Motorsport fans have been unable to attend race meetings at various points over the past 12 months due to the global health pandemic, with many Motorsport UK-sanctioned events being held behind closed-doors in 2020.
National motorsport meetings began last weekend without spectators but there had been hope that the latest easing of restrictions, which come into effect from Monday (12 April) as part of Step Two in the UK’s lockdown exit roadmap, would allow fans to return and watch non-elite events.
However, although a number outdoor attractions will be allowed to have visitors from 12 April, a ban remains in place on spectators at sport events including those at grassroots levels.
MotorSport Vision, which operates Oulton Park, Donington Park, Cadwell Park, Snetterton and Brands Hatch, confirmed it would not be able to allow spectators into its venues until at least 17 May, the proposed date of Step Three in the lockdown exit roadmap, at the earliest.
A statement from MSV said: “Whilst outdoor attractions like zoos and theme parks can reopen, and events such as boot fairs, steam rallies and food festivals can take place with up to 4,000 visitors per day, a specific ban has been applied to spectators at sport events – even at grassroots level – until 17 May.
Williams F1 demo, Donington 2021
Photo by: Steve Jones
“This means that all events due to take place between 12 April and 17 May will now be run behind closed doors, and only essential personnel may attend.
“MSV is incredibly disappointed by this development. The UK government is now actively encouraging people to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, and circuit venues are by their very nature wide-open spaces like parks, with ample room to enable social distancing across dozens of spectator viewing areas.
“Nevertheless, we must comply with this new guidance and all affected customers will be contacted by email with options on how to manage their booking – including obtaining refunds.”
Despite the ban on spectators, race meetings will still be allowed to take place in England, although competitive motorsport is yet to resume in the rest of the UK.