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Bahrain offers F1 personnel COVID vaccination

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Formula One has declined an offer from the Kingdom of Bahrain to vaccinate its personnel against COVID-19 during pre-season testing and the opening race of the season later this month.

The Bahrain International Circuit communicated the offer to all F1 personnel on a voluntary basis, saying the move would provide "additional benefit to both participants and the national population [of Bahrain]".

However, F1, which is based in the U.K., said it had "no plans to be vaccinated as a travelling group ahead of the already established rollout of vaccines through the health system in the U.K."

Teams are also expected to decline the offer.

Speaking in Februrary, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: "The priority is the most vulnerable [in the population]. We don't want to jump the line of vaccination."

Bahrain's vaccination campaign offers five different vaccines to the local population, with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination being offered to F1 personnel.

Due to the timing of pre-season testing, between March 12-14 at the Bahrain International Circuit, the majority of F1 personnel will arrive in Bahrain three weeks ahead of the first race on March 28.

As a result, Bahrain is offering the first dose of the vaccine on arrival and the second supplementary dose 21 days later before personnel leave the country after the race.

Personnel attending races was significantly reduced last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with roughly 1,200 staff travelling to each race.