RACEDAY restrictions are being eased throughout Queensland.
According to Racing Minister Sterling Hinchliffe and Racing Queensland chief executive officer Brendan Parnell, restrictions limiting participants to their allocated regions will be lifted immediately, allowing them to compete across the state.
In March Racing Queensland implemented regional racing, effectively dividing the state into eight zones and preventing participants crossing from one zone to another.
The original zones were - Metro North (trainers located at Eagle Farm, Doomben, Deagon and Sunshine Coast), Metro South West (trainers located at Gold Coast, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gatton, Beaudesert and Warwick), Darling Downs (trainers at all venues within Downs and Eastern Downs Country Racing region excluding Toowoomba and Warwick TC), SEQ Coast (Thangool, Calliope and Gladstone and excludes all within Metro North and Metro South West), Central West (Capricornia West excludes Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Gladstone, Calliope, Thangool) and Leichardt South West - Prairie, Pentland, Twin Hills Moranbah), Central (Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Leichardt East - Mackay), North West (North West CR Region) and North (Bowen, Home Hill, Charters Towers and Ewan).
The lifting of restrictions comes with the approval of Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.
In line with 'Queensland's roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions', clubs will also be permitted to allow up to 20 patrons on-course, subject to complying with the requirements of Queensland Health's Public Health Directives, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the COVIDSafe checklist.
Additional patrons may be allowed to return once an Industry COVID Safe plan for RQ licensed race clubs is approved by Queensland Health and adopted.
Having operated under strict biosecurity measures since March, Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the announcement demonstrated the progress the industry had made in recent months.
"The Queensland racing industry has done a phenomenal job of banding together during the COVID-19 crisis," Mr Hinchliffe said.
Mr Parnell said the easing of restrictions, including the removal of designated racing regions and the limited return of patrons, was reward for the diligence and hard work the industry has adhered to in recent months.
"There is still a long way to go, however, this is a positive step for our three codes of racing," he said.
A range of existing biosecurity measures remain in place including mandatory temperature testing for all on-course personnel attending race meetings, 14-day self-isolation period for any licensee - Queensland or otherwise - who travels from interstate and restrictions around training, trackwork and inter-state animal transport protocols.