Plans for media access for the first few weeks of the sport’s resumption are being finalised with the BHA/RCA and full details should be available to be circulated in the coming days.
However, the committee wanted to give HWPA members a general outline of what the situation will look like.
With the BHA and racecourses/RCA operating on a basis of only those who are essential to a meeting being allowed on track, the access will initially be very tight.
To start this will involve TWO reporters and TWO Photographers per fixture. This was non-negotiable.
The RCA have restricted this to a representative of the Racing Post & Press Association while it will be a Racecourse and Press Photographer.
Plans have been drawn up so that their work will be pooled and accessible. Details will be circulated asap.
There are also plans to use technology, such as Zoom, to allow media away from the course to have access to participants and officials for briefings and Press Conferences, in particular on the first day back racing and after Pattern races.
Pools of Reporters from the PA & Racing Post as well as Photographers are being drawn up to allow them time to go through the protocols necessary to gain entry to the racecourse while the restrictions are in place.
The BHA and racecourses have agreed that these protocols should, initially, be tied to the Government’s phases of its response.
At present Government has outlined that Phase 2 of its response is expected to be in place for one month, and therefore these policies are also initially expected to be in place for this period.
However, the BHA and RCA have indicated that it may remain under review and there is potentially scope to revisit the protocols before the end of this period if felt appropriate or necessary – either to relax or further tighten them.
Owing to the scale of the event and the site itself, a slight carve-out is being made for Royal Ascot. Protocols for this meeting are still being drawn up by the racecourse and may be marginally different, however we are informed it is not expected that they will be significantly different to the existing protocol.