St Leger Festival to be held behind closed doors

Statement from Dr Rupert Suckling on the St Leger Festival starting today at Doncaster Racecourse.

Hi I am Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health for Doncaster.

I wanted to update you on the St Leger and my position considering the factors I mentioned in my previous message. However, as I have already said, I am assessing the situation daily against the 10 tests I set out to hold the event. I am concerned that the 10th and final test covering Critical Incident risks addressed throughout the event such as managing gatherings of people, public disorder risks across the borough, will be jeopardised by potentially more people meeting up ahead of any further Government changes to the Coronavirus advice this weekend.

The current rate of infection for the borough currently stands at 10.6 infections per 100,000 people which I have been updated on today and this is an increase due to a range of factors including an increase in testing and a lag in the test results coming in.

Therefore on the grounds of public health and public safety I have instructed the racecourse to hold the St Leger Festival behind closed doors from tomorrow. The day’s racing will continue today as it is safer to manage racegoers on site and with enhanced test and trace, it will be easier to identify where they are from rather than closing the event today and leaving people to their own devices in Doncaster and the borough generally.

I appreciate this decision may not be met with universal agreement but it is the safest and most appropriate way to move forward for everyone’s best interests in the borough and beyond.