Welsh Racegoers To Return Next Week

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BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington | BHA

With the news that spectators will be permitted to return to the races in Wales from Monday, racegoers are now able to attend courses across all three nations in Britain. Four-thousand spectators will be permitted at a fixture in Wales, with the first to take place under those guidelines at Chepstow on June 11. Spectators returned in England and Scotland on May 17; 4,000 spectators are currently permitted at a fixture in England, with Royal Ascot set to be a pilot event allowing 12,000.

The next phase in the UK Government's rollout, step four, is due to take place on June 21, though the government is not expected to confirm until June 14 whether it will proceed with step four or what that will entail for sporting events.

Julie Harrington, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said, “I'm very positive about the ability of racing to take place safely as we've demonstrated throughout the long period of racing behind closed doors. I have been able to make that point directly to ministers and am delighted that Royal Ascot has been selected as a pilot event.

“We are now awaiting the government's review of social distancing rules, which need to be relaxed if we are to welcome back more spectators from 21 June. There is a lot of speculation in the media, but the government has told us no decision has yet been made. We are working closely alongside other elite sports to seek clarity from government at the earliest possible moment. There are a number of major sporting events shortly after 21 June, such as the Euros, Wimbledon, the Open Golf and the British Grand Prix.

“We thank all those owners and spectators attending racing at present for their patience in bearing with restrictions and look forward to the day when these can be safely removed.”

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