Portugal declares a state of emergency: Grand Prix may be in...

The government of Portugal has declared a state of emergency due to a sharp increase in the number of corona infections. This state of emergency lasts a minimum of 15 days and may therefore also affect the Grand Prix of Portugal, which is scheduled for October 25.

As of today, the state of emergency has started in Portugal and that means that groups of more than five people are not allowed in public. In private spheres, the number may not exceed fifty people. Face masks should be worn everywhere except at home. At work and in schools, the government wants to make the national corona application mandatory. Parliament has yet to agree to these measures, but that seems just a formality. The situation is ‘serious’, says Prime Minister António Costa. What does this state of emergency mean for the Grand Prix?

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The race weekend in Portimao is scheduled between 23 and 25 October and the original plan was that 50,000 spectators could attend. This is the highest number of fans allowed to attend a Grand Prix since the outbreak of the corona virus. Now that the infections in Portugal are rising rapidly and the disaster situation has been declared, the question is whether enthusiasts are allowed to come to the circuit at all. Yesterday, 2072 new infections were reported, while some 135 people were tested positive at the end of July.

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Whether the Grand Prix itself will come under pressure, whether or not without spectators, remains to be seen. At the Giro d’Italia, for example, we also saw that teams withdrew because the risk would be too great. An ‘advantage’ for Formula 1 could perhaps be that the north of Portugal in particular is severely affected by new infections. The south, which also includes Portimao, has significantly less positive cases. According to Speedweek nothing has been decided yet, but the health authorities in Portugal may decide to take measures regarding the Grand Prix.

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