The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced COVID-19 health and safety protocols for jockeys competing at the 48-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet. The meet runs Thursday, Apr. 22 through Sunday, July 11.
As has been the case at NYRA since Apr. 1, all jockeys who have been fully vaccinated will not be required to undergo COVID-19 testing in order to compete at Belmont. Vaccinated jockeys traveling to ride at Belmont, as well as members of the NYRA jockey colony who travel outside of New York State, will continue to be provided isolated jockey quarters at Belmont.
According to current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days or more after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or 14 days or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). NYRA will adhere to the current CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccination standards.
As has been the case since Apr. 1, all jockeys who have been fully vaccinated to CDC guidelines will be permitted to enter the Belmont barn area for morning training. Jockeys who have not been fully vaccinated will not be permitted in the barn areas but can continue to meet horses in the Belmont Park paddock and utilize the main track. NYRA will permit out-of-town jockeys to compete at Belmont Park during the 2021 spring/summer meet. Jockeys who have not been fully vaccinated must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in New York State within 48 hours of the day they intend to compete at Belmont. Out-of-town jockeys will be provided isolated jockey quarters at Belmont.
In accordance with current CDC guidelines, jockeys who have traveled internationally will be required to quarantine for seven days upon their return. Four days after arrival in the United States, the jockey must be tested for COVID-19. Upon receipt of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, and completion of the seven-day quarantine, the jockey may compete at Belmont. All jockeys who have traveled internationally will be provided isolated jockey quarters.
In addition to race day safety protocols, which include standard health screening and temperature checks, the jockey quarters at Belmont have been substantially altered to provide maximum social distancing and reduce density. All areas accessed by jockeys during the regular course of a race day are closed to outside personnel, including credentialed media, and are cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
Owners licensed by the New York State Gaming Commission will continue to be permitted to attend live racing on the day their horse is entered to run. A limited number of licensed owners will be permitted within the barn area at Belmont during the 2021 spring/summer meet. In order to secure access to the barn area, owners must provide NYRA with proof of completed vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within five days of the request. Owners are considered fully vaccinated 14 days or more after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or 14 days or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson / Janssen).
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