The preventive measures enforced by local health authorities are creating more changes than were initially expected to the organization of Macau’s largest annual event, the Macau Grand Prix.
According to a source familiar with the ongoing organizational procedures who requested to remain anonymous, the Grand Prix organizers are facing a high number of obstacles related to compliance with the guidelines of local health authorities.
The source disclosed to the Times that one such consequence is that the organizers will need to double the number of hotel rooms for race participants and their team members.
“In the past, we would normally book twin rooms [for the participants] but due to the Covid-19 measures, we need to book individual rooms this year. This will double the number of hotel rooms we need,” the source told the Times, adding, “because of the quarantine, we are also arranging sets of dumbbells, weights and skipping ropes for exercise for each racer in his room.”
Although it was not disclosed how much those changes would cost and what influence they would have on the final budget, the same source said, “for sure all this will have an extra cost.”
“At the end of the day, this means we will have to pay for individual rooms for each team member for about 24 or 25 days and this also includes the meals during quarantine, laundry, etc. This will cost much more than we used to [spend] with a twin room for 11 nights only,” the source remarked.
According to the same source, if the health authorities permitted the use of a “bubble system” similar to that used in other major motorsports events worldwide, in which participants travelled and stayed together and were subjected to nucleic acid testing, “every 2 or 3 days, this would be much easier for all of us, and cheaper.”
Questioned by the Times on the assertion that the quarantine accommodation would present an additional expense for the organizers – a fact that contradicts official information from the government stating that all foreign participants in the Grand Prix are required to settle their bills regarding the 14-days quarantine – the source refused to provide details on the matter, hinting that the organization would find a way to cover such an expense through the grant of a “subsidy” to those participants.
Seeking clarification on the topic from official sources, the Times contacted the Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee (MGPOC).
In a reply to the Times, the MGPOC said, “the Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee is currently still in communications with riders, drivers and their respective teams regarding different aspects of their participation in the Macau Grand Prix. All anti-epidemic measures imposed on the participants will be set according to the guidelines by the Health Bureau.”