Italy has announced new measures to contain the coronavirus which could have a major impact on both Formula 1 and MotoGP.
The Italian government is set to pass a law banning entry and exit from the Lombardy region and 11 further provinces in the north of the country in an effort to tackle the virus, which has hit Italy particularly hard.
Italy saw more than 1,200 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours bringing the total to almost 6,000 – making it the third hardest hit country after China and South Korea. Deaths have also increased substantially by 36, bringing the total to 233.
The law will ban anyone from entering or leaving the ‘red zones’ until April 3rd and anyone caught doing so could be fined. It also sees schools, museums, gyms, swimming pools, theatres and cinemas closed whilst restaurants and cafes face restrictions.
Those restrictions cover the whole of Lombardy but also the provinces of Parma, Piacenza, Rimini, Reggio-Emilia, Modena, Pesaro, Urbino, Venice, Padua, Treviso, Alessandria and Asti.
Ferrari is located in Modena and could therefore face difficulty in getting its employees to races and whilst MotoGP has cancelled the opening two rounds – the third is also under threat – Moto2 and Moto3 employees who are due to return to the region following the Qatar GP this weekend, may be unable to do so.
The order does however state that “movements motivated by un-deferrable work needs or emergency situations” will be exempt, but whether the government will determine that motorsport fits that description is currently unknown.
If not, along with Ferrari, both AlphaTauri and Pirelli would also face problems as they too are located in the north of Italy.
Whilst the majority of employees have left for the season-opener in Australia next weekend, some are due to fly out on Sunday and Monday and they will not be allowed to return until after round 3 – the Vietnam Grand Prix.