Doncaster refutes claims crowd pilot could be coronavirus case source

Racegoers look on as Latest Generation ridden by jockey William Buick wins the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes as a pilot scheme for the return of crowds to sporting events is expected to bring in 2500 spectators during day one of the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse.
Racegoers look on as Latest Generation ridden by jockey William Buick wins the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes as a pilot scheme for the return of crowds to sporting events is expected to bring in 2500 spectators during day one of the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse. - (Copyright PA Wire)
19:12pm, Wed 16 Sep 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Doncaster racecourse has rejected claims from the Welsh Government that a “significant” cluster of Covid-19 cases in Rhondda Cynon Taf could be connected to last week’s crowd pilot at the track.

Around 2,500 spectators were on course for the first day of the St Leger meeting last Wednesday, although the planned four-day trial was curtailed after that opening card on the instruction of the local authority.

Wales’s Health Minister Vaughan Gething pointed to a rugby club outing to Town Moor, which stopped at a “series of pubs on the way”, as a possible source of the outbreak which has resulted in a local lockdown.

He said: “Our contact tracing teams have been able to trace about half of these cases back to a series of clusters within the borough.

“The rest are evidence of community transmission. There are a number of clusters within Rhondda Cynon Taf, two of which are significant.

“One is associated with a rugby club and a pub in the lower Rhondda. And the other with a club outing to the Doncaster races, which stopped off at a series of pubs on the way.”

However, Doncaster reported it had no ticket bookings for any groups from the South Wales region and had not been contacted by the Welsh Government or NHS.

A statement from the track said: “As a condition of running the pilot event last week, we were required to implement a full track and trace database that took the details of all attendees that would be on site, linked to an e-ticket and photo ID system on entry that would verify attendance.

“Doncaster Racecourse has received no contact from any organisation, including the NHS or the Welsh Government, to verify the attendance of any individuals at last week’s event for the purposes of track and trace. In addition, we do not have any ticket bookings for any groups from the South Wales area for Wednesday’s event.

“We will be contacting the Welsh Health Minister as a matter of urgency to clarify the situation.”

Sign up to our newsletter