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Coronavirus NI: Statement issued by North West 200 organisers

by / Wednesday, 11 March 2020 / Published in Blog / News, Motor Bike Racing, Road Racing

The organisers of the North West 200 say the risk to the event from the coronavirus outbreak is currently described as ‘low’ after seeking advice from government and health officials.

However, a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon said race chiefs would ‘continue to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis.’

The statement read: “Following the outbreak of Coronavirus in Northern Ireland, the organisers of the 2020 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 have sought advice from the relevant government and public health officials.

“Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, has advised that, at this particular time, evidence of benefit from cancelling outdoor sporting events in terms of impact is low.

“We will continue to seek advice and monitor the situation on an ongoing basis as we prepare for 2020 Race Week on May 10-16.”

Sporting events around the world have been disrupted by the spread of the virus.

The opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar was cancelled, while round two in Thailand was postponed until October and the American round in Texas pushed back until November as a result of the outbreak. The Qatar round of the World Superbike Championship, due to have taken place from March 13-15, was also cancelled.

Earlier this month, the Isle of Man Government said that while it was monitoring the situation, plans for the TT Races were currently progressing as normal for the event, which runs from May 31 until June 12.

A statement read: “The Isle of Man Government is carefully monitoring the Island’s position regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) with a cross-government working group established to regularly review the changing situation.

“While the threat to the public in the Isle of Man remains low, a number of future contingency scenarios are being considered. This is usual practice and is in line with the WHO advice for preparations in case of a pandemic.

“The risk is low and preparations for this year’s TT remain on schedule. Work will continue as usual in order to ensure another successful TT.

“The Organisers, in partnership with the Department for Enterprise and the Isle of Man Government and in line with experts in the UK, will continue to monitor the situation.”

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