The organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit have decided to restrict the number of tickets sold for the event in an attempt to combat COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The virus has been spreading quickly worldwide, and it has put into question a number of sporting events, particularly on the Formula 1 calendar.
The Chinese Grand Prix has already been cancelled, with the both the Australian and newly added Vietnam Grand Prix under threat.
It has been confirmed that the season opener will go ahead, but the crowds may have shrunk with some of the media broadcasting live from their home country rather than from the paddock.
"The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is committed to holding a safe and exciting Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix for local and international fans, and is working closely with all relevant Government departments, including the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior, to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
"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."
More problems arise due to restrictions placed on travel by the Bahraini government. They have restricted any visitors that have travelled to affected countries such as Italy and Japan within the last 14 days.
They have also got restrictions in place for flights that pass through Dubai, which is problematic as this is a common waypoint between many countries and the Kingdom.
"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.
"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.
"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."