Following the State Government’s announcement today that the wearing of masks both indoors and outdoors will continue for metropolitan Melbourne, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has amended its COVID-19 protocols and issues the following statement.

COVID-19 protocols

Licensed participants and officials are encouraged to read HRV’s updated COVID-19 protocols, which take effect June 10 (today), 2021.


Masks must be worn at all times at Victorian harness racing or trial meetings. This means the mask must be worn while indoors and outdoors, unless you have a Government permitted exemption (i.e., medical condition).

Drivers are not required to wear a mask when competing.

Attendance at race and trial meetings

Spectators are still not permitted at Victorian harness racing tracks. This is to protect the health and wellbeing of the Victorian harness industry and the wider community. HRV will provide an update on crowds as early as possible.

This means only licensed participants with a horse engaged can currently attend race and trial meetings.

All essential personnel and participants are reminded that any person who has attended a COVID-19 exposure site (click here for an updated list at the Department of Health website) or suspects that a close contact has done so is not permitted to attend a Victorian harness racing venue or licensed premises until they have fulfilled the government requirements for testing and isolation and submitted a HRV COVID-19 reporting form.

Any licensed participant who falls into this category should report the matter via this form or contact HRV on (03) 8378 0200. This form is vital and failure to report instances of contact may put participants in breach of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR 238).

QR Code

QR Code has been implemented for use at all racetracks and trial venues, and all licensed participants and essential staff must use this code. This gives Government contact tracers immediate data should it be required for contact tracing purposes.

At the races

Temperature testing will continue to be in operation at all race meetings and will be reviewed by HRV on June 17, 2021.

Drivers are to limit the time spent in the drivers’ room and all enclosed and indoor areas as much as possible.

All are reminded to exercise appropriate physical distancing protocols and to maintain 1.5-metre distancing wherever possible or wear a mask.

Trainers, drivers and stablehands are to leave the race meeting as soon as possible upon fulfilling their obligations in accordance with the Australian Harness Racing Rules (i.e., after completion of swabbing procedures, attendance before stewards etc).

Participants should pre-pack enough food and supplies for the duration of their engagement at race meetings

There are no restrictions in existence regarding the number of stablehands permitted to attend accompanied licensed trainers at racetracks.

All other industry protocols remain in effect and any non-compliance may be subject to action by the HRV Stewards

All persons are advised that should they fail to comply with these requirements, significant penalties including periods of disqualification, may be imposed under AHRR 238

AHRR 238 states: A person shall not fail to comply with any order, direction or requirement of the Controlling Body or the Stewards relating to harness racing or to the harness racing industry

Click here to view HRV's COVID-19 online information page