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No spectators allowed at this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix event

No spectators allowed at this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix event

The race weekend will proceed ahead as a televised event

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Bahrain has announced that this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix race weekend which is scheduled to be held from March 20-22 will be a participants-only event.

The decision was made in consultation with international partners and the kingdom’s national health Taskforce, Bahrain News Agency reported, citing Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).

“As an F1 host nation, balancing the welfare of supporters and race goers is a tremendous responsibility,” the BIC said in a statement.

“Given the continued spread of Covid-19 globally, convening a major sporting event, which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travellers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time. But to ensure that neither the sport, nor its global supporter base, is unduly impacted, the race weekend itself will still go ahead as a televised event.”

BIC added: “The approach has involved rapid, proactive measures, identifying those affected by the virus, of which the overwhelming majority of cases relate to those travelling into the country by air. Aggressive social distancing measures have further increased the effectiveness of preventing the virus’ spread, something that would clearly be near impossible to maintain were the race to have proceeded as originally planned.”

“We know how disappointed many will be by this news, especially for those planning to travel to the event, which has become a cornerstone event of the international F1 calendar, but safety has to remain our utmost priority.”

Bahrain has reported a total of 49 cases since the epidemic broke out in December last year.

Bahrain’s Ministry of Health urged citizens and residents who have visited Italy, South Korea, Egypt and Lebanon during the past 14 days to self-isolate immediately, and call 444 or visit the health ministry website to schedule a medical examination.

Also read: GCC coronavirus update: Total cases surge past 190

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