Cheltenham Festival Local News RACING

Cheltenham Festival WILL go ahead, despite coronavirus fears

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival will go ahead this year, despite health and safety concerns after the recent outbreak of COVID-19.

Commonly known as coronavirus, the respiratory disease has spread rapidly in the UK in the last week and the first case in Cheltenham was confirmed on Sunday.

Despite around 200,000 people coming to Cheltenham for race week, the races are to go ahead as planned.

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A spokesperson for Cheltenham Racecourse told Bristol Live: “We look forward to staging The Festival presented by Magners at Cheltenham next week. We welcome the government’s guidance that the business of the country should continue as usual, while ensuring we adhere to the latest public health advice.

The government have advised people to wash their hands thoroughly and not touch their face in order to prevent catching the disease, and Festival organisers have put in place extra washing stations to decrease the risk of the disease spreading during the races.

“We have increased the number of wash basins and toilet facilities on site, we will make hand sanitiser readily available and increase the number of paper towels for hand drying.”

“Cheltenham Racecourse will continue to follow advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England, as well as that of local government.”

It comes as the number of cases in the UK has sharply risen over the last couple of days, with people returning from trips to Italy, the worst affected country in Europe.

We will be hearing from BBC Racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght later today on Park Life Sport, for a further insight into the event he has covered for many years.

Stay tuned for more.

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