Bahrain Grand Prix chaos as ticket sales are axed over coronavirus epidemic – The Sun

BAHRAIN GP bosses have suspended ticket sales for the race as the country tackles the coronavirus.

The race is the second on the F1 calendar and due to go ahead on March 22 following the Australian GP curtain-raiser.

Organisers Bahrain International Circuit released a statement to provide an update.

It read: "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 is 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."

The Chinese GP has already been postponed due to the virus outbreak while there are doubts too over the Vietnam GP.

F1 was among the first to react in sport, when it cancelled the Shanghai race on February 12.

It was not due until April 19, but with the virus continuing to spread, bosses decided retaining the event at that date was not in the interest of safety.

FIA are looking into holding it later in the year, but with a record-breaking 22-race calendar, it could prove difficult.

Elsewhere in sport, a long list of fixtures have already been scrapped or postponed as authorities take further steps to try and reduce the spread of the infectious disease.

Italy's Six Nations fixtures against Ireland and England will be played later in the year while the UAE cycling tour as well as football matches in Japan, China and Italy have also been suspended.

Italian authorities have ordered all sport to be played behind closed doors and there is an increasing fear in England that the Premier League will do the same after they banned the pre-match handshake over coronavirus fears.

On Thursday, the first UK death as a result of the deadly bug was confirmed.

The Royal Berkshire NHS Trust said the 75-year-old had underlying health conditions as the number of cases of the killer bug topped 100 across the country.

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