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Posted by Marketing on 01/04/2020.

Equestrian Western Australia COVID-19 Update – 01 April 2020

At 4:47 pm, 31 March 2020 yesterday, the Premier's office has advised the following:

In terms of caring for the horses– the gathering restrictions that limit gatherings both indoors and outdoors (and on both private and public land) to 2 people as announced by the Prime Minister must be adhered to, as this is not an essential gathering (unless they are employed to do so). In conjunction with this, social distancing measures must be put in place. Businesses and other premises have a responsibility to ensure these gathering limits and social distancing measures are put in place and enforced. Per the Prime Minister's advice, essential gatherings include essential workplaces where you cannot work from home, health care settings, pharmacies, food shopping, schools and universities where you cannot study from home, public transport and airports. Information on this is available here.

Our understanding, following the Prime Minister's announcement, is five separate people turning up to look after separate horses a significant distance from each other would not be a 'gathering'. 5 people standing around a single horse would, by our understanding, be a gathering. The same goes for riding schools – a coach and a student exercising in a gathering of just two people in a separate area to another pairing of a coach and student would be acceptable provided appropriate social distancing measures are in place. This has today been implemented in Western Australia through a State of Emergency Declaration entitled 'Prohibited Gatherings Directions' – which is available here.

A comprehensive list of the State of Emergency declarations, and the relevant restrictions that may apply, are available here.

However, it is essential to note that based on the Prime Minister's advice, the National Cabinet's strong guidance to all Australians is to stay home unless for:

  • shopping for what you need - food and necessary supplies;
  • medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements;
  • work and study if you can't work or learn remotely.
  • Per the current directions, vets and other businesses related to horse welfare can remain open – but again, social distancing measures and adherence to other restrictions must be in place.

Please note that the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is working with Equestrian Western Australia to determine the best support during these times. In addition to that, we would also like to note that racing in Western Australia is still ongoing. Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) has received official confirmation that those identified as essential persons travelling for race meetings and other race-related activity (essential to racing) will be classed as work/employment and therefore will be exempt from the WA Government’s intrastate travel restrictions. 

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