2018 Biathlon World Cup in Oberhof via Wikimedia / Christian Bier

Czech Republic to host World Biathlon Cup without audience due to coronavirus

The World Biathlon Cup will be held in Nové Město na Moravě, South Moravia, this week without an audience due to coronavirus

Prague, March 2 (CTK) – The World Biathlon Cup will be held in Nové Město na Moravě, South Moravia, this week without the audience present in connection with the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Government Security Council decided today, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček has told CTK.

Tens of thousands of fans were to come to see the biathlon races at the Vysočina Arena

Tests revealed the first three cases of the novel coronavirus infection in the Czech Republic on Sunday.

The BRS will deal with other mass sport events on Wednesday, such as the football derby Slavia vs Sparta on Sunday, to be visited by 20,000 fans. It may decide to restrict other events.

“In my point of view, this is a decision by the Government Security Council and the organisers will have to cope with this. As very many people were to come to the sport event, this is a preventive measure and I do not see any other alternative,” said Hamacek (junior government Social Democrats, CSSD).

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The organisers said earlier that they were prepared to follow the states administration instructions.

The BRS debated the coronavirus last week as well. It recommended that citizens do not travel to the Northern Italian regions with the coronavirus incidence. This week, the BRS will focus on mass events, including the biathlon cup.

The World Biathlon Cup will take place in Nové Město on March 5-8. Six races are scheduled during the four days. The organisers expected some 30,000 visitors a day.

Tickets for 22 million crowns have been sold, PM Andrej Babiš said previously.

Nove Mesto Mayor Michal Smarda (CSSD) called on the BRS on Twitter not to postpone its decision on the biathlon event.

More than 88,000 people in almost 70 countries have been infected with the novel coronavirus and some 3,000 have died of it. In Europe, Italy has reported the highest number of infection cases.

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