A statement from Bahrain International Circuit said that if circumstances allow more tickets will be released at a later date – while also leaving open the option to give refunds if it is deemed that the venue has to decrease the size of the crowd from the current figure.
A spokesman for the venue declined to comment on what percentage of the available tickets has already been sold.
The circuit said that it wants to hold a “safe and exciting” event, and has been working with government departments to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“In light of the continued global outbreak of COVID-19, the BIC has announced that it will be phasing the sales of Grand Prix tickets to ensure appropriate social distancing guidelines are met,” said the statement.
“As further facts emerge, the BIC is in close communication with both Formula One Management and the Kingdom’s health authorities to assess the developing situation and release further tickets or refund the face value of tickets depending on circumstances and updated medical advice.”
The circuit is also adding facilities at the venue: “This precautionary step has been introduced along with a number of public health measures ahead of the Grand Prix to ensure the safety of all spectators, teams and circuit staff.
“These include screening procedures on entry, specialist medical facilities onsite, enhanced sanitation at the circuit, additional hand washing stations, information points for fans, as well as specific medical protocols to manage any suspected cases of COVID-19.”
The race has been called into question because of restrictions on travellers who have been in affected countries in the 14 days before arrival, including Japan and Italy.
In addition there have been restrictions on flights from Dubai, a popular route for F1 travellers who use Emirates Airlines from Melbourne.
BIC said earlier this week that it is working with F1 and the government to minimise any immigration issues.