Coronavirus: Isle of Man cancels TT races amid virus outbreak

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image copyrightIOM TT RACES
image captionThe event attracts thousands of visitors to the Isle of Man each year

The 2020 Isle of Man TT has been cancelled amid concerns around the spread of coronavirus, the government has announced.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle said the decision had been taken in order to protect "critical care services".

In addition, Mr Quayle announced that anyone arriving on the island from 23:59 GMT on Tuesday would be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

The motorcycling event was due to be held between 30 May and 13 June.

The Department for Enterprise said it was looking at "various options to support businesses affected by the cancellation".

Enterprise Minster Laurence Skelly said the decision had "not been taken lightly" and all options had been "considered in detail".

image captionOn Monday, Chief Minister Howard Quayle announced measures to tackle the coronavirus

A survey also found £37.5m was spent during last year's festival and there was a direct benefit of £4.8m to the government.

Mr Skelly said his department were "extremely conscious" the decision would have a financial impact but it was "absolutely the right decision for the health and security of the Isle of Man".

He added the measures imposed would have an impact on the tourism industry outside of the TT.

Southern 100 Racing, organisers of pre and post TT races, said it was fully behind Mr Quayle's decision and added it will be in contact with all competitors who have entered the races regarding the refund of entry fees "in the next fortnight".

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company said it will be contacting all TT period passengers in due course to offer them a full refund or priority on sailings for the 2021 event.

The TT was last cancelled in 2001 amid the concerns about foot and mouth disease.

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