Last updated 17 January 2022

Racing and Wagering Western Australia is introducing new rules, which require racing participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by 12.01am, 5 February 2022.

For any enquiries regarding the rule, please contact licreginfo@rwwa.com.au or (08) 9445 5558.

To view the rule, click here.

What is the new rule of racing regarding COVID-19 vaccinations?

RWWA is introducing a new rule of racing, which requires racing participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The rule states that:

  • Any person (other than a greyhound owner), who is licenced or approved by RWWA or who is otherwise authorised by the RWWA Rules of Racing or stewards to conduct any activity associated with the running of a race meeting, trials, trackwork or similar must be fully vaccinated and ensure their staff and contractors involved in such activities are fully vaccinated by 12.01am on 5 February 2022.

Therefore, activities that are subject to a licence must only be performed by licensed persons who are compliant with the rule.

Licensed persons must ensure their staff and contractors involved in activities associated with the running of a race meeting, trials or trackwork are also fully vaccinated.

Any person who is not compliant with the requirements shall be excluded from attending RWWA approved stables and/or training establishments, any racetracks, trial tracks or other venues controlled or operated by RWWA.

To view the rule, click here.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

Fully vaccinated means having received at least two doses of a registered COVID-19 vaccination and a third dose vaccination within one month of being deemed eligible to receive it (noting that government directions and health advice on the timing of third dose vaccinations may change).

Are there any exemptions?

A person is exempt, or temporarily exempt, from the vaccination requirement for the following reasons:

  • if the person has a medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register or a temporary exemption issued to the person by the Chief Health Officer of Western Australia or their delegate. Further information is available here.
  • if there are technical, administrative or other factors outside the person’s control which prevent compliance and RWWA issues an exemption on this basis.

When does the rule come into effect?

The rule comes into effect on 5 February 2022 and remains in effect until further advised by RWWA. However, proof of vaccination must be provided to RWWA by Saturday 29 January 2022.

Why is the rule being introduced?

The COVID-19 vaccine is an important measure to keep WA safe and healthy, and will help protect the community.

To safeguard the continuation of racing, it is necessary for the racing industry to adopt an approach consistent with the continuing expansions of current proof of vaccination requirements.

For racing to properly function without unplanned disruptions, it is imperative that racing participants are fully vaccinated.

Most racing jurisdictions in Australia and sporting codes have adopted similar arrangements to protect the racing community from the continuing threat of COVID-19.

RWWA will continue to closely monitor and follow the advice of health authorities to ensure that appropriate measures are in place.

How do I provide proof of vaccination?

RWWA has engaged a third-party provider, CredShare, to verify the vaccination status of licenced participants. CredShare will ensure your information is stored securely and not used for any other purposes than compliance with the rule.

Participants will receive an email from CredShare requesting verification of vaccination status in the coming days. If you do not receive an email from CredShare please contact licreginfo@rwwa.com.au or (08) 9445 5558.

Please note proof of vaccination must be provided to RWWA by Saturday 29 January 2022.

Further information on CredShare can be found here.

Please note that you may still be required to show proof of vaccination when entering public facilities at racecourses, as individual race clubs are responsible for ensuring compliance with State Government Directions regarding public events.

What happens if I am not vaccinated by the 5 February 2022?

Activities that are subject to a licence must only be performed by licensed persons who are compliant with the rule.

Therefore, the licence, approval or authority of any person who is not fully vaccinated by 12.01am on 5 February 2022 will be suspended until such time as they comply with the rule or such time that this rule ceases to be in effect.

In the event an individual’s licence is suspended due to non-compliance with the rule, they are able to maintain racing animals on their property and will remain bound to the Rules of Racing. However, any activities that are subject to a licence (e.g. training, participating in training activities or the preparation of a racing animal) is not allowed.

Licensed persons must also ensure their staff and contractors involved in activities associated with the running of a race meeting, trials or trackwork are also fully vaccinated.

Any person who is not compliant with the requirements shall be excluded from attending RWWA approved stables and/or training establishments, any racetracks, trial tracks or other venues controlled or operated by RWWA.

Please note a person is exempt, or temporarily exempt, from the vaccination requirement for the following reasons:

  • if the person has a medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register or a temporary exemption issued to the person by the Chief Health Officer of Western Australia or their delegate. Further information is available here.
  • if there are technical, administrative or other factors outside the person’s control which prevent compliance and RWWA issues an exemption on this basis.

What if I have received only had one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and not eligible for my second until after 5 February?

A person is temporarily exempt from the requirements if there are technical, administrative or other factors outside the person’s control which prevent compliance and RWWA issues an exemption on this basis. Therefore, if a person has received one dose and are able to satisfy RWWA that they have the second vaccination booked within the required period, a temporary exemption may be applied.

Any temporary exemptions issued by RWWA do not override any government directions with respect to having to be fully vaccinated to enter venues (including racetracks, trial tracks) or otherwise.

In granting any temporary exemptions, RWWA may also impose conditions or restrictions of enter (e.g. a trainer may be granted a temporary exemption and permitted to train from their premises, but not attend any race or trial tracks until fully compliant with the rule).

If I am not fully vaccinated, can I still nominate horses/greyhounds to race from 5 February onwards and someone else take them to the race meeting?

No, as any person who is not fully vaccinated by 12.01am on 5 February 2022 will be suspended until such time as they comply with the rule or such time that this rule ceases to be in effect. Therefore, any person who is not compliant with the requirements will not be able to nominate racing animals.

Please note a person is exempt, or temporarily exempt, from the vaccination requirement for the following reasons:

  • if the person has a medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register or a temporary exemption issued to the person by the Chief Health Officer of Western Australia or their delegate. Further information is available here.

if there are technical, administrative or other factors outside the person’s control which prevent compliance and RWWA issues an exemption on this basis.

Can I still work at a private racing stable or kennel from 5 February onwards if I am not fully vaccinated?

Activities that are subject to a licence must only be performed by licensed persons who are compliant with the rule.

Licensed persons must ensure their staff and contractors involved in activities associated with the running of a race meeting, trials or trackwork are also fully vaccinated.

Any person who is not compliant with the requirements shall be excluded from attending RWWA approved stables and/or training establishments, any racetracks, trial tracks or other venues controlled or operated by RWWA.

Please note a person is exempt, or temporarily exempt, from the vaccination requirement for the following reasons:

  • if the person has a medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register or a temporary exemption issued to the person by the Chief Health Officer of Western Australia or their delegate. Further information is available here.
  • if there are technical, administrative or other factors outside the person’s control which prevent compliance and RWWA issues an exemption on this basis.

Does this rule apply to owners?

Individuals do not require proof of vaccination to own a racing animal. However, current WA Government public health rules for Perth and Peel require proof of double-dose vaccination by patrons at race meetings in the region, including:

  • Ascot
  • Belmont Park
  • Gloucester Park
  • Pinjarra Park
  • Pinjarra Paceway
  • Cannington
  • Mandurah

The WA Government will be introducing proof of vaccination requirements for additional venues and events shortly. Please visit wa.gov.au for the most up-to-date proof of vaccination rules.

Details on how to show proof of vaccination requirements are here.

Owners wishing to access the horse stalls and mounting yard may be issued a proof of vaccination wristband on course to minimise inconvenience when moving in and out of these restricted areas.

If a trainer’s licence is suspended, how will RWWA ensure the welfare of racing animals under their care?

In the event an individual’s licence is suspended due to non-compliance with the rule, they are able to maintain racing animals on their property and are still bound by the Rules of Racing, which includes their obligation to continue to provide the required care for any animals under their control. However, any activities that are subject to a licence (e.g. training, participating in training activities or the preparation of a racing animal) is not allowed.

If a decision is made to retire/deregister a horse/greyhound from the racing industry, the last registered managing owner or the person in control of the animal at the relevant time, must to the satisfaction of the Stewards, make reasonable effort to rehome the horse/greyhound. Failure to comply with these rules may result in penalties.

Please refer to the following RWWA Rules of Racing in relation to the specific requirements for the retirement of racing animals:

  • Thoroughbred: RWWA Rules of Racing Local Rule 313
  • Harness: RWWA Rules of Racing Local Rule 96B
  • Greyhound: RWWA Rules of Racing Local Rule 106

The RWWA Rules of Racing can be found here.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Information on where to get vaccinated is on the Roll up for WA website.

When am I eligible to get my third dose vaccine?

Information on when you are eligible to get you booster shot is available on the Roll up for WA website.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

For any questions regarding the new rule, please contact licencing on licreginfo@rwwa.com.au or (08) 9445 5558.

Racing Assist

It is understood that these are uncertain times for many individuals and therefore please be reminded that RWWA’s Racing Assist provides free confidential support through counselling to any licenced participant, whether it be due to racing-related or personal issues. For more information, click here.