Formula 1 is continuing to work with the UK government in order to seek a solution to the 14-day quarantine period that will be introduced next month, in a bid to save the British Grand Prix.
The UK government has confirmed that from June 8 a 14-day quarantine will be mandatory for the majority of international travellers arriving in the country.
The British Grand Prix has been held annually since 1948, and has featured in each season of the Formula 1 championship, but Friday’s government measures have added a further barrier towards the 2020 event.
Formula 1 has been working on a revised calendar in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and intends to begin the campaign with back-to-back races in Austria on July 5/12.
Its proposal was for the championship to then travel to Silverstone for successive races on July 26/August 2, having reached a revised agreement with the British venue.
Earlier this month the UK government confirmed that it was planning to introduce a 14-day quarantine period for international travellers but outlined that exemptions would be made.
With the government keen for sporting fixtures to return as soon as possible Formula 1 officials were confident that an agreement could be struck, thus avoiding the need for personnel arriving in the country to self-isolate for two weeks.
Plans were presented to government officials outlining the nature of the ‘biosphere’ Formula 1 intends to implement in Austria and Britain, with personnel set to be tested every two days, teams kept apart from each other, and planes chartered in order to avoid interaction with the local community.
The updated legislation was officially announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
“We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave,” she said.
The UK government has opted to exempt road hauliers, seasonal agricultural workers and medical officials, but those measures have not been extended to other industries, including those involved in sport.
It means that all personnel heading to Silverstone would have to quarantine for two weeks.
In response, an F1 spokesperson told MotorsportWeek.com that “we have been working closely with government on the implications of the policy for Formula 1 and Silverstone and those discussions are ongoing at this time with the aim of finding a solution with safety as our first priority.”
It is unknown for how long the UK will retain its 14-day quarantine period.
The legislation will be reviewed every three weeks, while ‘air bridges’ – agreements between countries who both have low transmission rates and recognise each other’s screening measures – are also under review.
Germany’s Hockenheim circuit is understood to be in contention to replace Silverstone while Hungary’s Hungaroring venue is also in line for those dates, should plans to hold a round in Britain be called off.
It is understood that one proposal is for Formula 1 personnel to remain in Europe for a month, allowing successive races to be held in two locations, then return to the UK for at least 14 days – building in the self-isolation period – before embarking on the same routine.
Further events are planned in Spain, Belgium and Italy for August and September, with the Netherlands’ return put back until 2021.
The other European events – Monaco and France – have already been cancelled.
Monaco cited an impossibility to arrange an event on any date other than its May 24 slot while a ban on all sports in France until September removed the country from the picture.