Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix say they will be suspending the sales of tickets, and may take further measures, amid the outbreak and spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Bahrain is due to hold the second round of the 2020 Formula 1 championship, on March 22, one week after the season-opener in Melbourne, Australia.
Officials have already requested flight details from Formula 1 personnel, in order to alleviate potential entry restrictions on Italy-based members, while some have rerouted travel to avoid Hong Kong and Singapore.
No further tickets for the race will be released until organisers have undertaken a further assessment of the coronavirus situation.
“The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is committed to holding a safe and exciting Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix for local and international fans, and is working closely with all relevant Government departments, including the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior, to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19),” read a statement issued on Thursday.
“In light of the continued global outbreak of COVID-19, the BIC has announced that it will be phasing the sales of Grand Prix tickets to ensure appropriate social distancing guidelines are met.
“As further facts emerge, the BIC is in close communication with both Formula One management and the Kingdom’s health authorities to assess the developing situation and release further tickets or refund the face value of tickets depending on circumstances and updated medical advice.
“This precautionary step has been introduced along with a number of public health measures ahead of the Grand Prix to ensure the safety of all spectators, teams and circuit staff.
“These include screening procedures on entry, specialist medical facilities onsite, enhanced sanitation at the circuit, additional hand washing stations, information points for fans, as well as specific medical protocols to manage any suspected cases of COVID-19.”
Formula 1 personnel are poised to begin flying to Australia imminently.