Welsh Covid-19 restrictions are currently more stringent than those in England. Visitors and residents must stay local to their house, which generally means within five miles, and prevents tourism.
Along with the WRC round, the Rally was due to be the final event in this season’s British Rally Championship. Organisers of the national series have now said that the season will no longer run, making February’s Cambrian Rally the only round of 2020
In a statement, Wales Rally GB organisers said that not enough was known about continuing restrictions on large-scale gatherings or international travel to commit to hosting the event.
“There are too many unknown factors to make the organisation of such a sizeable sporting fixture a realistic, or sensible, option in these uncertain times,” it said. “As a result, Wales Rally GB joins the escalating number of sporting events to have been cancelled, along with many highlights on the 2020 Welsh calendar.”
The rally was last cancelled in 1967 due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak and has been a permanent fixture in the annual World Rally Championship since the series’ inauguration in 1973.
“In recent years, the huge appeal of the latest generation of World Rally Cars plus the presence of local star Elfyn Evans – a winner in 2017 – have drawn record crowds to the wonderful Welsh forests, but this is not the appropriate time for us to be planning for and promoting an event that brings tens of thousands of visitors, many from outside the country, into rural Welsh communities,” said Richards.