MUSSELBURGH Racecourse has confirmed that its meetings on Friday, March 20, and Tuesday, March 31, will be held behind closed doors.

This week’s Racing Post Go North race day will be open only to racing connections and will be in line with the Scottish Government recommendation that no events of more than 500 people should be held in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Those attending will be asked to sign a self-declaration form that they do not have a temperature or symptoms associated with coronavirus. Anyone who has pre-booked tickets for either March race day will receive a full refund.

Musselburgh Racecourse general manager Bill Farnsworth said: "Behind closed doors racing will comply with the guidelines set out by the Scottish Government and a meeting of less than 500 people, which includes participants, connections and staff, will not add any additional stress to emergency services.

"The racing industry, like many other sectors, is facing unprecedented challenges and is fighting for its future. We are keen to do whatever we can to support jobs and to mitigate loss of income, and holding meetings behind closed doors seems a sensible approach."

Racing’s governing body the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) earlier announced all racing in Scotland, England and Wales would take place without spectators and with attendance limits until March 31.

Nick Rust, chief executive of the BHA, said: "Racecourses and racing yards are embedded in their local communities and we are acutely aware of our responsibilities to protect public health.

"The restrictions we are putting in place to close racing to spectators and limit attendees will reduce demand on public services. We also have a range of measures in place designed in response to the Government’s guidance on public health and we will continue to update these as appropriate."

Musselburgh will review how racing may proceed for its popular Betway Easter Saturday Race Day on April 11 as the situation develops and will continue to follow all Government and NHS advice on best practice on containing the virus.

Regular updates on the racecourse website and social media channels,will advise racegoers, owners and trainers on any material changes to scheduled race meetings.

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