VICTORIAN participants are waiting anxiously this morning.
Following the state government’s decision to execute tighter restrictions due to the out of control Corona virus epidemic, the industry is fearful of being closed down.
Under previous restrictions harness racing has been permitted to continue, with Harness Racing Victoria implementing several safeguards, including regional racing zones.
HRV has been widely applauded by licence holders for its visionary strategies, which have earned the governing body praise as the leader among the three codes.
Yesterday’s announcement, however, has participants fearing the industry will be shutdown, particularly in the metropolitan zone.
The state’s Premier announced metro areas will enter stage four lockdowns, which include being restricted to a five kilometres movement radius from a person’s place of residence.
Under the previous stage three lockdowns for the same zone, which allowed movement with the region, the grouped tracks were Melton, Kilmore and Cranbourne.
Kilmore has been moved out of the metro hub, but will remain in stage three with the rest of the state.
As of 6pm last night, those in the metropolitan zone were given a curfew, with people unable to leave home between 8:00pm to 5:00am unless it is for work, giving or receiving care, or visiting a partner.
On the surface, the five-kilometre radius eliminates the prospect of travelling to tracks, while the curfew takes night meetings off the agenda.
That is unless harness racing is given an exemption by the government as a place of work!
The Premier declared he will notify the state today as to what businesses can continue to operate, meaning harness racing participants can only wait with bated breath