Wimbledon 2021: full list of Covid rules at this year's Championships - from reduced crowds to no autographs

The 2021 Championships are acting as a pilot event in the third phase of the Government Events Research Programme

Wimbledon is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and the tennis tournament is back for its 2021 Championships after being cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to make the event Covid-19 secure and compliant with government regulations, a number of changes have been made to the tournament.

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This is everything you need to know about what to expect from Wimbledon in 2021.

The 2020 Wimbledon tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19 (Photo: BOB MARTIN/AELTC/AFP via Getty Images)
The 2020 Wimbledon tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19 (Photo: BOB MARTIN/AELTC/AFP via Getty Images)

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At a glance: 5 key points

- Reduced capacity: the Government has allowed Wimbledon to admit 21,000 spectators each day, which is half of its normal capacity. The Centre Court can seat full crowds of around 15,000 for the women’s and men’s finals.

- No queues: all tickets for the event are being sold online, rather than the postal ballot, and ticket holders will have to show proof of their Covid status, so either proof of two vaccinations or a negative test for those aged 11 and above.

- Players bubbling: all of the competitors will stay in a bubble together, either at the All England Club or in their designated hotels.

- Face coverings: all ticket holders will be required to wear face coverings while moving around the grounds, but not whilst they’re seated on court.

- No autographs or selfies: players are not permitted to sign courtside autographs or take selfies with spectators

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What’s been said

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) Chairman Ian Hewitt commented: “It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that we are putting the finishing touches to our preparation for The Championships this year, and the return of the world’s best players to our grass courts, with ticket-holders in the stands.

“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.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “We are the first country in the world to be able to return a Grand Slam tournament to full capacity for the men’s and women’s final since the pandemic broke.

“We are able to do so because of the success of the vaccine rollout and building on what we have learnt so far from the Events Research Programme.

“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.”

Background

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877.

The 2020 Wimbledon Championships were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however the 2021 tournament has been given the green light to go ahead, starting on Monday 28 June, as a pilot event in the third phase of the Government Events Research Programme.

The aim of the Government Events Research Programme is to examine the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events, and explore ways to safely reopen a range of venues and events.

Previous pilot events include the likes of The Brit Awards in London, music and business events in Liverpool, the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield and Download Festival in Leicestershire.

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