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Horse Racing Ireland close all courses to the public until March 29

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All Irish race meetings will take place behind closed doors until March 29

All Irish race meetings will take place behind closed doors until March 29

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

All Irish race meetings will take place behind closed doors until March 29

All Irish racecourses will be closed to the public until March 29, Horse Racing Ireland have announced.

While race meetings will go ahead, they will take place behind closed doors, starting with the meeting at Dundalk tomorrow.

A stement read: "The Board of Horse Racing Ireland today announced that horse racing will take place behind closed doors starting at Dundalk tomorrow up until March 29th.

"It follows Government advice issued this morning to contain the spread of Covid-19, including an instruction to limit external gatherings to less than 500 people.

"After consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and with industry stakeholders, Horse Racing Ireland has imposed a number of restrictions on race meetings between today and March 29th to ensure that less than 500 people are on site at each race meeting.

"These measures will take immediate effect, with the situation being kept under review.

"The restrictions are:

  • Racemeetings will be closed to the public with recommended social distancing measures implemented on track
  • Access will be restricted to essential service providers and industry participants
  • There will be no catering services, on course bookmakers or Tote services provided
  • One groom per runner declared will be admitted to the racecourse
  • One owner per runner will be admitted
  • Only trainers of horses running at the meeting will be admitted
  • All participants will be asked to vacate the racecourse after their horses have run
  • Racing will continue to be made available to broadcasters as at present

The statement added: "The restrictions which we are announcing today will limit social interaction but will allow a vital rural industry to continue to operate, protecting livelihoods and jobs."

Online Editors