The Grand National Has Been Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Outbreak
This year's Grand National has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The news was confirmed by The Jockey Club, which said the decision was not taken lightly.
Sandy Dudgeon, senior steward of The Jockey Club, said: "Public health must come first. We were working on a plan to stage the Grand National behind closed doors given its importance to the racing industry and beyond, but following the new government measures confirmed this evening to help to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, this is not a viable option.
"I know this is hugely disappointing news for the many people who work in our sport and the many millions who were looking forward to this year's event, but very sadly these are exceptional times and this is the responsible thing to do."
The news has obviously left punters distraught, with some taking to social media to share their frustration.
One fan wrote: "The Grand National has been cancelled, I'm so sad."
A second commented: "What first football then the Grand National now this I can't take no more."
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While another added: "No Grand National now ffs everything I look forward to is being cancelled can't wait for the Euros to be cancelled tomorrow."
The hotly anticipated meet was set to take place between 2 and 4 April, but with the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus raising fears and leading to mass travel bans, the decision was taken to cancel it.
The news comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged all people who have one of the two main first symptoms of the infection - a new persistent cough and a fever - to stay at home for 14 days.
In a statement, the first of his daily coronavirus updates, Johnson said that if one person in a household shows the symptoms, all of the household should stay at home.
This afternoon, he addressed the country, saying that social distancing is of the utmost importance, and that pubs, clubs and restaurants should be avoided at all costs.
However, he said that care homes and schools are not currently being forcibly closed, although the situation is under constant review.
He also advised people should work from home wherever possible. He added later that social venues such as pubs and theatres should not be visited.
In the briefing, he said: "Without drastic action, cases could double every five or six days."
Recognising that the country is on the brink of the coronavirus bringing unprecedented upheaval to the UK, he also said: "Now is the time to stop all non-essential contact with others and all non-essential travel."
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