Ascot Racecourse, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and the Racecourse Association (RCA) have announced that Royal Ascot (June 15-19) has been selected to be part of the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP) on behalf of the sport.
Whilst the precise detail of what will be trialled and what the requirements from visitors to the racecourse will be remains work in progress, it is confirmed that 12,000 people will be admitted each day to Royal Ascot.
This announcement means that all those who rolled over their 2020 bookings can now be accommodated and an allocation of Royal Enclosure Badges and Queen Anne (General Admission) tickets will go on sale on May 28.
Guy Henderson, chief executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: “We are delighted that Royal Ascot has been accepted to play its part in the next phase of the Government’s Events Research Programme. We much look forward to welcoming 12,000 racegoers each day.
“Our thanks go to our industry bodies, the British Horseracing Authority and the Racecourse Association, which led the preparation of the submission to Government.”
Julie Harrington, chief executive of the BHA, also welcomed the news: “It is excellent news that Ascot will be included in the Events Research Programme as a pilot event. It is an opportunity to demonstrate how racing events are perfectly suited to safely hosting spectators in greater numbers as we progress through the Government’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions.
“We are grateful to DCMS and this outcome reflects the strong and positive relationship between racing and Government. Working with colleagues we will ensure that our participants remain protected to the same degree that has been achieved with racing’s bespoke coronavirus protocols since resumption in June 2020.”
David Armstrong, chief executive of the RCA, added: “I am so pleased that Royal Ascot has been selected as part of the ERP program.
“The RCA and the Industry Return of Spectators Group have worked closely with the ERP (and its predecessor groups) to develop pilot options across racing which demonstrate the safe nature of the racecourse environment and the strength of our operating protocols.
“The Ascot team have done an outstanding job in configuring the course for this pilot and racegoers and participants alike can look forward to an exceptional Royal Ascot experience delivered to the highest standards of safety.”