The Isle of Man TT 2021 motorcycle racing festival has been cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns.

The event, which is worth nearly £30 million to the local economy. was scheduled to take place from 29 May to 12 June. It will be the first time since World War II that the event has been cancelled for two consecutive years.

In an interview with Manx Radio, the islands’s enterprise minister Laurence Skelly said the “early and logical decision” to cancel the event for a second year was needed to provide certainty and clarity, and to protect residents and visitors.

Skelly said “The TT relies on thousands of volunteers and officials across a wide range of organisations and we could not move responsibly towards a positive decision to proceed in planning for 2021, which would involve committing to welcoming tens of thousands of people to the island in June, despite the progress towards a vaccination programme globally and on the island.”

The Isle of Man border is closed to almost all non-residents in an effort to minimise the transmission of Covid-19 but Skelly said the decision to cancel the event does not necessarily mean the island’s borders will remain under the current restrictions: “We hope to welcome visitors back to the Island at the earliest opportunity”.