot be accommodated a separate set of colours must be nominated to be used.

TRAINERS, STABLEHANDS & OTHER ESSENTIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS (Essential Personnel)

  1. Essential Personnel not currently located in NSW (effective 5pm 23 March 2020) are not permitted to attend a NSW racecourse or licensed premises until further notice.
  1. Essential Personnel that are currently located in NSW and subsequently leave NSW are not be permitted to attend a NSW racecourse or licensed premises until further notice.

Essential personnel – Protocols effective 16 March 2020 - Still Current 

  1. Stable Staff and Service Providers (Farriers/Float Drivers)
    If you experience any of the symptoms detailed above, do not attend your workplace and notify your employer of the symptoms you are experiencing and advise of your unavailability to attend work. You should isolate yourself and immediately seek medical advice by calling Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 or your medical practitioner.
  1. Trainers 
    If you experience any of the symptoms detailed above, do not attend your workplace and make arrangements for a senior member of your staff to be in charge of your stable. You should isolate yourself and immediately seek medical advice by calling Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 or your medical practitioner. Trainers must report any symptom experienced by an employee or themselves to their local Racing NSW Stewards. Stables that have an employee that has experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must ensure that all staff members continue to practice good hygiene and immediately report to their supervisor should they commence to display any COVID-19 symptoms. Under no circumstances should any participant experiencing COVID-19 symptoms attend any race meeting, barrier trial or public gathering.
  1. Racing NSW Stewards are conducting temperature assessments of Essential Personnel on race day and at trackwork. Essential Personnel found to have an elevated temperature will be given the opportunity to have a further temperature assessment 15 minutes following the first assessment. Should the persons temperature remain elevated he or she will be required to leave the racecourse or licensed premises.  A medical clearance to the satisfaction of Racing NSW will be required before returning to work or to a racecourse or licensed premises.

HORSES TRAVELLING 

  1. Where Government regulations allow, horses will be permitted to travel to NSW, however Essential Personnel are not permitted to travel with such horses.
  1. Transport Drivers (Freight Drivers) are to make prior arrangements with drop off points and are not to access Licensed Premises when delivering horses. A designated NSW staff member of the horse’s trainer must be on hand to take delivery of the horse being transported.
  1. Upon arrival the designated staff member must ensure that any gear attached to the horse is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to minimize any risk of COVID-19 being spread within the stable environment.

 

RACE CLUBS

Role of Race Clubs

Racing NSW seeks the assistance of all race clubs in working with their local Stewards to implement the procedures outlined above.

Race clubs are requested to complete the following tasks in preparation for each meeting:

  • Have a thermometer approved by the Stewards available to assist Stewards in taking temperatures of jockeys when they arrive and during the day;
  • Have dedicated staff members to secure jockeys’ rooms at the direction of the Stewards;
  • Have dedicated jockeys room staff to clean jockeys’ rooms throughout the day, including amenities. Ensuring any meals areas remain hygienic and touch points regularly cleansed;
  • Provide sanitisers and disinfectant for jockeys to improve hygiene;
  • Close spas;
  • Identify additional spaces within the racecourse whereby jockeys’ rooms can be located (in consultation with the Stewards) to provide social distancing of jockeys. It is recommended that up to 4 separate spaces be provided and Stewards will allocate jockeys seating arrangements;
  • In enclosed spaces each person (including jockeys’ rooms) must be provided with 4 square metres of space.
  • Provide signage in jockeys rooms to remind jockeys of personal hygiene;
  • Have dedicated staff members or security personnel at access points to the racecourse ensuring only Essential Personnel access the course. Names of persons entering at each access point should be recorded with the role such person is performing;
  • Employ dedicated personnel to provide ongoing and continual disinfection of common surfaces and touch points used by Essential Personnel during the conduct of the race meeting;
  • Supply hand sanitising stations in all areas used by Essential Personnel and regularly check to ensure sufficient supply;
  • Install signage in all areas detailing hygiene measures;
  • Clubs that do not have separate sets of strappers bibs to use for each race, Racing NSW directs the discontinuation of their use until further notice. Clubs are not to recycle the use of strappers bibs throughout the day.

There is to be signage in all areas detailing hygiene measures.

Race Club Facilities

  • Race club facilities for social gathering are prohibited.
  • Race meetings are attended only by those considered to be at work
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