Updated at 7pm Wednesday 16 June.
On Monday 14 June, the Government confirmed a delay to "Step 4 of the roadmap". The revised date is Monday 19 July, though this itself remains subject to alteration. The Government expressed confidence that it will be met.
More detail is expected from Government about the operation of large venues before the move to "Step 4", which in turn will be assessed by the British Horseracing Authority for its impact on racing. York Racecourse will await that guidance.
As the next York raceday is not until Friday 9 July, we think racegoers who have already booked will understand us taking a little time to reflect on the latest announcements, before making decisions about specific racedays. Racegoers who have already booked will be contacted once the situation is clearer.
The John Smith's Cup Meeting on 9 & 10 July remains scheduled to go ahead with a limited crowd. The racecourse is engaged with Government and racing authorities to explore ways to maximise that attendance.
Given the recent announcement, new bookings have been suspended for both Friday 9 & Saturday 10 July.
Beyond July, York Racecourse is pleased to offer something further to look forward to, by having admission on sale for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (Wednesday 18th - Saturday 21st August) and four other racedays, in September and October. A no quibble refund is an option.
Admission for twelve days from July 9th remains available to advance book.
The website looks different to the one I remember?
- The customer ticket booking process has been updated to respond to the increasing number of visits from mobile devices.
- Customers can now follow a simple system of “tiles and drop downs”, to first choose their raceday and then their ticket type.
- The latest generation of York Racecourse Gift Vouchers, launched in December 2020, can be redeemed online. The older paper vouchers are still valid and holders will need to follow the previous system by contacting the Bookings Team to redeem them.
- The ticket delivery options for Grandstand & Paddock now include an electronic ticket to be printed at home or held on a phone.
- There are some Covid-19 pages to read, and then Terms & Conditions to accept.
What is on sale?
- A wide number of admission options for eight days being Friday evening 23rd July, Saturday 24th July, the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (Wednesday 18th - Saturday 21st August), Sunday 5th September, Friday 24th September, Friday 8th October, Saturday 9th October, meaning:
- general admission to County Stand, Grandstand and Paddock - including Groups of 6+ and with our automatic “buy 20 get one free” deal;
- age concessions;
- four day admission to the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival;
- and the most popular “meal deal top-ups”- being County Carvery, Fish ‘n’ Fizz and the Picnic Platters.
- Hospitality is available, subject to availability and protocols by raceday. Please enquire using email@example.com
What is NOT on sale?
- Given the uncertainties, the Melrose Club Lounge, Premier Racing Lounge and certain top-ups are not currently being offered for new sales. The strong number of “rollover customers”, when considered with the limited physical space in these unique areas, as well as the nature of serving food and drinks within them, needs further consideration. For the racedays in June the Melrose Club Lounge operated successfully with a smaller capacity and revised menu.. Those holding a rollover booking are asked to look out for an email from York Racecourse. County Stand customers for any relevant days, will be offered the chance to upgrade, should capacities allow.
- Friday 9 July & Saturday 10 July are closed to new bookings.
- Three-day admission for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in any enclosure (existing purchasers are thanked for their patience ahead of further advice).
- Clocktower Enclosure is traditionally “pay on the gate”, so is not on sale nor available, at this point.
Will the races themselves be the same? And on the same day?
- The intention is to run seven races on each day, including on the three weekdays of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. The only exception is Friday evening 23rd July which traditionally hosts a six-race card.
- This year, the feature races are expected to be run on their usual days. As examples, the Group 1 Juddmonte International on Wednesday 18th August, the Sky Bet Ebor on Saturday 21st August and the John Smith’s Cup on Saturday 10th July. A full race programme is available on the website and in the usual racing publications, which would both reflect any amends as the days draw closer.
What can I expect to be the same on a raceday?
Much of the detail will evolve as we respond to the protocols applicable at the time, as we work with Government and our local partners. However, as an indication of broad themes:
- at the heart of the day, it will still be the live sporting action, with the usual number of exciting contests scheduled;
- a warm Yorkshire welcome is assured;
- there will be the opportunity to enjoy some locally sourced food, served using the best practice from restaurants and eateries;
- toasting a winner or drowning a sorrow will still be possible, though everyone will be expected to behave responsibly;
- having a bet will still be part of the challenge though the mechanism may adapt to the circumstances;
- and expect fashion to still be part of the atmosphere.
What might change?
- As some detail is yet to be clarified by Government, if required, a full Code of Conduct and Guide to the Experience will both be sent to racegoers nearer to their attendance date. Up to 72 hours before a raceday, customers retain the right to request a full refund in relation to any Covid-19 protocols which may be required.
- As an example from recent “Step 3” days, there were similar sorts of measures as you might encounter in other retail and leisure venues. For example, extra hand sanitiser points, simple social distancing measures such as one-way systems, managed queuing, limited numbers in lifts or on escalators, bigger spacing in both the viewing and seating areas. The use of face coverings will remain, in line with national government requirements. Table Service will be the standard, though it was possible to purchase a drink from certain outdoor bars, provided it was consumed whilst seated. More takeaway food and disposable items wiere in use. An investment in technology made it easy to pay by contactless methods.
- For the “step 4” days, so currently due to be from 19 July onwards, there is more detail still required from Government. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that from 19 July, events should be very near normal..
- A recognition that participants, such as jockeys, may need to stay in their “green zone bubble”. This will limit activities such as autograph signing.
Is Music Showcase Weekend happening as normal?
- The Music Showcase Weekend (23rd & 24th July) is confirmed as a racing fixture.
- The artists set to perform have been announced as being Rick Astley for Friday evening 23rd July, with McFLY due on stage after racing on Saturday afternoon, 24th July.
- However, the additional complexities of the combined nature of a racing and music event does mean that it may be subject to different Covid-19 protocols. More details about this are expected from Government and will appear on the website and social media channels, as soon as we know them. Thank you for your understanding.
- If you booked for one of our 2020 Music Showcase Weekend racedays, please click here for the email sent out on 5th May 2021.
What if a raceday is cancelled because of a change to the “roadmap” or other Covid-19 matters?
- All bookings come with both a money back guarantee and the assurance that York Racecourse will observe whatever Covid-19 measures are expected, at the time of the racedays. Up to 72 hours before a raceday, customers retain the right to request a full refund in relation to any Covid-19 protocols which may be required. It would be automatically offered if guidance meant a paying crowd were no longer permitted.
I “rolled over” my booking for July to October racedays, what does it mean for me?
- Thank you for your support. The "Government roadmap" currently places a number of these days as being amongst eight York racedays after the given date for a nationwide move to “step 4” (currently being 19 July), offering the ability to welcome racegoers in greater numbers. Given your support by “rolling over” your booking, you are a priority for access and need take no further action.
- For the two racedays of Friday 9 & Saturday 10 July, those racegoers who generously "rolled over" their 2020 booking will be given priority in any limited crowd. No further action is required by racegoers.
- As further detail is still expected from Government, more information about the raceday experience will follow in due course. Please check the website or follow our social media channels.
Will I be expected to wear a face covering?
- The expectation to wear a mask will adopt the wider requirements set out by Government and best practice, at that time.
Will I be expected to take a Covid-19 test or to show a vaccination certificate?
• These are questions still being considered by Government in relation to all venues and may vary at different points of the summer. York Racecourse will expect racegoers to comply with any guidance applicable at the time of a given raceday.
I am an existing Annual Badgeholder, what does it mean for me?
- Existing Annual Badgeholders, meaning those who generously “rolled over” their 2020 subscription, are to the fore of thinking and so planning. Consequently, we are planning for their return for all the fifteen racedays from Saturday 22nd May as we intend to count Annual Badgeholders as a key component of the limited crowd permitted from “step 3" of the Government “roadmap”.
- People who held an Annual Badge in 2019 and who did not renew for 2020 should now have been contacted by the York Racecourse team to set out their options.
Can I book hospitality?
- Why not consider having the extra treat of an afternoon in one of our hospitality restaurants. These will be open for all racedays in steps 3 and 4, from 9 July. Please enquire by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do children under 16yo need an advance booked admission badge/ticket?
- The next generation of racing fans are always welcome and for the vast majority of racedays, those aged under sixteen do NOT need to buy an admission in advance. The only exception is Music Showcase Weekend (23rd & 24th July) when those aged 4-15yo will need a special £10 admission. These are a prompted top up purchase when buying adult admission for these two days.
- A limited number of children's badges have been included in the capacity calculation for the June dates, however they must be booked in advance, using the website, in conjunction with an adult admission. To be fair to fellow racegoers, please consider carefully whether you need these badges.
What about the Clocktower Enclosure?
- As this is traditionally a “pay on the gate” area, it is yet to be put on sale.
I have a specific question?
- We understand that not every query will have been answered here and we hope to have addressed the main ones. Most other questions are likely to require further clarity from Government before we are able to give a measured answer - thank you for your understanding. Please do submit your question as we would hope to answer them all in future updates to our information, though the team may well have no immediate further information. The main contact is email@example.com