THE organisers of Cheltenham Festival have released a statement after the news that staff and racegoers have started to develop symptoms of Covid-19.
According to the Mirror Online, two housemates who worked at the festival have been struck down by symptoms mirroring those of the virus and racegoers have also claimed they have started to become ill.
Despite developing symptoms while working at the festival, Andrew Maclean and Scott Saunders, both in their twenties, were told that they wouldn’t be tested and to self-isolate for two weeks after receiving medical advice.
They developed dry coughs on the second day of the festival, but both returned to work as neither suspected that they had contracted the virus and after being advised by the festival’s organisers, The Jockey Club.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Mr Maclean said: “The Jockey Club said that it could just be a common cold so not to worry, so we took their advice and came back in.”
They were told to take the third day off as a precaution and come back in on the final day if they were feeling better which they did.
But after beginning to feel worse both then quarantined themselves inside their home and have since suffered with fevers and shortness of breath.
Mr Maclean said: “I’m pretty certain we all have coronavirus in this house. I’ve never had anything like it before.”
Over 250,000 people attended the annual event over a four-day period.
A spokeswoman for The Jockey Club told the Stroud News and Journal: “The festival went ahead under Government guidance to do so, like other sports events at Twickenham, Murrayfield, 10 Premier League matches and the UEFA Champions League, all with full houses that same week.
“We promoted the latest public health advice and introduced a range of additional hygiene measures at the event including hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers and extra washbasins, which worked well.”
Numerous racegoers have also claimed on Twitter that they have started showing symptoms of Covid-19 since the event finished on Friday.
One person who attended the festival posted: “I’ve been in bed with a nasty fever, headache, mild cough and back pain for nearly four days now, I’m completely exhausted and have no urge to move or eat.
“I’ve been in self-isolation at home alone since Friday. I don’t know if this is the flu or Covid-19 as I can’t get tested.”
Another wrote: “I am ill, my Dad is, my Brother is and my two mates are.
“All have similar symptoms but to different degrees, and all were in the same pub on Friday for Cheltenham.”
There had been calls for the festival to be cancelled with many questioning why it went ahead, and 10 people in Gloucestershire have tested positive for the virus so far.