World News – USA – UK continues racing despite new bans


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Race continues in the UK despite tough new bans announced in England and Scotland in January. 4 in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases and fears about a highly transmissible new variant of the virus.

Top sport has been given the green light to continue by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon when they announced major new measures, including closing schools and other restrictions on outdoor activities like group exercises.

However, the beleaguered retail betting sector suffered another setback as all non-essential retail stores are forced to close under England’s new lockdown, which means the remaining betting shops that are open in previous Tier 3 areas will have to close.

While the economic blow from the complete closure of betting shops will cost races in the region from £ 12. At 5 million per month, the continuation of live sports – and with it the income of online bookmakers – is an important economic lifeline for the industry, which has around 20. 000 people employed, mainly in rural areas.

However, in a note on the crippling running cost of restrictions, Cheltenham Circuit Management said it all but gave up on hosting large crowds at the March festival, a major money spinner for the sport and on Monday an annual highlight for tens of thousands of race goers.

The Prime Minister announced a third national lockdown last night, saying: « We now have a new variant of the virus and it has been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed at which it is spreading.

The previous Monday, Sturgeon had set stricter guidelines in Scotland, which should remain in effect at least until the end of the month.

Scottish Racing, however, is representing Ayr, Hamilton Park, Kelso and Musselburgh, which is due to the January race. 7 and Perth – confirmed the sport would continue.

A statement said: « Following today’s announcement, the Scottish Government has confirmed that the race can continue behind closed doors. Only those required to perform fixtures are allowed to participate and must continue to follow the protocols already in place. No owners are allowed to participate in a game until further notice. « 

Sturgeon, who said the latest rules were being reviewed and could be expanded, added: « I am sorry to have made more victims after nine long months. But these sacrifices are necessary.

« And the difference between now and last March is that with the help of vaccines we are now confident that they will pave the way for brighter days. So – for everyone’s sake and for sure – please stick with it and stay home. « 

Cheltenham takes place behind closed doors
The four day Cheltenham Festival, which spanned more than 250. Attracting 000 spectators, is likely to take place without a normal audience after course instructor Ian Renton nearly conceded on Monday of the March Festival – the highlight of the calendar racing calendar and a crucial source of income for the track owner, Jockey Club Racecourses – would take place behind closed doors.

« We have accepted that this year it will be a different festival than normal, » said Renton. « We have to be realistic that there will likely only be a small number of people present.

« Let’s see where we are by March, but the team is focused on setting the stage for four world class racing days that are vital to many of the livelihoods of the UK racing industry and hopefully enjoyed by millions of people on TV. « 

British races typically have racegoer revenues on the order of £ 250 million a year, and with attendance numbers unlikely to return by at least spring, the COVID-19 bill continues to climb.

Around 1. 200 betting shops in England were still open prior to the new lockdown, which is roughly 15% of the total retail space of 7. 630, while not operating normally, corresponds to images with limitations on the time people spend on site and the absence of living space. Nonetheless, they were another major source of income for racing that has now been wiped out.

Hope for the return of racegoers and reopening of non-essential retail now rests on the vaccination program currently being rolled out in the UK and coming on Monday 58. Recorded 784 COVID-19 cases and 407 deaths.

Two vaccines to fight the virus have been approved in the UK, the second of which – developed by AstraZeneca / Oxford – was first given to an 82-year-old man in an Oxford hospital on Monday, while Epsom, Leicester, Newcastle, Windsor and Beverley are to be used as vaccination centers.

Johnson said the government’s goal is to vaccinate everyone in the top four priority tiers – including those over 70, the frontline health workers and the medically vulnerable – by mid-February.

Lockdown, UK, Horse Racing, Boris Johnson, Scotland, British Horseracing Authority

World News – USA – Race in UK continues despite new lockdowns
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