The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) was forced to delay introducing a new rule requiring jockeys to produce a negative lateral flow test, citing difficulties in ordering tests.
On Thursday, the BHA announced that from January 5th, jockeys will be required to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test before they can enter the weigh-in room.
The decision was made following the rise in Covid-19 infection rates across the country in the past two weeks, but has now been “temporarily postponed” due to a nationwide shortage of testing.
On the same day as the BHA’s initial announcement, Sky News reported widespread deficiencies in lateral flow and PCR testing for delivery on the government portal, with no PCR slots available across the UK.
In response, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the government would triple the supply of lateral flow tests to 300 million per month by February, but added that as current shortages persist, “we anticipate having to restrict the system at certain points in the next two weeks. “.
A statement from the BHA on Saturday read: “Recognizing the difficulty some participants and officials have had in ordering lateral flow tests (LFTs), the racing industry’s COVID-19 group has temporarily deferred the requirement, which was announced to the early this week, to show a negative side flow test to gain access to the Weighing Room, which was expected to go into effect in all games on January 5th.
Existing requirements will remain in effect, including the need for COVID status certification for all weigh room participants in all matches.
“Anyone unable to provide evidence of vaccination status will continue to require proof of a negative PCR or LFT test.
“This pause is to allow attendees to secure a test supply and we encourage you to continue your efforts to do so. A new implementation date will be announced once LFT delivery issues are improved.”