Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak – Advice to Racing Grooms
The racing industry is working together to keep staff and horses safe, and to help us all navigate this extremely challenging period. We have pulled together the key advice you need to know, and the governing bodies to refer to should you need further assistance.
Accessing the right information
Our social media feeds are filled with shocking and scary headlines, and our friends and colleagues are furiously sharing and retweeting this avalanche of information. It is easy to feel completely overwhelmed and confused, especially when you read conflicting information and advice.
Our advice is to remain informed but not allow yourself to be overwhelmed. Give yourself a break from following the latest posts and tweets on social media, and instead choose reliable and trustworthy sources of information if and when you have questions or concerns.
We recommend the following sites for credible and up to date information:
If you are feeling overly anxious or overwhelmed, you can contact Racing Welfare for support. There is 24 hour assistance available via Racing’s Support Line 0800 6300 443 or get in touch online at www.racingwelfare.co.uk. There is also a full range of self-help information available at www.support.racingwelfare.co.uk.
It is likely that your yard has put new or elevated hygiene measures in place to make your working environment safer.
These measures might feel over the top, inconvenient or time consuming but be cooperative and follow new processes as directed. Your employers are having to learn the best processes to keep the yard safe and functioning properly, so be patient if a method is introduced one day, and then changed the next.
If you don’t feel reassured that your yard is taking necessary precautions to manage your health and safety, talk to your employer or senior supervisory staff. Having spoken to your team, if you still feel there is an issue, contact the National Association of Racing Staff (NARS).
If you think a process could work better or you have innovative idea that will improve health and safety on your yard, now is the time to speak up! This is a steep learning curve for the whole industry and you can make a real difference by contributing your ideas and experience.
If you suspect you have the onset of coronavirus symptoms (dry cough/fever primarily), you must self-isolate for at least seven days.
If you have travelled to an affected area, or who have been in close contact with an infected person, you must self-isolate for 14 days.
There is more information about self-isolation here – publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important
It is the whole yard’s responsibility to maintain enough staff to ensure the welfare of the horses in the yard is not compromised. Make sensible and rational decisions regarding your own and your team’s health.
Absences from work and your pay
The NTF and NARS have provided guidance on the provision of sick pay if your ability to work is impacted by Coronavirus.
If you need further clarity on sick pay, we advise you contact NARS directly.
We will continue to share information with you here on RacingGroom.com and on our social media channels so check in regularly for the latest news and advice.
Stay safe and well, and we hope to see racing back in action in a matter of weeks!