Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) advises that from Wednesday 25 March 2020, all weight allocations for jockeys in the State will be temporarily increased by 1kg as a protective health measure against COVID-19.
RWWA CEO Richard Burt said the decision was an important precautionary measure to protect Western Australian jockeys.
“This decision has been made to ensure the wellbeing of our critical jockey population during a time of high-risk mitigation,” said Mr Burt.
Since 16 March 2020, RWWA has implemented a range of measures to limit the potential exposure of coronavirus (COVID-19) to racing participants and staff, including restricting access to racecourses to those essential for running the race at all times.
Access to Racecourses
Following the Government’s advice to avoid non-essential outdoor gatherings of 500 people or greater, and to safeguard its racing participants, RWWA implemented racecourse access restrictions on March 16, 2020.
The Government has since stipulated advice against non-essential inside gatherings of 100 people or greater. Given our industry’s race meetings are conducted outdoors, and by already removing non-critical staff and participants, this advice will have no further impact on the running of races in WA.
Current restrictions in place are critical to ensure racing can continue WA, and that revenue streams for our industry participants are protected.
Risk Mitigation Measures
RWWA is working with race clubs to ensure general and sensible hygiene practices are maintained. This includes ensuring hand sanitisers are placed in appropriate areas, as well as implementing increased cleaning routines in high touch points across racing facilities. Signage will also be made available informing critical personnel of precautionary measures.
RWWA is also consulting with medical advisors to implement appropriate risk mitigations to further protect those essential to the running of the race, including:
- Dividing critical RWWA staff, including stewards and judges, into A and B teams to avoid isolation of an entire function in the event of an outbreak.
- Reducing the level of traffic in restricted racing areas to ensure adequate social distancing is applied.
In addition, business continuity processes have been implemented at RWWA head office to ensure the organisation can continue to serve the industry.
All RWWA operated events are currently postponed until further notice. This includes:
- All Off the Track WA clinics and events that are run in partnership with Equestrian Western Australia.
- Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) National Adoption Day.
- Community TAB’s Race Club Community Program, due to restrictions placed on racecourse access.
RWWA advises that is an actively evolving situation and for up to date information on COVID-19 regarding the Western Australian racing industry, industry participants are encouraged to visit the dedicated information page on RWWA’s website. The website can be found by clicking here.
The health and wellbeing of our industry participants and the wider community is our upmost priority, and RWWA will continue to closely monitor and follow the advice of health authorities to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect the WA racing industry.