In light of the UK Government updated guidelines on the COVID-19 pandemic (12 March 2020), Motorsport UK has today updated its guidance as to the implications of the outbreak in relation to motorsport.
Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK to high.
First and foremost, Motorsport UK takes very seriously the concerns and welfare of its members and those associated with the motorsport community.
It is important to follow the prevailing advice of the government and its medical experts, advice that the sport’s governing body is monitoring closely.
The UK Government has considered cancelling all major public gatherings, but while this remains an option, it has not elected to do so and currently sporting events will go ahead. However the Scottish Government has advised that public gatherings of over 500 should be cancelled from next week. This will affect a minimal number of motorsport events.
Notwithstanding this, Motorsport UK urges all event organisers to take the following practical precautions in respect of the events that do proceed:
• Symptoms of coronavirus are persistent cough, high temperature, feeling unwell and breathlessness
• Participants, volunteers or spectators who feel unwell with any of the symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, or feel they may have been exposed to a risk of infection should not attend the event, and should stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days and follow government advice. There is no need to contact your GP or dial 111 unless your symptoms worsen or you are concerned. Of course in an emergency you should dial 999. Advice for self-isolation is available on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
• If an event is cancelled or postponed then no undue peer pressure should be put on organisers or volunteers to support the event against the organiser’s judgement
• If someone is already at the event and feels unwell with any symptoms, however mild, unless they need immediate medical attention should return home, self-isolate for 7 days and follow the guidance above
• Coronavirus spreads via droplets from coughing or sneezing, touching contaminated items like door handles then touching your face. The best way to prevent the spread is hand washing and using a tissue if you cough or sneeze, then immediately placing it in a bin with a lid on
• Soap and water are the most effective method for hand washing which should be done frequently and for 20 seconds. In the absence of soap and water use of a hand sanitiser with a minimum content of 60% alcohol is advised
• Cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, use tissues if possible and dispose of immediately in a bin with a lid on, and then immediately wash your hands
• Ensure that elevated standards of hygiene are adopted with plentiful access to hand sanitisers on-event in common areas, and with particular emphasis during signing-on, at timing card and scorecard posts and throughout scrutineering
• Physical social contact should be avoided. Do not shake hands. No offence is taken should the community elect not to physically greet one another
• Any briefings that take place should be conducted in an external environment or well-ventilated, spacious indoor facility
• Organisers should, wherever possible, minimise the number of people congregating in close proximity and provide digital distribution of briefings and supporting documentation 24 hours in advance of their event
• At events, avoid sharing tools, pens, clipboards or other items. These should be wiped clean with sterlised wipes after use
• Do not share drinks or water bottles
• Commonly used surfaces at events should be wiped down and disinfected regularly on event; this should include shared keyboards
• Events should follow Motorsport UK guidance from the Motorsport UK 2020 Yearbook on appropriate medical support at events
• Ceremonial starts or podiums that attract more than a handful of the motorsport community or public in close proximity should, for the time being, be considered not as public, but media events
• Public Health posters on Coronavirus can be found at the following website and Motorsport UK urges copies of relevant messaging should be printed and displayed prominently at events; https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
• Random breathalyser testing to be suspended or strictly controlled for the immediate future
• Clubs should vet entry forms and ensure no person is coming from an affected area outlined in the current HSE guidelines
• All future event programs should include a reference page to the COVID-19 virus, so that spectators are made aware of their responsibilities at an event
The situation is dynamic, and therefore Motorsport UK requests that our community strictly follow government advice and adopt sensible practical measures to minimise the opportunity for the spread of any virus.
Through the adoption of a series of practical measures, Motorsport UK is optimistic that, as long as the government advice allows public and sporting gatherings, that motorsport events can continue with minimal disruption, whilst adopting practical measures to reduce the opportunity for the communication of the COVID-19 virus.
Furthermore, Motorsport UK takes seriously the very real danger presented by COVID-19 to members of staff and those volunteers supporting the sport’s governance through their involvement with committees.
The governing body is putting in place measures that will, should the situation require, facilitate staff whose roles allow, to work remotely and maintain the normal business operations of Motorsport UK. To maintain ongoing sport governance, Motorsport UK are simultaneously working to put in place technology solutions to facilitate the committees that administer and inform the sport to meet on a virtual basis via video conferencing, thereby reducing the requirement for travel and physical assemblies.
In respect of forthcoming training and development seminars, these will be considered on a case by case basis. Advice will be given to planned attendees in line with the policy at that time.
Motorsport UK continues to closely monitor the UK government advice around events and public gatherings and will publish additional updates when further guidance is available.
Motorsport UK urges all the community to take appropriate hygiene precautions that can help reduce the spread of infection. The most recent NHS guidance can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
The latest UK government advice can be found here;