COVID-tested tennis fans will be able to remove their masks during play as Wimbledon dives into an experimental plan to try and bring sport back to life in the pandemic period.
Officials revealed working details of the grass-court Grand Slam which begins on Jun 28, with hopes of increasing spectator levels from an initial 50 per cent up to full capacity by the finals weekend July 10-11.
With ticket sales going online this week, potential fans are warned not to purchase unless they will be fully vaccinated or can present a negative test result on match day.
Masks will be obligatory when moving around the normally crowded club grounds but can be removed during play and while socialising in food and drink areas.
“We very much look forward to staging an event that is a success for all, inspires players and fans alike, and creates a spotlight for tennis, and sport, in the UK and around the world,” club chairman Ian Hewitt said.
Added Boris Johnson’s culture minister: “We will be trialling COVID-status certification at The Championships in order to get as many people back as safely as possible across all the sporting and cultural events that make the Great British summer so special.”
Officials said that the crowd capacity will be gradually increased from the fourth round (second week of play) with the goal of 15,000 on Centre Court for the women’s and men’s finals.
While the iconic Queue is dead for this year, gates will open an hours earlier (10 a.m.) to accommodate what will surely be some chaos as the tennis public tries to enter the grounds with all health documentation to hand.
Main photo:- Ian Hewitt Chairman of AELTC – courtesy AELTC.