Canadian Grand Prix cancelled for 2nd year in a row due to pandemic

The Canadian Grand Prix has been cancelled for 2021. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The Canadian Grand Prix has been cancelled for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The official announcement was made Wednesday, nearly two weeks after it was revealed that Montreal public health authorities recommended against it.

The local health department cited concerns about potential outbreaks brought on by large crowds in the city, which has been hard hit by the health crisis.

Health authorities also raised questions about quarantine, since the annual event brings in droves of tourists every summer. Even if the event of no crowds, public health said it wouldn’t be safe to hold the race as the pandemic continues.

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“We decided at the government’s office that it was the best decision to be taken to cancel the Formula One race,” said Quebec economy minister Pierre Fitzgibbon during a joint press conference on Wednesday.

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The Formula One race — which has been a fixture in the city since 1967 — was scheduled to take place June 13 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The pandemic also forced the cancellation of the Grand Prix last year.

On Wednesday, F1 officials announced the Montreal race would be replaced by one in Istanbul, Turkey. They cited the ongoing travel restrictions in Canada which require a mandatory 14-day quarantine that would be impossible to meet.

The governments of Canada and Quebec said in a joint statement that the race will return to the city in 2022.

A deal has been reached to extend the race to 2031 in Montreal, which is two years longer than the current agreement.

Ottawa and Quebec have also agreed to invest $5.5 million promoting Formula One in an effort to bring back tourists when sanitary conditions permit.

With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez, Tim Sargeant and the Canadian Press

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