ITV confirms Arc coverage as officials prepare for reduced capacity of 1,000
ITV has confirmed it will broadcast two and a half hours of live coverage from Longchamp a week on Sunday as Enable bids for her place among the racing immortals in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Viewers are likely to see an even more sparsely attended Longchamp than had previously seemed likely after the French government announced new measures to control the spread of the coronavirus in a number of urban centres across the country including Paris.
On Wednesday evening health minister Olivier Veran revealed that those areas with a heightened level of the virus – labelled zones of reinforced alert – would be subject to additional restrictions, including the reduction of mass public gatherings such as sports events from the national level of 5,000 people to a new threshold of 1,000.
Officials and elected politicians in each locality will work out the specifics of the new rules but France Galop accepted on Thursday that the previous plan to welcome owners' entourages of up to six people per runner, as well as French industry professionals, will need to be revised downward.
A statement said: "While we wait for the [Paris] prefecture of police to publish the official decree which will detail how the new measures must be implemented, we have suspended sales of tickets reserved for its members."
The ministry of health is now working to a three-point test by which to categorise areas in terms of the state of the virus, of which the incidence of Covid-19 per 100,000 of population is just one. The level in Paris on Wednesday was 204 per 100,000.
ITV will repeat the level of coverage it has dedicated to the Arc meeting in recent years with the show on its main channel due on air at 12.55, featuring all the build-up to Europe's most prestigious all-aged race, as well as live coverage of at least three other Group 1s.
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