Musselburgh racecourse: Crowd limit remains despite easing of restrictions
Musselburgh will remain limited to a crowd of 1,000 for its next three horse racing meetings – but then hopes to accommodate 5,000 for the popular Stobo Castle Ladies Day next month.
It was announced on Tuesday that Scotland will move to Level Zero Covid-19 restrictions from the start of next week.
But conditions on crowds attending outdoor events in Scotland, a remaining measure to combat coronavirus, mean the move will not allow Musselburgh to significantly boost numbers on course just yet.
Musselburgh general manager Bill Farnsworth noted the “negative impact that continued restrictions are having across all our Scottish courses”.
There is nonetheless optimism that – with the planned lifting of those restrictions from August 9 – Ladies Day, on August 20, may be a much busier event.
Farnsworth explained the practical reasons why crowds will, in the meantime, have to remain limited.
He said: “The summer racing calendar is the mainstay of racing in Scotland and provides a revenue stream which sustains our racecourses throughout the year
“The lifting of certain restrictions yesterday means that at Musselburgh we would be permitted to have up to 1,500 visitors – but with the need for those guests to be seated at all times when consuming alcohol, we are logistically unable to accommodate that many people and so will have to limit attendance to only 1,000.
“We are hopeful that from August 9 those restrictions will be lifted and we can welcome back larger crowds – which are vital to Musselburgh and other Scottish courses if we are to begin the long road to economic recovery.
“We will continue to work within all the relevant agencies and adhere to regulations for the safety of our staff and participants, while navigating a way through the negative impact that continued restrictions are having across all our Scottish courses.”