The races will be held behind closed doors for the immediate future after the government announced the entry into force of stricter levels in many parts of England from Thursday in an attempt to tackle rising coronavirus rates.
It was announced at the end of November that outdoor venues in England’s Tier 1 and 2 areas would again be allowed to admit spectators after the last national lockdown in England, with up to 4,000 spectators allowed in the level 1 zones and up to 2000 in level 2..
Hundreds of punters were cleared through the turnstiles at Haydock, Kempton, Lingfield and Ludlow on December 2, while December 5 saw runners on track for the Tingle Creek meeting in Sandown and Becher Chase day in Aintree.
More recently, members returned to Cheltenham for the first time since the Festival in March, but days later it was announced that more parts of the country would be upgrading to levels 3 and 4, dashing hopes of a crowd for King George in Kempton on Boxing Day.
And with Covid-19 cases still on the rise due to a more virulent strain, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced in the House of Commons on Wednesday that three-quarters of the country would be at level 3 or 4 d ‘here Thursday, including in all regions. which houses a racecourse in Great Britain.
He said: “Unfortunately this new variant is now spreading across most of England and cases are rapidly doubling.
“It is therefore necessary to apply the level 4 measures to a larger area … even in most areas not moving to level 4, the cases are also increasing, and therefore it is necessary to apply the level 3 measures. wider.
“The new variant means that three-quarters of the population will now be at level 4 and almost the entire country at levels 3 and 4.
“And I know that the level 3 and 4 measures place a heavy burden on the people, and in particular on the companies concerned, but I am afraid that this is absolutely necessary due to the number of cases that we have seen.
The British Horseracing Authority announced on Tuesday that owners will no longer be able to attend meetings held in Level 4 zones from New Years Day and owners living under Level 4 restrictions are not allowed to attend level 1 to 3 race meetings.