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Chester Racecourse is hoping to be among the first physical events to return in the UK with a planned 5,000 capacity festival in May.

The Boodles May Festival is scheduled to take place with mass on-site Covid-19 testing for all attendees.

Should the event go ahead as planned, the oldest racecourse in the world, capable of holding 21,000 people, would be among the first in the UK to welcome back visitors.

Chester Race Company said the festival, from 5-7 May, would involve attendees being given lateral flow tests when they arrive. They would then have to stick to social distancing measures inside the grounds.

On Monday, 15 February, the venue began being used by the NHS as a large-scale mass vaccination centre.

Richard Thomas, chief executive of Chester Race Company, said his team is working as volunteers.

On the upcoming event, he said, “The delivery of mass on-site testing is at the core of our stringent health and safety measures. Chester Racecourse could provide on-site testing facilities for 5,000 attendees per day with results expected in less than 20 minutes.

“Our overall aim is to deliver a safe, secure environment for an enjoyable three days of racing and we hope that testing will give an added confidence to our attendees, customers, and staff, whose health and safety is of paramount importance.”

He added, “It will certainly be a ‘different’ racing experience this year – but it will be a very special one with absolute attention to detail to ensure our race-goers have the best experience possible – something we pride ourselves on always delivering here at Chester Racecourse.”