Canada is the latest country to receive a provisional return date for racing as it looks to relaunch at the end of the month.
Woodbine will be operational from 6 June while Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg will relaunch in late May after this coronavirus outbreak.
Like all other jurisdictions, the initial phase-in approach will see Canadian racing resume without race fans in attendance. Only trainers, jockey’s, race day staff, and farriers will be permitted entry into the racecourse.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Woodbine Entertainment’s backstretch has remained open as an essential service to stable and exercise upwards of 1,100 Thoroughbred racehorses. The Canadian government granted that businesses who provide health and welfare of animals, including stabling, have been deemed essential workplaces by the Province.
Access to the backstretch has been restricted to essential personnel only and Woodbine Entertainment has implemented many health and safety protocols to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Upon its reopening, Woodbine will continue to implement strict health and safety protocols which include:
- Strict physical distancing protocols for jockeys
- Limited access by essential employees and licensed personnel only;
- Hired EMS to verbally screen and take temperatures of the limited individuals that are permitted to the race track
- Physical distancing practices deployed by using 33 barns spread across 200 acres;
- All common areas are closed and have been since before the Government closed non-essential businesses;
- Additional sanitisation stations and signage to promote proper hygiene deployed throughout the entire backstretch.
- Reduced hours of access to the backstretch including a mandatory closure to everyone during midday.
- Horse vans arriving with Canadian horses returning from the U.S. must unload outside the backstretch area and be met by Canadian based staff to walk horses to barn areas.