Less then 24 hours after announcing a seven day ban on greyhound racing in South Australia, Greyhound Racing South Australia (GRSA) have today announced the South Australian government have backflipped on the ban and will allow greyhound racing to continue during lockdown as an essential service.
Greyhound Racing will continue in South Australia under heavy restrictions, during the 7-day lockdown announced by the SA Government, which commenced at 6pm yesterday. This decision comes after robust discussions with the Government late into last night, which has allowed the continuation to all three codes of racing.
GRSA said that unfortunately given the late notice of the decision, today's race meeting at Murray Bridge will not go ahead, along with the trial session scheduled for Gawler tonight. In recognition of the inconvenience to participants of this cancellation, GRSA will pay trainers the standard $50 trainers fee, plus $20 for each greyhound engaged.
Both race meetings scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday 22nd July) at Murray Bridge and Mt Gambier will continue as planned. The trial session at Gawler commencing tomorrow at 7am will also proceed as planned.
Use of all GRSA slipping tracks will resume immediately, however the training facilities at Virginia will remain closed during the lockdown period, as the entire facility will be closed by the Office of Sport and Recreation.
Heavy restrictions are in place to ensure greyhound racing can continue safely throughout this period, similar to what was in place during April of last year. These restrictions include:
- Only essential staff, licenced trainers and catchers who have greyhounds engaged at the race meeting are allowed on course
- No owners, general public or children
- Masks are to be worn at all times on our facilities
- Restrictions on the number of people in an enclosed area will be in line with current social density requirements
- All on-course catering has stopped, including any beverage sales and no eating is allowed inside
- There will be no on-course totalisator operators at any tracks
- Staggered boxing of greyhounds will be reintroduced into 3 waves
- Boxes 1 and 5; boxes 3 and 7; then boxes 4 and 8
- Social distancing must be adhered to at all times and will be enforced by stewards
- Kennelling time will be extended for all meets to 1 hour and 15 minutes. GRSA encourages participants to arrive at race meetings earlier, to spread the arrival of trainers and prevent a bottleneck
- All participants and staff must check in on entering the venue via QR codes or manual tracing forms