Japan Tightens COVID-19 Safety Measures


A typical Tokyo Racecourse scene | Getty

Racing has been permitted to continue in Japan-albeit under stricter measures–despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declaring a state of emergency earlier this week due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the nation.

Japan Racing Association meetings have been held behind closed doors since late February, but there will now be further restrictions put in place. According to Racing Post, jockeys will have to serve their usual pre-race quarantine in isolation rather than in communal quarters, and from Apr. 18 they will not be permitted to ride at more than one racecourse during a single weekend.

Tighter rules have also been enacted on the movement of horses; horses below stakes level will have to campaign in their home regions until at least the beginning of May. This will, additionally, reduce the movement of stable staff.

The Japanese Classic season gets underway this weekend with the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) at Hanshin Racecourse.

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