UK Government gives permission for sport to resume on June 1st
Racing will return at Newcastle on Monday with Premier League set for June 17th
Newcastle will stage the return of racing in the UK on Monday. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty
Racing will resume behind closed doors at Newcastle on Monday after the UK Government gave its permission for competitive sport in Britain to restart from June 1st.
The ‘stage three’ guidance for elite and professional sport, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Saturday, outlines the facilities and processes that will need to be in place for sport to be safely staged following the coronavirus pandemic.
The guidance has been developed in close consultation with the Deputy Chief Medical Officers of England, Public Health England and medical representatives across sport, including the British Horseracing Authority.
Racing’s rulers have been working towards June 1 as a start date for some time and published a 33-page protocol document last weekend. Newcastle will mark the first British meeting since Wetherby and Taunton raced on March 17th.
In what will be a high-profile return, the 2000 and 1000 Guineas will be run at Newmarket on June 6th and 7th respectively, forming the highlights of a four-day fixture at Headquarters.
“This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors. It is now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it’s right for them to restart.
“This is a significant moment for British sport. By working with clinicians every step of the way, we are creating the safest possible environments for everyone involved.”
Newcastle’s opening meeting will be a 10-race card, beginning at 1.00pm, with the last event at 6.15pm. All races will be restricted to 12 runners.
Meanwhile the announcement now clears the path for the Premier League to return on June 17th.
UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden set “two challenges” for the return of football, which has a “special place in our national life”.
He said: “First, that a reasonable number of remaining Premier League games will be broadcast free-to-air.
“Second, that the financial benefits of returning will be shared throughout the entire football family.
“I’m glad to confirm today that a third of matches to finish the season will now be free to view including the Liverpool v Everton derby and live Premier League football will be on the BBC for the first time in its history.”