Important information relating to COVID-19

Updated 6 April 2020

Racing continues to go ahead at Albion Park Harness Racing Club.

The health and safety of our staff and participants is our biggest concern and under the guidance of Racing Queensland we have implemented several measures to best ensure their wellbeing.

The first of these measures was to introduce patron free racing from Tuesday 17th March 2020.

To assist with this process, RQ advised that attendance should be limited to essential licensed personnel – click here to see those who were permitted – with further limitations now being advised. They are:

  • Maximum of one stable hand per three horses – staff to be notified to the club;
  • Raceday attendees to be recorded; and
  • No food or beverages to be supplied on-course.
  • Any licensed participant who arrives in the state from 26th March, will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period before being permitted onto a Queensland racecourse.
  • Prior to entry every person will have their temperature tested. Anyone over the normal threshold of 37.5 degrees will be denied entry.

Advice for older participants

During this time, the Federal Government has advised that COVID-19 has more serious impacts on people over 70 years of age and those with existing health conditions or comorbidities.

National Cabinet’s strong advice is for self-isolation at home to the maximum extent practicable for Australians who are:

  • Over 70 years of age; or
  • Over 60 years of age and have existing health conditions or comorbidities.

Given the Federal Government’s health advice, RQ encourages participants who meet the aforementioned criteria to re-consider their ongoing attendance at all Queensland race meetings, training centres and any other licenced facility during the current COVID-19 conditions.

Whilst this is not currently a mandatory requirement, it is strongly advised.

A fact sheet for older Australians is available online – click here to download it – which provides further advice from the Department of Health.

Reduced field sizes

 Until further notice, RQ has advised of the following amendments to Queensland field sizes. They are:

  • Maximum of eight races per meeting on weekdays;
  • Redcliffe field sizes reduced to eight with a maximum of 80 horses per meeting (excluding Clerks Of Course); and
  • Albion Park field sizes to be reduced to 10 with a maximum of 100 horses per meeting (Excluding Clerks of Course).

Race colour restrictions

Commencing on Wednesday, March 25, RQ has implemented new restrictions on race colours. Drivers shall compete in their own racing colours for each drive at any specific race meeting.

Drivers who do not have a registered set of race colours - or do not have their registered set of race colours available - are asked to contact the Racing Queensland Harness Racing Office to discuss alternative arrangements.

For queries please contact the RQ Harness Racing Office on (07) 3869 9768.

Sign-in Procedure

A new sign-in procedure for trainers and drivers has been implemented to increase hygiene and social distancing measures.  The acceptance office will be moved outside the winners circle bar, this is to limit the amount of people in an enclosed space. Trainers/drivers will not be required to sign but instead need to make themselves seen by the acceptance officer who will sign you in. Please advise them of your strappers names for our records. Cash payments for molasses will no longer be accepted and instead we will take a note of how many bottles each trainer purchases and an invoice will be issued.

Hygiene and social distancing

The intent of the patron-free racing is to assist the community obligation to uphold social distancing principles where at all possible.

 Personal actions to assist include:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Participants to leave immediately after their racing commitments once cleared by stewards;
  • Face to face media interviews cancelled;
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue;
  • Disposing of tissues properly;
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water or alcohol based sanitisers, including before and after eating, after going to the toilet, and after using shared equipment;
  • Cleaning and sanitising frequently used objects such as mobiles, keys and wallets;
  • Avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential;
  • Keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible;
  • Minimising physical contact, especially with people at higher risk such as older people and people with existing health conditions; and
  • Supporting social distancing enhancements introduced by QRIC, RQ, and Club officials at race meetings.

 Click here to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from Racing Queensland.