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Jockeys have been given the opportunity to abandon their face masks while competing in a race, but like other industry participants will be required to wear one at all other times.

Face masks became mandatory on Victorian racecourses from Thursday to protect industry staff, participants and the wider community.

Racing Victoria has ordered customised face masks for the jockey ranks, however they will not be available until Saturday week.

The customised face masks will allow riders to pull them down in the starting stalls and back up following their race should the jockey not wish to wear it while competing.

Under the interim measures starting Saturday, jockeys will be required to wear a face mask at all times whilst on-course, except when on horseback.

Jockeys and track riders at training centres and licensed premises in areas in which Stage 3 restrictions are in place are not required to wear a face mask whilst on horseback, however they are required to wear one while on the ground.

RV chief executive Giles Thompson said protocols were continually being reviewed to ensure they are best placed to allow for the safe continuation of Victorian racing.

“Changes to our protocols around face masks take into consideration the latest government directives and to ensure we take all responsible measures to minimise the risk of a COVID-19 case or cluster given the increased community transmission within the state,” Thompson said.

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