Cheltenham Festival 2021 warning over crowds at special viewpoint

Racing fans are being told to stay away from a special racecourse viewpoint ahead of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

Cleeve Hill, which is around five miles from the track, is the highest point in Gloucestershire.

In a normal year, onlookers would see a racecourse packed with 65,000 people, having a day out at the top class sporting event.

But this year, due to Covid-19, there will be no general admission and the numbers of people on-course from March 16-19 will be strictly limited.

Fans have been told not to travel to the hill on Cheltenham's north-eastern edge to watch the action, according to Gloucestershire Live.

Inspector Rich Smith from the Cheltenham Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "As we remain in a national lockdown officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary will continue to use the 4Es approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the coronavirus guidelines whilst using enforcement where necessary if people are knowingly flouting the law and gathering during the Cheltenham Festival.

“Where a breach of the regulations is clear and the person breaching them is aware that they are not complying then officers will intervene and use police powers if needed.

“Officers will be patrolling a number of areas of Cheltenham, including Cleeve Hill, as part of their usual patrols to ensure that people do not begin to gather due to the event being behind closed doors.

“As is standard practice we are working with the Racecourse and other agencies involved in the festival to help deliver a safe and secure event.

“The response of the community in Cheltenham to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has been fantastic.

"We do though ask that no-one is complacent as we progress through the revised guidelines.

"Help us to help you stay safe by continuing with the government guidance, thank you."

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