Racing getting back on its feet in NZ

The New Zealand racing industry has been given the go ahead to resume training, trialling and racing with the easing of the COVID-19 Alert level.

From Tuesday, the level will go from a four to a three with many restrictions still in place.

NZ Thoroughbred Racing plans to be back holding meetings from the beginning of July.

At Level 3, the government has advised NZTR that on-site work is permitted for training and 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.

The NZTR directive released on Friday has been sent to WorkSafe for endorsement of the protocols.

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 handwashing 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 includes 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.”

NZ racing shut down a month ago and many trainers sent their horses to spelling farms.

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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