Formula 1 will set up quarantine points in order to intercept any suspected cases of coronavirus at events.
The ongoing outbreak has been causing major disruption to the global sporting calendar, and to date Formula 1 postponed the Chinese Grand Prix and will run the Bahrain Grand Prix behind closed doors. With other races still going ahead that require international travel from the teams, organizers, media and some fans, F1 says it is taking a number of steps in response to the evolving situation.
“Due to the fluid nature of the virus, F1 will continue to take a scientific approach to the situation, acting on daily advice from the official health authorities and the advice or measures each host promoter may enact,” an article on the official F1 website read.
“F1 has itself implemented a number of measures based upon advice from Public Health England, including the suspension of all non-essential travel. Dedicated teams of experts will be deployed at airports, transit points and at circuits to safeguard personnel, focused on the diagnosis, management and extraction of suspected cases. Bespoke quarantine points are being installed by promoters for any suspected cases.
“For F1, the FIA and all teams and promoters, the safety of our people is at all times paramount.”
On Monday evening, a lockdown in Italy was extended to cover the whole country as it struggles to contain the virus, with only China having registered more deaths. Ferrari personnel are already in Australia ahead of the first race of the season and are not due to return to Italy until after the second round in Bahrain.
There is further uncertainty over Vietnam, however, after it extended a ban on visa-free travel for citizens of Italy to also include Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain. The inaugural Vietnamese grand prix in Hanoi is due to take place on April 5.