South Australian racing authorities are responding to the developing COVID-19 situation.
The industry has a number of important meetings scheduled for the coming months including the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival, major race days at Clare, Gawler, Penola, Kimba, Hawker and Millicent and the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival at Morphettville.
Thoroughbred Racing SA, the South Australian Jockey Club and Country Racing SA are being guided by advice from relevant authorities including the State Government, the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer, the Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government and Racing Australia.
The industry is basing its response on the understanding that the Australian Government has advised that non-essential organised mass gatherings of more than 500 should be cancelled from Monday 16th March 2020.
The South Australian thoroughbred industry is abiding by the recommendations and will adopt the following measures as of Monday:
Attendance at thoroughbred racing events across the State will be limited to 500 people including participants, members, function attendees and staff; and
Non-cup regional and provincial race meetings will proceed as planned as attendances at these events are usually less than 500.
Strict hygiene measures and elevated communications will be in place across all venues.
TRSA CEO Nick Redin said the racing community was working closely together to respond to what is "a rapidly evolving situation".
"Racing in South Australia has previous experience in dealing with a major interruption with the Equine Influenza outbreak in 2007," he said.
"We know what it's like to have an industry-wide issue and the learnings from that experience are still relevant today.
"We are working closely with the Racing Minister and his office and we're constantly monitoring, discussing and updating our response."
SAJC CEO Grant Mayer said the club was planning for the short and long term.
"While it is obviously very disappointing, the safety of everyone at Morphettville is absolutely paramount and that includes participants, patrons and our staff," he said.
"We're also looking further ahead to ensure we're ready to bounce back the moment the situation returns to normal."
CRSA Chair Wayne Henson said race meetings were a critical part of the social and economic fabric of country and provincial communities.
"We've seen from recent events on Kangaroo Island just how important clubs are to their communities, and that's just as true everywhere you go in South Australia," he said.
"At the moment, clubs are listening to the best advice and are taking a common-sense approach to their event preparation."
TRSA will meet with the Oakbank Racing Club next week to discuss the 2020 event.
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