MUSSELBURGH Racecourse has confirmed that its next four race meetings have been suspended due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Anyone who has pre-purchased tickets will receive a full refund.

A statement on the Musselburgh Racecourse website said: "The course had planned to stage behind-closed-doors meetings to meet the guidelines issued by the Scottish Government that no events of more than 500 people should be held.

"However, racing’s governing body the British Racing Authority has today (Tuesday) announced all horse racing in the UK from will be suspended from Wednesday until the end of April.

"The four Musselburgh meetings impacted are Friday’s Racing Post Go North race day; Tuesday, March 31; Betway Easter Saturday race day April 11; and Thursday, April 30.

"Regular updates on the racecourse website and social media channels will advise racegoers, owners and trainers on any material changes to scheduled race meetings."

Nick Rust, the chief executive of the BHA, said: “This is a national emergency the like of which most of us have never seen before.

"We’re a sport that is proud of its connection to rural communities and to the local businesses that support our industry.

"But our first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff so we have decided to suspend racing following the Government’s latest advice.

“Racing is a family and I know we will pull together over the coming days, weeks and months and support each other.

"By stopping racing, we can free up medical resources, doctors and ambulances, be they private sector or NHS, to assist in the national effort to fight this virus.

"And we can support racing industry participants and staff as they face up to the personal challenges ahead and care for their own families.

“There will be difficult months ahead for many of us. We need to focus now on ensuring that we can continue to look after our horses as the virus affects the thousands of participants and staff who dedicate their lives to caring for animals.

"We need to do what we can to support businesses inside and outside racing and the many people whose livelihoods depend upon this £4 billion industry.

“Racing leaders will keep today’s decision under constant review and endeavour to keep all customers, participants, staff and dependent businesses informed as the situation progresses.”