British-based jockeys riding at ParisLongchamp this weekend can apply to be exempt from quarantine on their return after the British Horseracing Authority confirmed an addition to its Elite Traveller Exemption protocols for elite sportspeople and essential support staff.
The new protocol – which is effective immediately and also includes trainers and stable staff – covers those who are frequent travellers for competition in a country not covered by the travel corridor exemption.
As things stood, those riding in France this weekend at the Arc meeting would have needed to self-isolate for seven days under the elite sportsperson’s exemption, rather than the standard 14 days.
Earlier in the season, Frankie Dettori – who will ride Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – was forced to choose between riding Palace Pier and Mishriff at Deauville, then completing a spell in isolation, or being available for York’s Ebor meeting – and he chose France.
With the likes of Dettori, Ryan Moore, Andrea Atzeni, Jim Crowley and Oisin Murphy keen to be able to ride at Newmarket’s Future Champions Day the following weekend, the ease in the restrictions will be most welcome, with Crowley now having the opportunity to partner Battaash in the Prix de l’Abbaye and be in action at Newmarket.
Under the new protocol, jockeys, trainers and stable staff who make frequent trips abroad for competition at Covid-19 secure venues in non-exempt countries may choose to register for a ‘Frequent Private Traveller’ option.
The BHA said that while actively under the program, which requires regular weekly testing and daily post-travel monitoring with the BHA chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill, individuals who travel to compete at international venues on day trips and via private transport will be exempt from self-isolation on their return.
For the first seven days after return to the UK, individuals are only exempt from self-isolation for the purposes of training or competing. Otherwise, they must self-isolate as usual.
Individuals must register with Dr Hill at least four days before their first trip abroad, with journeys to and from the international venue to be undertaken in private cars or planes and return journeys to be completed on the same day with no overnight stays.
Private cars must have a maximum of two occupants and private flights must only be shared if two-metre social distancing can be maintained.
Monitoring of individuals who travel under the scheme will last for a minimum of 21 days and will include a weekly Covid-19 test organised through the BHA medical department and funded by the applicant, with the first test result returned prior to the initial trip abroad.
A minimum of three tests will be required under the scheme – which was developed by Dr Hill in consultation with the Professional Jockeys Association and senior riders – with two taking place after any trip.