MASK up or pay the price.
That’s the order from Harness Racing NSW as drivers continue to ‘let slip’ as they urge their horses home at so many racetracks around the state.
Stewards may now look at fining drivers who don’t cover up in their races.
And reinsmen and women have been warned . . . a scarf will not be deemed acceptable as a face covering.
It was becoming evident that some tracks were adhering strictly to the policy, while some others were not quite as well policed and some tracks even had drivers not wearing any masks at all during races.
That is set to change and HRNSW today issued an edict that even though the NSW Government lockdown had been removed in parts of regional NSW, all participants needed to be reminded that wearing face masks remained ‘compulsory’ for all persons on ‘all racecourses’ throughout the state – and at all times until further notice.
That requirement includes all drivers who are competing in races.
Any participant with a medical condition or a physical disability that may restrict the ability to wear a mask must wear a scarf or similar face covering.
But an exemption letter from a medical practitioner must be provided to HRNSW in support of this position.
According to Harness Racing NSW, it will be the responsibility of the individual to bring their own mask to a race meeting.
Following several previous notices to the industry with regards to the wearing of face masks, HRNSW stewards are certain to look at imposing fines on anyone observed not wearing a face mask, as required pursuant to AHRR 238.
“It’s quite understandable that a mask can slip during a race, with all the urging of your horse,” said Racing Manager at Tabcorp Park Menangle David Wonson.
“But drivers have to ensure they have their masks completely covering their nose and mouth by the time they return after the race.
“I’m constantly reminding drivers to be sure to cover up.
“Once the meetings start, if you’re not doing the right thing, you’ll be punished accordingly.
“Ignore it at your peril . . . it could be costly.”
HRNSW said any enquiries on the matter should be directed to HRNSW stewards on telephone (02) 9722 6655.