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Racing tickets back on sale for return in England

Tickets are back on sale for racing in England as punters prepare to return to courses from May 17.

Racing is taking place in Redcar on that day, and tickets for the card are now available for enthusiasts who have not been able to watch racing so far this year.

While restrictions are eased on May 17 as England reaches Stage 3 of the roadmap announced by Government in February, measures still in place to maximise on-site safety include rules on social distancing and wearing facemasks. The course will be operating at 50-per-cent capacity.

Organisers said queueing systems will also be in place, along with touch-point cleaning, and multiple opportunities for people to hand sanitise around the course.

Redcar’s general manager Amy Fair said: “We’ve really missed having our spectators with us and we can’t wait to welcome them back.

“Obviously, we have to be conscious that Government regulations can change at any time but, as things stand, we are planning for a phased return with safety continuing to be very much paramount to all our planning.”

The racecourse can only take bookings for up to six people, and Government track and trace requirements demand that details must be given for every person, so those booking are asked to have all details ready.

Racing will also be staged at Carlisle, Leicester, Ffos Las and Windsor on May 17.

Racing returned behind closed doors last June following the first lockdown. Racegoers were permitted for trial events at Warwick and Doncaster last September, although the planned four-day pilot at the latter was cut to just one day on the instruction of the local authority.

Limited crowds were then permitted under the local tiers system in December, with Cheltenham hosting up to 2,000 spectators at its December meeting and both Sandown and Aintree welcoming racegoers at feature fixtures that month. No patrons have attended racing in 2021 so far.

Fans returned in large numbers to sporting events in England over the weekend, with 8,000 at the Carabao Cup final at Wembley between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. It was the largest number of spectators for any outdoor event in the UK since March 2020 – twice the number who attended the FA Cup semi final between Leicester City and Southampton the previous week.

The Carabao Cup final allocation saw Spurs and City handed 2,000 tickets each, while the other 4,000 were shared between NHS workers and local residents. No fans under the age of 18 were permitted to attend, while all those fortunate to obtain a ticket were obliged to take a lateral flow test 24 hours before the final.

It is hoped 21,000 fans can attend the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester on May 15 as the UK continues to ease lockdown restrictions. The match will take place two days before restrictions are eased to allow up to 10,000 fans across English sports stadiums in time for the final weekend of the Premier League season.

Up to 1,000 fans per day have been attending the World Snooker Championships at The Crucible in Sheffield since April 17. A business event in Liverpool this week will also welcome up to 1,000 visitors, with a club night and outdoor festival also to welcome patrons in the same city.

Fans have already returned in much greater numbers in other parts of the world, with post-COVID attendance records broken for music and sports events over the weekend.

More than 78,000 fans visited the Melbourne Cricket Ground Sunday to watch an AFL match between Collingwood and Essendon. The crowd of 78,113 — the biggest attendance since the COVID outbreak began in early 2020 — topped the 67,000 who attended a Twenty20 cricket international between India and England at Ahmedabad last month. For the full story click here.

Meanwhile, some 50,000 fans watched rock band SIX60 at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday in what is believed to be the biggest music concert since March 2020.

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