Bahrain freezes ticket sales to assess COVID-19 situation

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Bahrain International Circuit has halted ticket sales for the March 22 round of the F1 world championship as organizers gauge the current coronavirus situation.

However, Thursday's statement from the BIC said the organizer could release additional tickets to the public, or offer refunds, depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bahrain has mobilized all relevant government departments to help limit the impact of the novel virus in the country.

"In light of the continued global outbreak of COVID-19, the BIC has announced that it will be phasing the sales of Grand Prix tickets to ensure appropriate social distancing guidelines are met," said the statement.

"As further facts emerge, the BIC is in close communication with both Formula One Management and the Kingdom’s health authorities to assess the developing situation and release further tickets or refund the face value of tickets depending on circumstances and updated medical advice."

Bahrain will also rely on special medical facilities and implement screening measures at Sakhir.

"This precautionary step has been introduced along with a number of public health measures ahead of the Grand Prix to ensure the safety of all spectators, teams and circuit staff," Bahrain added.

"These include screening procedures on entry, specialist medical facilities onsite, enhanced sanitation at the circuit, additional hand washing stations, information points for fans, as well as specific medical protocols to manage any suspected cases of COVID-19."

Bahrain Grand Prix organizers have been working with Formula 1 to help expedite the safe entry into the Kingdom of team staff and members of the F1 community originating from Italy.

However, entry restrictions, which include travelers from Dubai, are complicating F1 teams' logistics involving travel routes from Melbourne to Bahrain.

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