Chester Racecourse's bid to provide free frozen meals for frontline NHS staff has been suspended after a member of the kitchen team developed some symptoms of coronavirus.

The venue was due to use its kitchen facilities to create meals for emergency services workers dealing directly with the pandemic.

The meals were due for collection from Chester Racecourse from tomorrow on production of their NHS or emergency services ID.

But in a statement, racecourse chief executive Richard Thomas, said: "It is with great regret that I announce that we have been forced to suspend food production in respect of the NHS and emergency workers free meal service, due to launch tomorrow.

"A member of the production team has displayed some symptoms of coronavirus in the past 24 hours and as a precautionary measure, we have been forced to place the entire cooking operation into isolation for 14 days. This includes members of our front of house team who were due to distribute meals to workers on arrival to the racecourse.

"We are truly sorry to have to announce that the racecourse site will go into full lock down from today to protect members of our workforce and members of the public visiting site – this includes those that were due to visit us tomorrow to collect a free meal under the new scheme.

"We will be looking at other ways in which we can help in the near future.

"The funds raised to date via our Just Giving page, set up to support this initiative, will now go direct to The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

"My deepest gratitude goes out all those dealing directly with the on-going crisis."