Happy Valley racecourse will see its biggest crowd in months with the Jockey Club relaxing the restrictions for Wednesday night’s nine-race card.

After the Hong Kong government last week announced an easing of the social distancing measures in place to combat the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, the Jockey Club has followed suit and will let more people attend its meetings.

Trainers, jockeys, club officials and stewards, horse owners, voting members, members, racing club members and their accompanying guests who have made an advanced table booking will be admitted.

Those who do attend will have to fill in a health declaration form and undergo temperature screening as well as wearing a surgical mask. There is still no access for members of the public.

The empty stands at Happy Valley.

Since the tightest restrictions were first put in place for the meeting on February 12, there has been an average of just under 234 people at each of the 11 race nights at the city track. There were 776 customers who attended Saturday’s Sha Tin card.

“The catering facilities in the racecourses will operate in full compliance with the requirements issued by the secretary for food and health for the catering business,” the Jockey Club said in a statement. “Each dining table will only accommodate not more than eight persons and there will be at least a 1.5m distance between the tables.”

Government allows Jockey Club owners back on track – under strict conditions

To comply with the government’s conditions on group gatherings in the parade ring, a maximum of two registered owners and the trainer, jockey and assistant trainer will be allowed to congregate pre-race. Each horse is allocated its own area according to its saddlecloth number to ensure there is at least 1.5m between each group.

Betting services at all off-course betting branches remain suspended for the time being, but it is expected there will be some movement on that front soon.

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