BHA to review plan for racing to resume in May next week

British racing’s leaders will review plans for racing fixtures to return in May next week.

With the UK still subject to coronavirus lockdown measures, the British Horseracing Authority team are looking at when and how the sport can safely resume.

Racing came to a halt on March 18 when the BHA Board – after consultation with industry leaders – decided on a suspension until the end of April.

The government indicated today that there would be no imminent lifting of the lockdown measures, which have been in place since March 23.

The current restrictions include a ban on public gatherings of more than two people.

Horsemen, racecourses and others have been working on a plan to reintroduce racing behind closed doors as soon as possible.

A 'Resumption of Racing Group' is establishing how, where and under what conditions it may be accepted by government.

Its outline plan states it will be in a phased manner, initially ensuring horses race under strictly controlled conditions at locations which meet certain criteria.

It has already been agreed fixtures would restart on the Flat, with races over obstacles postponed until the summer.

BHA Chief Operating Officer Richard Wayman said:

"Everyone’s first duty at present is to the health and safety of the public, as the government has made clear.

"That will clearly be the most important consideration informing their view of when it’s safe for sport to resume.

"But we continue to keep them fully informed of the lockdown’s considerable economic impact on individuals and businesses within racing, and our responsibility for the long-term prosperity and sustainability of the sport.

"We have followed government guidance throughout this crisis.

"When they said it was still safe to continue mass gatherings, we continued.

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