Racing in New Zealand has been given a major boost with the green light given to resume racing.
The New Zealand government has begun to relax its restrictions from the coronavirus as the island nation successfully has managed the spread of COVID-19, reporting no new cases of the virus.
It means training, trials and horse racing will resume across the country as biosecurity levels step down from stage four restrictions to stage three.
The government has advised NZTR that on-site work is permitted for training and horse racing of thoroughbreds, provided that all employers have a COVID-19 control plan in place, with appropriate health and safety and physical distancing measures for both staff and contractors.
NZTR said it would advise any updates that result from the WorkSafe endorsement process.
“It is important that every one of our industry participants continues to play their part in ensuring workplaces are safe for everyone and this includes maintaining social distancing and proper hygiene practices, with hand washing etc,” NZTR said in a statement.
“The protocols, as well as being available on our website, have also been distributed to clubs and recognised industry organisations.
“Employers and their staff must work together to confirm safe working practices that include the required measures of the NZTR Directive as a minimum.
“Our expectation is that all industry participants will make themselves familiar with the protocols and adhere to them strictly to ensure our industry is able to operate safely. We all have a part to play in ensuring racing is a responsible industry during this time.”
With horse racing shut down for more than a month, trainers were forced to send their equine athletes to spelling farms.
However with horse racing given the go-ahead, it means the gradual process of training build up can begin with NZ Thoroughbred Racing planning to host meetings from the beginning of July.
Several top liners remain in Australia after autumn carnival campaigns with racing continuing behind closed doors in all states but Tasmania.
NZTR has yet to announce a prize money structure for races when they return but they are expected to take a hit.
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