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The Cheltenham Festival has been green-lighted before the start of the event despite growing fears over the spread of the coronavirus. Nevertheless given recent events, there is a growing fear of a possible cancellation of the last days or races of the 2020 edition.
The global spread of the coronavirus continues to threaten all major sporting events and European governments are taking drastic measures in order to prevent further contamination, will the Cheltenham Festival be affected as well? Will the Festival be cancelled?
Serie A, Six Nations, NBA and other competitions inspiring fear.
The Cheltenham Festival – taking place from Tuesday March 10th to Friday March 13th – is one of Britain’s flagship race meetings.
Fears about Cheltenham being cancelled have rightfully surfaced in recent weeks, with Six Nations games called off and racing in France already having taken place in some instances behind closed doors.
More recently Serie A is postponed, some European football championship games have been postponed and the NBA has been cancelled until further notice because a player was diagnosed positive to covid-19. All this inspires a growing fear as Cheltenham is approaching the end of its duration, the last days or races could be threatened of cancellation.
Also, the Grand National Festival risk to be postponed after the Coronavirus spread.
UK Government’s action plan in place against the coronavirus
The UK Government has released an action plan which states that although public gatherings – such as sporting events – could be restricted for up to 12 weeks. Any immediate change in that status would potentially have an impact on the final races of the Cheltenham Festival.
Westminster’s action plan confirms: “Action that would be considered could include: population distancing strategies (such as school closures, encouraging greater home working, reducing the number of large scale gatherings) to slow the spread of the disease throughout the population, whilst ensuring the country’s ability to continue to run as normally as possible.”
Officials at Cheltenham will be keeping a very close eye on developments of the covid-19.
Special measures taken by the event organization to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus.
In fact many hand sanitizers were installed around the racecourse of the 2020 Cheltenhan, and the event organization said that the number of facilities available to racegoers were increased like wash basins and toilet facilities.
Despite all of this we learned that by Tuesday 3:30 PM on Tuesday no more anti-bacteial hand sanitizer bottles were left. Even though the organization had stocked about 150 bottles.
Could the festival be cancelled, moved or run behind closed doors?
Racing has been run behind closed doors in France, Japan and Hong Kong this week on advice from public health officials in those countries.
While this would be preferable to the racing public than an all-out cancellation it could still have severe financial impacts on the local tourism industry and in loss of gate receipts.
If the festival will run behind closed doors, the horse racing fans will continue to watch it using the Streaming channels. This way to enjoy the event is already appreciated by thousands of people every year. Just signing up at a bookmaker account is possible to watch the Streaming of the Cheltenham Festival.Cheltenham Live Streaming