The HSE is working with Horse Racing Ireland to turn Cork Racecourse in Mallow into a testing centre for Covid-19.

The racing calendar has come to a halt as a result of Tuesday's Government announcement in relation to the suspension of all sport. 

Today, the sport's governing body said that they support the move and have made their facilities and staff available to help halt the pandemic throughout the country.

"The Board expressed its full and ongoing support for and commitment to the efforts of the Government to fight the transmission of Covid-19 and pledged the input of racing's personnel and infrastructure to assist as necessary," read the HRI statement.

"The HSE began preparations to use Cork Racecourse in Mallow as a much-needed testing centre for the virus and the centre will be operational from tomorrow (Thursday)."

"Horse Racing Ireland will be working with the HSE and the Government to identify other elements of racing's personnel and infrastructure that could be used in the co-ordinated reaction to the crisis."

The racing body also claimed that the meetings that they did host behind closed doors in recent weeks were, upon review, held in "a safe environment".

"The Board reviewed the ten fixtures which have been held behind closed doors since the original restrictions on public gatherings were introduced, and this experience has confirmed that a safe environment which fully respects required social distancing and hygiene measures is achievable for race fixtures."