British jockeys to be separated from Irish rivals at Cheltenham Festival with visitors contained to racecourse 'bubble'

BRITISH and Irish riders will be kept apart during next month's Cheltenham Festival.

The racecourse are set to create a huge 'bubble' for all participants arriving from overseas.

All Irish jockeys, trainers and stable staff will be under strict instructions to stay in a designated 'green zone' throughout the entire meeting.

That means British and Irish jockeys will be accommodated in separate changing rooms.

Temporary accommodation will be built on site to house an estimated 150 people.


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The plans have been drawn up by the BHA and their Irish counterparts in recent weeks.

Before travelling over from Ireland, each participant involved at the four-day Festival must have a Covid-19 test.

They will also be tested before they leave and then be subject to Irish quarantine rules.

Dr Jerry Hill, chief medical adviser to the BHA, told the Daily Mail: "We appreciate the hard work to ensure all of those involved at this year's Festival can do so in an environment that is as safe as possible."

It was announced earlier this week that amateur riders would not be allowed to ride at the Festival this year.

Leading Irish amateur Patrick Mullins, who was due to have a strong book of rides for his dad Willie, is considering turning professional in order to take part.

The Festival, which usually attracts 250,000 racegoers, will be held behind closed doors this year, with crowds expected to return to sporting events in May.

Owners are also unlikely to be able to attend the meeting.


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