Ian Renton, regional director of the Cheltenham Festival, has said they have taken significant extra precautions and followed the UK government's advice very carefully in relation to limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

The final day of the festival, with its centrepiece Gold Cup, is going ahead as planned, despite almost all other sport - apart from the Wales-Scotland Six Nations match - across Europe being suspended.

Ian Renton told Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 that it was not business as usual and racegoers were making use of hand sanitiser and hand-washing.

Mr Renton said every country has taken different advice and he can only follow the advice of the British government.

"We have followed our own government's advice very closely indeed. We have done everything we could to put on an event of this nature and ensure the environment is right for our racegoers," he said.

"It is difficult to get people to change the nature of what they do here," Renton admitted. "We will see what further measures we can take. We will encourage our racegoers as much as we possibly can to act responsibly.

Last night Tanaiste Simon Coveney suggested Cheltenham would not have gone ahead if it was an Irish event.