Racing Continues Amid New Lockdowns

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Masked spectators have been allowed at French racecourses through the summer and autumn | Emma Berry

Racing in France and Germany looks set to continue behind closed doors after both countries have been placed in new temporary lockdowns.

The rising rates of coronavirus across Europe means that, as of midnight on Thursday, France will return to lockdown conditions seen earlier in 2020, with only essential journeys being permitted and restaurants, bars and most shops closed for all bar essential provisions. However, the country’s sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has confirmed that professional sport can continue and that professional athletes are allowed to train and to travel to competitions.

France is one of the few European nations to have welcomed spectators back to racecourses in a limited capacity, with up to 5,000 people allowed on French racecourses throughout the summer and up to this week in areas which had not already succumbed to tighter Covid-related restrictions. Though no announcement has yet been made by France Galop, it seems likely that from Friday only key personnel accompanying horses will be allowed to go racing in France, with the current lockdown in place until at least Dec. 1.

The situation in Germany is similar, with racing being allowed to continue behind closed doors during a newly announced four-week lockdown, which is set to commence on Nov. 2.

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