Goodwood racecourse is one of a number of venues to be given permission by the government to pilot a return of crowds at sporting events before an anticipated return of full crowds on October 1.

The decision means that Goodwood will be able to welcome a crowd of 5,000 spectators to the final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Saturday, August 1. It will be the first time that racegoers have been able to attend a meeting on course since March.

For those attending Stewards’ Cup day, a code of conduct will have to be acknowledged and agreed in advance. It will set out the expectations of behaviour and actions of everyone on course to maintain hygiene levels and social distancing measures.

David Armstrong, RCA Chief Executive, said: “We welcome the fact that horseracing is to be selected as one of the pilot events to welcome back crowds and my team and I acknowledge the great responsibility upon us.

“The safety protocols involved will be stringent and the Goodwood racecourse team are in a fantastic place to implement them. The sport has come together to offer support to ensure the pilot event provides us with sufficient learnings that others may follow in time.

“These learnings will allow us to draft industry-wide protocols for the wider scale return of crowds as soon as we are able.

“Crowds bring a wonderful atmosphere to a raceday and many businesses associated with racecourses are reliant upon them. I sincerely hope that all involved enjoy their day – our focus now turns to supporting the Goodwood team in what is a landmark day for the sport.”

Adam Waterworth, Sport Managing Director at the Goodwood Estate, added: “We are delighted that the Qatar Goodwood Festival has been selected as a pilot event for the return of crowds. It marks an important day for the sports industry following a few challenging months.

“Our annual members have continued to support us throughout, for which we are enormously grateful. It is therefore fantastic to offer them the opportunity to witness racing on the Downs again.

“The Goodwood team will ensure the racecourse adheres to government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene. We hope that this will be the next step in ensuring crowds for future sporting events.”