Ireland's summer racing festival at Galway will be staged behind closed doors if still going ahead in July like the seven day fixture does every other year.
The Irish Government announced on Tuesday that mass gatherings of more than 5,000 people will not be permitted up to the end of August, which mens that the meeting will be held behind closed doors on July 27th.
(Credit At The Races) General manager of the track Michael Moloney said in a statement: “In light of the evolving situation regarding Covid-19, for public health and safety reasons Galway Race Committee has reached the difficult but unavoidable decision that the 2020 Galway Races Summer Festival, due to be held from Monday, July 27 to Sunday, August 2 will not be able to take place as an event open to the general public this year.
“We know this will be a huge disappointment for all our racegoers that attend year on year.“It may prove possible to run the Galway Races behind closed doors, dependent on Government policy and the approval of Horse Racing Ireland and Irish Horse Racing Regulatory Board.
“This would be for the benefit of the racing industry, our valued partners and our television audiences at home and internationally. We are currently planning for this scenario and we will update you on progress as and when we can.”
Moloney also stated that any person that had already brought tickets for the week long racing event will be entitled for a full refund.
He added: "We would like to sincerely thank you for your support and understanding during this unprecedented time.
“Our thoughts are with all those affected as a result of Covid-19. We offer our deepest gratitude to staff at the HSE, front line workers and members of our community nationwide for their dedication and perseverance.
“We look forward to being able to welcome you all back to Ballybrit when it is safe to do so. For now, please look after yourselves. Stay safe and healthy.”