International riders and Irish-based jockeys have received a welcome boost with news that they will be exempt from the current quarantine rules that have been in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new rules apply to those competing in Group 1 races in Ireland and Irish-based jockeys who travel abroad to take part in top-level contests. Jockeys will be subject to a risk assessment each time they ride out of Ireland and will have to have three Covid-19 tests prior to travelling and two upon their return.
Previously the Irish government was enforcing two weeks of self-isolation for anyone arriving in Ireland, but Thursday’s decision means British jockeys wanting to compete in next week’s Irish Champions weekend will now be able to do so.
Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh told the Racing Post: “There are a new set of protocols, which will be published on the HRI Ras website soon for international travel. They’re based on the operating guidelines that were published last Friday by the government in relation to international elite athletes.
“The details of what needs to be done are in there, but in simple terms, each proposed travel has to be subject to a risk assessment and there’s a testing programme required, as well as an isolation or travel bubble element required while travelling.
“The protocols apply to Group 1 races in any country, subject to the risk assessment, which Jennifer Pugh [IHRB Senior Medical Officer] will do.”