Motorsport in England can resume from March 29 under the governments proposal to end lockdown, with the governing body for four-wheel motorsport in the United Kingdom, Motorsport UK, to resume issuing permits for events.
Sporting events in the UK, unless considered “elite”, have been banned from taking place under the current lockdown, which began in January. However the UK government confirmed on Monday that those conditions would be eased from March 8 with children returning to school.
March 29 sees further loosening of the rules, with outdoor sports allowed to resume behind closed doors, however spectators will be allowed to return from June, when the government hopes to lift all restrictions.
“Motorsport UK is pleased to announce that organised Permitted motorsport can resume in England with effect from 29 March, subject to local restrictions and in accordance with its own Restart Guidance,” a statement from the body confirmed.
“This confirmation follows the announcement on 22 February by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the third lockdown imposed on 4 January will be lifted, and formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can also restart but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.
“As the applicable governing body for the sport, Motorsport UK will now begin granting Permits for all disciplines, and applications are invited in the usual way.
“The governing body acknowledges the target of late spring for allowing spectators on a limited basis and will follow those developments in order to keep its stakeholders informed.”
A date for such events to resume in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is set to be confirmed in the following weeks as local governments set out their plan for the end of lockdown conditions.
Motorsport UK CEO, Hugh Chambers, commented: “We are extremely grateful to government for providing the opportunity for motorsport to resume in England from 29 March. This will be very welcome news for our community, which extends from professional drivers and teams, through to the grass roots of the sport with tens of thousands of enthusiasts.
“Collectively they fuel an industry employing 41,000 people and generating over £10 billion for the economy, so this is a vital step in securing the UK’s future as leaders in motorsport around the world.
“Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we can announce similarly positive news from the other home nations. Clearly strict protocols still apply, as our sport needs to play its part in supporting the NHS and wider frontline community in keeping infection rates under control, and our Restart Guidance has enabled us to accomplish that objective on two previous occasions.
“I would like to thank the Motorsport UK community for their support during lockdown, and for their spirit and fortitude in keeping the sport together for when this announcement came. We now look forward to getting motorsport up and running at the end of March.”