At 9am today the Australian Grand Prix Corporation was advised by Formula 1 of its intention to cancel all Formula 1 activity at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

By Ian Horswill

Posted on March 13, 2020

The F1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has been called off after spectators were told they would not be allowed to enter over fears of a mass contraction of the coronavirus COVID-19.

“At 9am today the Australian Grand Prix Corporation was advised by Formula 1 of their intention to cancel all Formula 1 activity at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix,” Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix said on Facebook.

“In light of this decision and updated advice this morning from the Chief Health Officer of the Victorian Government’s Department of Human and Health Services, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation confirms the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is cancelled immediately.”

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It is the latest in a long line of sporting events cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold across the world. Health authorities advise against mass meetings of people.

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said there was also no guarantee fans would be allowed at AFL matches this weekend as sport across the world was being cancelled due to the coronavirus.

  • Cricket Australia has announced that Australia and New Zealand’s one-day teams will now play two matches in an empty Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday and Sunday.
  • English Premier League manager Mikel Arteta of Arsenal has tested positive for coronavirus and the EPL will hold “an emergency club meeting” on Friday to discuss the weekend’s fixtures;
  • UEFA calls emergency meeting for Tuesday to decide future of Euro 2020 with plan to postpone it by one year;
  • All major sport in the US – NBL, NHL and MLS – has been suspended. Men’s and Women’s college college basketball has also been cancelled

  • Spain’s La Liga, the Dutch Eredivisie, Portugal’s Primeira Liga, Denmark’s and USA’s Major League Soccer have been suspended;
  • In Italy, all sport is suspended, including Serie A football, until 3 April;
  • The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour suspended for six weeks.
  • The LPGA postpones next three golfing tournaments – The Founders Cup in Arizona, and the Kia Classic and ANA Inspiration in California;
  • The Professional Darts Corporation has cancelled the Premier League double-header in Rotterdam on March 25-26.


“We are considering banning major public events like sporting fixtures,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“The scientific advice is this has little effect on the spread – but it does place a burden on other public services.”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron described the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as France’s most serious health crisis for a century.

France is one of the latest European countries to close all schools, universities and nurseries.

In Italy, the death toll from coronavirus jumped in the last 24 hours by 189 to 1,016, a rise of 23%, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday.


The total number of cases in Italy, the European country hardest hit by the coronavirus, rose to 15,113 from a previous 12,462, an increase of 21.7%.

More than 125,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in 118 countries around the world, according to the World Health Organization. The total number of deaths is more than 4,600.

New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned all gatherings of more than 500 people, prompting Broadway to suspend all its performances for a month. All museums in Europe have shut.

Disneyland in California announced it would close its doors from Saturday.

The release of the latest Fast and Furious instalment was put back by 11 months, days after No Time to Die was put back. The Tribeca Film Festival was postponed in the US.

Also on Thursday, Qatar announced the closure of all cinemas, theatres, gyms, play areas and museums.