Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle remains hopeful the British Grand Prix will proceed as planned this summer despite the 14-day quarantine measures for travellers coming into the United Kingdom.
Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the travel restrictions will come into force on June 8 and though they will be reviewed every three weeks, the announcement places July’s race in doubt.
The PA news agency understands discussions will continue about whether it can be held behind closed doors, with Formula One working assiduously to hold meetings where stringent measures to protect safety will be in place.
The F1 season is due to start in Austria on the first weekend of July before heading to the UK, and Pringle is confident the sport’s organisers can prove its staff will be able to enter the country safely without the need for quarantine.
“It’s a very complex sport to get going because it’s a global championship with a huge logistical tail, so Formula One does need to know that it can set off on its global travel and be able to come in and out of its home base,” Pringle told Sky Sports.
“I am very clear that the importance of the industry is understood by Government. I remain very optimistic that they will find a way.
“I’m very, very conscious that it’s extremely complicated drafting these things and working up against ever-moving deadlines – it’s not a task I’d wish to undertake.
“So I remain optimistic that a sensible and pragmatic solution, which puts the onus on the sport quite rightly to come up with the right solution, can be found.”
The first 10 races of the F1 season have already been postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pringle added: “Our industry has stopped – stopped full stop – and we need to get it back going again. There are a lot of people’s livelihoods associated with this.
“It’s not so much about a race, it’s much more about getting back to business. This is about getting an industry back to work.”
The results from the first round of Covid-19 testing among Championship players is set to be published on Sunday.
Second-tier clubs are set to start small group training from Monday amid the crisis, after players underwent initial tests on Thursday and Friday.
The English Football League will publish how many tests were conducted, and the number of positive tests, if any.
Championship clubs’ testing procedures will be done in a combination of ways – some by independent testers, some by club medical staff and some will ask players to self-test.
The EFL says the accuracy of the tests meet Government guidelines. Championship clubs as a group have indicated a desire to complete the 2019-20 season and will be hoping to resume the campaign at some point next month ideally with a view to finishing it by July 31.
League One and Two players have not been tested and therefore cannot return to training on Monday.
Watford defender Christian Kabasele believes the potential Premier League return date of June 12 would be “impossible” and that action should not resume until later that month.
Phase one of small group training, respecting social distancing began this week after being voted through by clubs after testing got under way.
Defender Adrian Mariappa and two members of Watford’s staff returned positive Covid-19 tests ahead of the resumption of training, which Kabasele says cannot be rushed due to the threat of injury.
“Nothing has been confirmed yet,” he said of the Premier League’s return. “Personally I follow the news through the media because nothing has been official for the moment.
“We (see) speak about June 12. I think it is impossible because it would be less than three weeks training after a long period without doing anything, it’s a risk for us.
“I’m not sure, I don’t have any information but I think we are not going to start June 12.”
Ascot has unveiled the running order for this year’s Royal meeting, with six extra races added to the fixture along with changes to the timing of some of the feature events.
The shutdown has forced a number of switches to be made to the showpiece meeting, which is scheduled to kick off on June 16 and will be held behind closed doors.
Seven races are planned on the first four days, with eight on the final day highlighted by the St James’s Palace and Coronation Stakes.
The Burghley Horse Trials, due to take place from September 1-5, were cancelled and will not go ahead for the first time since the events’ inception in 1961.