Racing in France was dealt a blow on Tuesday evening after the French government announced it was withdrawing approval for race meetings to take place in Paris and the east of the country, some of the areas most affected by coronavirus.

Meetings will be able to take place in Normandy and the south and west of the country. The decision means the likes of Longchamp, Saint-Cloud and Auteuil will be closed until a further review has been carried out.

The review is not due until June 2, the day after the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and Pouliches would have been held at Longchamp.

In a statement, France Galop and LeTrot, said: “After obtaining permission to resume racing on May 11, France Galop and Le Trot today learned that a government decree stating the terms and conditions for the reopening of racecourses would be published over the next few days.

“This decree is thought to specify that races may be held on racecourses located in green zone departments but not on those located in red zones.

“Though this forthcoming decree means that more horse races will be able to take place, France Galop, LeTrot and the French National Horse Racing Federation deeply regret that the racecourses located in red zones will be unable to operate as they have done.

“The reinforced closed-door protocol and all sanitary measures have been scrupulously respected since racing resumed. Regular checks have been carried out and have not revealed any problems.

“However, France Galop and LeTrot duly note this decision, which sets out the conditions for the resumption of horseracing and will apply the new guidelines from Thursday. Some prefectures such as Paris, have pre-empted the publication of this decree, having informed France Galop and LeTrot this morning that they are not permitted to open their racecourses.

“Our staff are working on plans to rearrange the racing calendar for May and June, and an announcement about where the races that were originally scheduled in red zones will now be held will be mad as soon as possible. However, this schedule is likely to change in the event that a ‘red zone’ department is changed to green.”