(Reuters) – France’s horse racing authority has said it expects government measures to be announced in the coming days that will halt racing in COVID-19 “red zones”.
Racing returned in France last week for the first time since the shutdown due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, with races at ParisLongchamp taking place without fans.
ParisLongchamp, Saint-Cloud and Auteuil are among the major courses that could be shut down again as they fall in affected regions although racing can continue in “green zones”.
France Galop said in a statement it deeply regrets the impact a forthcoming decree will have on racecources.
“The reinforced closed-door protocol and sanitary measures have been scrupulously respected since racing resumed … Regular checks have been carried out and have not revealed problems,” it added.
France has reported more than 179,900 cases of the virus which has killed over 28,200 in the country.
“I hoped our contingency plans would not be necessary but they will for the forthcoming weeks,” Olivier Delloye, CEO of France Galop, tweeted.
“No fixture will be lost: racing goes on but we need to adapt to fast changing (and hard to read) rules.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)