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Sun Mar 29, 2020, 12:24 PM

14 Mar: Yes or No: Was holding the Cheltenham Festival the right thing to do? 28 Mar: No

(For Americans: The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest annual event in British jump racing)
14th March:
After the four-day Cheltenham Festival at Prestbury Park ended yesterday, there were thousands of people counting their winnings or bemoaning the amount of money they lost on their bets.

But away from the sporting arena, there have been questions about whether the event should have gone ahead at all, at a time when the coronavirus is spreading throughout Gloucestershire, the UK and many other countries in the world. The virus was declared a pandemic on Wednesday, and the Government went to stage two in its virus planning on Thursday.
...
[director of Cheltenham Business Improvement District]
I supported the decision for one reason and one reason only. The advice from public health leaders and from the Government was that there was no reason to cancel large public gatherings.
...
[former town mayor]
The thought of 250,000 people descending into our town from anywhere in the world at a time of grave concern seemed to me to be a totally selfish decision in view of the consequences towards the residents of Cheltenham.

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/cheltenham-news/yes-no-holding-cheltenham-festival-3947864

28th March:
Surge in Coronavirus patients in Gloucestershire sees cases hit 105 - as national figure now 17,089

Gloucestershire's Coronavirus total surged through 100, with the number of positive COVID-19 patients jumping by 27.

As of Saturday morning there were 105 confirmed cases in the county, including an elderly man who died after contracting the virus last week and another who died on Wednesday at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/health/surge-coronavirus-patients-gloucestershire-sees-3996193

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Reply 14 Mar: Yes or No: Was holding the Cheltenham Festival the right thing to do? 28 Mar: No (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2020 OP
T_i_B Apr 2020 #1
BooScout Apr 2020 #2

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2020, 10:28 AM

1. Cheltenham cited Boris Johnson's rugby outing as a reason for Festival go-ahead

Whoopsie Daisy!

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/apr/08/cheltenham-cited-boris-johnson-twickenham-trip-to-support-festival-go-ahead-horse-racing

The organisers of the Cheltenham Festival cited the presence of Boris Johnson at an international rugby match shortly before the race meeting was due to begin in a letter explaining why it was going ahead despite concerns about the Covid-19 outbreak, the Guardian can reveal.

There is growing concern at the decision to run the four-day Festival, which attracted more than 250,000 people, after a number of attendees reported symptoms consistent with the virus. Cheltenham Racecourse continues to insist that it followed clear government advice and points out that other major sporting events took place just before and during the Festival.

The letter from the racecourse to Cheltenham borough council specifically flags up Boris Johnson’s presence at the England v Wales rugby game at Twickenham on Saturday 7 March – three days before day one of the Festival, Tuesday 10 March.


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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sun Apr 12, 2020, 01:28 PM

2. They waited...

The weekend of March 14th, they waited until the last minute to cancel the Six Nations Rugby game between Scotland and Wales...the Scottish rugby fans were either in SE Wales by the time they cancelled the game or on their way. With the game cancelled, they partied the weekend away all over the valleys of SE Wales, which has since been the biggest hotspot for the coronavirus outside of London. They also had two Stereophonics concerts in Cardiff 9 days before the lockdown. I don't think it's a stretch to think these two events contributed considerably to the spread of the virus.

When all is said and done, the government is going to owe us a lot of explanations for dragging their feet on so many things about this pandemic...and not least of all is the pitiful lack of testing to the point that they are now saying the outbreak here is likely to be the worst in Europe.

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