Masters snooker moved from Alexandra Palace to Milton Keynes

Stuart Bingham beat Ali Carter in last year’s final

Next week’s Masters snooker has been moved from Alexandra Palace to Milton Keynes to follow Covid-19 regulations.

The tournament, which begins on Sunday, has been staged at the London venue since 2011.

It will now be held in a ‘bubble’ environment, behind closed doors, at Arena MK in Milton Keynes.

“Our highest priority is always health and safety, and that is the basis of this decision,” said World Snooker boss Barry Hearn.

“We staged several events in a strict bubble environment in Milton Keynes last summer and we were delighted that these were run successfully.

“I trust the 16 players to accept this decision, follow the rules carefully and enjoy one of our greatest tournaments.”

The event is the sport’s biggest invitational tournament with defending champion Stuart Bingham, Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, John Higgins and Mark Selby among those taking part.

All players will be tested the day before their first match, and will remain within the bubble as long as they are participating in the tournament, which will be shown live on the BBC.

All officials and staff will also be within the bubble, following strict regulations on isolation, hygiene and social distancing.

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