Hopes that racing in Britain might be able to return later this month have been extinguished by the government.

The release of a document, Our Plan To Rebuild, stated that sporting and cultural events could only resume from June 1 at the earliest.

The British Horseracing Authority is now working towards the new deadline as the government moves into the second stage of lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

A BHA statement said: “The Resumption of Racing Group will meet later this week and ensure that race planning and the provisional fixture programme, including the scheduling of the Classics and other flagship races, meet the new government timeline.

“Racing has already drawn up plans for resumption based on minimising risk for participants through robust social distancing and strict infection control measures. Discussions with Public Health England and Chief Medical Officers from sports including horseracing will also continue.

“This has involved the development of new processes and protocols, which will require significant adjustments to ‘normal’ race-day practices. The sport will be focusing its efforts during the remainder of May on finalising and agreeing these changes across the industry and supporting everyone to understand and adopt them.”