A statement was released shortly after the Flemish sports minister met with sporting groups on Thursday, and said:
Given the further spread of the coronavirus and the updated insights and recommendations from health professionals, the sports world wants to explicitly and proactively assume its social responsibility. It is the great strength of sport that it affects many people, but that strength becomes a vulnerability when a virus spreads wherever large groups come together. This was not an easy decision, but there is no other way.
Gent-Wevelgem and the E3 BinckBank are among the highlights of the spring calendar, and there is severe concern that the remaining Monuments will also be cancelled.
A number of minor races, including Nokere Koerse, the Bredene Koksijde Classic and Driedaagse Dugge-De Panne have also been cancelled.