TEN regional greyhound racing tracks will remain open as services around the state wind down as part of the NSW government's measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Greyhound Racing NSW announced Monday "a temporary closure of 70 per cent of racing venues across the state, and the lockdown of seven strategically selected zoned regions outside of Sydney, in a move to continue racing in the safest possible environment".
Tony Mestrov, the GRNSW chief, said strict biosecurity measures would be enforced at the 10 tracks where racing would continue, including a limit of no more than 50 participants at any venue. Measures restricting meetings to essential personnel only were already in place.
To limit travel, participants will able to race only in their zoned region at either Bathurst, Bulli, Dapto, Dubbo, Richmond, Grafton, The Gardens in Newcastle, Goulburn, Gunnedah and Wagga Wagga.
Racing will be suspended at premier track Wentworth Park for the immediate future and all feature races on the GRNSW calendar will be put on hold. Provincial prizemoney will be paid at all venues. Racing will also cease for the immediate future at all Non-TAB venues. A new race calendar will come into effect on Wednesday.
As part of the plan to continue racing, biosecurity measures have been increased at these venues. These will include:
- No more than 50 participants will be allowed at the venue at any one time.
- No interstate greyhounds or trainers will be permitted to race in NSW.
- New protocols to permit a trainer, where appropriate, to leave the course after they have raced, with prior approval from GWIC.
- Introduction of a new pre-race kennelling procedure with designated times for each race kennelling including protocols of four square metres per person in an enclosed space.
- GRNSW to work with clubs on providing basic take away food/drink offerings at race meetings i.e. package sandwiches, muffins, drinks etc.
- The use of one designated toilet block at race tracks.
- Trials to continue at all tracks but these must be booked. This allows separation and still allows greyhounds to trial. There will however be no access to kennels.
- Ensuring clubs provide best practice hygiene for both greyhound and participant with stringent cleaning of venues.