New York governor Andrew Cuomo has given racetracks the all-clear to resume racing from June 1.
The state clearance carries with it set protocols with strict health and safety measures to be adhered to for racing to be conducted behind closed doors from June 1.
Racing has been paused since March 19, with popular racetracks Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga forced to shut their doors as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps through the country.
Governor Cuomo has now stated tracks will be able to reopen, albeit with strict measures in place.
He tweeted: “As we phase reopening we are looking for all opportunities to reopen economic activity without crowds.
“NYRA and the New York racing community are thankful for Governor Cuomo’s steady leadership throughout this public health crisis and we applaud his decision to authorize the resumption of horse racing, without fans, beginning on June 1,” NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a statement.
“This is a reasoned and responsible decision by Governor Cuomo that will enable horse racing to resume in a way that prioritizes health and safety while recognizing that NYRA is the cornerstone of an industry responsible for 19,000 jobs and $3 billion in annual economic impact.
“We look forward to the resumption of live racing at Belmont Park with all appropriate health and safety protocols in place to support the hundreds of small businesses, family-owned farms, and thousands of hourly workers who form the backbone of Thoroughbred racing in New York.”
California’s Santa Anita Park has also announced a return to racing as US Racing begins to return across the country.