The announcement that New Zealand would move to level 4 of the COVID-19 alert system in 48 hours means that all racing will cease for the next four weeks from Tuesday 24 March.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, Harness Racing New Zealand, Greyhound Racing New Zealand and the TAB, have met to discuss what steps the industry needs to take to protect the livelihoods of its participants. While the country will effectively be in lockdown, the welfare of our animals remains as an essential service during this time. Horses and dogs will still need to be fed, exercised and cared for during this time. People caring for our animals will need to look at stringent procedures around staffing levels and any contact between staff members.
The codes will be addressing this in more detail tomorrow. We recognise that these are challenging times for everyone within our industry and we will be working closely with those impacted to help them through the coming weeks. As has been announced the government is providing financial assistance for those impacted and the codes will provide guidance for those wanting help as to how they go about seeking that assistance.
While the country is presently at level 3 alert moving to level 4 on Wednesday will involve the following: • People instructed to stay at home • Educational facilities closed • Businesses closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities. • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities • Travel severely limited • Major reprioritisation of healthcare services.
The codes will issue regular updates to their participants as this situation evolves.