Wimbledon to scrap queues as part of virus measures
Issued on: Modified:
London (AFP) –
Wimbledon's famous queue will not operate at this year's championships because of coronavirus measures, the All England Club announced on Thursday.
The snake of tennis fans waiting to gain access to the event in leafy southwest London has become one of the defining sights of the Grand Slam.
Many camp out overnight to gain an advantage but tickets will be distributed differently this year.
There will also be no reselling of tickets within the grounds.
"Both the queue and ticket resale remain much-loved and important Wimbledon traditions, and we look forward to their return in 2022," said a statement from Wimbledon.
Organisers are working on the basis that a reduced number of fans will be allowed into the grounds but are trying to be as flexible as possible to accommodate whatever the rules are in June and July.
Wimbledon is scheduled to start on June 28, a week after the government plans to lift all legal limits on social contact.
Britain has been one of the countries hardest-hit by Covid-19 with over 125,000 deaths but cases have fallen sharply during a swift vaccination campaign.
The All England Club is determined to minimise the risks to the event, which was cancelled last year for the first time since World War Two.
It was announced last week that players must stay in official hotels.
"Although the promise of a return to a more normal existence is on the horizon, we are not there yet," said All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt.
He added: "We have taken some key decisions in order to provide us with some certainty in our planning, and yet also to retain flexibility where we need it the most. We remain committed to delivering on our aspiration of staging the best championships possible."
The club also revealed they hope to start development of land in Wimbledon Park next year, with the intention of staging qualifying for the main tournament within the expanded grounds by 2028.
© 2021 AFP