‘All systems go’: Australian Grand Prix gets green light
GRAND Prix organisers insist the opening two rounds of the Formula One season in Australia and Bahrain will go ahead as scheduled.
The season-opening Australian Grand Prix is due to take place on March 15, with the majority of F1 personnel set to travel to Melbourne at the latter end of this week.
In a statement addressing the coronavirus issue, Australian Grand Prix chief executive Andrew Westacott said: "We are all systems go.
"At this stage there is no indication of further travel bans. Nor is there any indication that Formula One and the teams will not be arriving as usual.
"Formula One has again confirmed overnight that the Australian Grand Prix is going ahead."
Circuit officials for the Bahrain Grand Prix, which is set to take place a week after the opening round in Melbourne on March 22, are confident their race will also go ahead.
F1 personnel who have visited high-risk countries within 14 days of their arrival in the Gulf Kingdom will be subjected to an extensive screening process.
"Ministries have activated a number of public health measures, including but not limited to restricting travel from high-risk areas, introducing an extensive screening program, and establishing quarantine facilities for suspected cases," a Bahrain International Circuit spokesperson said.
However, the MotoGP season has been hit with the first two rounds of the 2020 calendar postponed.
The opening race, the Grand Prix of Qatar from March 6-8, was cancelled over the weekend due to travel restrictions imposed to limit the outbreak of coronavirus.
The second round in Thailand, which had been scheduled for March 22, has also been postponed.
Golf's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which gets under way this week in Doha, is due to go ahead as scheduled.
The Serie A match between Sampdoria and Hellas Verona in Genoa has been postponed following the spread of the virus in Italy.
Six Serie A matches were called off on the weekend, including Juventus' high- profile meeting with Inter Milan.
Milan residents will also not be allowed to attend the Italian Cup semi-final between Juventus and AC Milan this week at Allianz Stadium in Turin.
The second leg of the semi-finals will be off limits to residents of the regions of Lombardy, which contains Milan, and Emilia Romagna and Veneto, plus the provinces of Pesaro, Urbino and Savona - the areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus.