While the 2021 running of the annual Isle of Man TT wasn't scheduled to kick into gear until May 29th, the government of the Isle of Man has officially cancelled the event due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“We do not underestimate the disappointment that this decision will cause to many people, says Isle of Man Minister for Enterprise, Laurence Skelly MHK.
"However, we are making an early, logical decision to provide certainty and clarity to race fans and everyone else involved in the event.
“The TT relies on thousands of volunteers and officials across a wide range of organisations and we could not move responsibly towards a positive decision to proceed in planning for 2021, which would involve committing to welcoming tens of thousands of people to the Island in June, despite the progress towards a vaccination programme globally and on the Island.
“We evaluated all possible options including moving the TT to a date later in the year but there are complexities and risks, including scaling up of certain infrastructure and critical delivery elements of the TT, as well as existing resident and visitor travel in late August, which would cause further disruption to thousands of people.
“This decision has not been taken lightly but has been taken in the interests of the Island, the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors, and is in line with our ongoing pandemic strategy. However, whilst making this decision, it does not necessarily mean that we believe the Island’s borders will remain under the current restrictions as we hope to welcome visitors back to the Island at the earliest opportunity.
“To the fans around the world I would say that we are really sorry to have to make this decision, but that we sincerely hope that we will still see you at some point next year.
“The cancellation will have clear and immediate impacts on the Island’s tourism and travel businesses, and the Department for Enterprise will be issuing a further statement today (Monday), regarding additional support for industry to maintain and protect our strong visitor experience for the long term.”
While the TT has officially been cancelled, work is still ongoing for the 2021 running of the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix races, which are due to be held from August 21st 2021.
Whilst the ongoing situation will be monitored on a regular basis, a final decision on whether these events will run as scheduled will be made by the end of March 2021.