MELBOURNE, Australia – The Australian Grand Prix has been canceled after local organizers and Formula 1 were unable to reach a compromise on Australia’s strict travel and quarantine issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The race was postponed from its original season-opening spot on the Formula 1 calendar on March 21 and rescheduled for November 21.
The 2020 Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park Street Circuit was canceled last March at the last minute at the start of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
Announcing the cancellation, the Victorian Sports Minister, Martin Bakula, said: “It is very disappointing that these much loved events cannot continue, but that is the reality of the pandemic, but until we get much higher vaccination rates we cannot go back to more modes. natural”. .
Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, confirmed its cancellation earlier in the day, saying organizing such large events was “a huge challenge” given Australia’s low vaccination rate and international travel restrictions.
Andrews: “When you halve the number of people coming into the country, when you get 10% of people vaccinated when you want and need 70 or 80% of the vaccine, we’re not at this point,” he said. “The timing is completely inconsistent, and that makes it very difficult.”
Australia’s Grand Prix has submitted a COVID-safe plan to the Australian government, indicating that the event can be run safely with drivers and crews operating within a biosecurity bubble.
Formula 1 already has a race scheduled in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 7, which has left little time for a possible hotel quarantine ahead of the Australian race.