Wimbledon to make players stay in official hotels as part of coronavirus plan

Players and their teams will have to stay in official hotels at Wimbledon this year if they want to compete, it has been revealed.

Wimbledon was the highest profile tennis casualty of the coronavirus pandemic last year, with the event cancelled for the first time since the Second World War.

A comprehensive insurance policy protected them financially, but the event is sure to return in 2021 – albeit with restrictions.

“One of the priority measures is a minimised risk environment for the players,” a Wimbledon spokesman said.

“As such, based on current guidance, there will be official hotels for all players, their support teams, and key groups such as officials, which will be a mandatory requirement for entry into this year’s Championships.”

There is optimism that Wimbledon will not only return in 2021, but do so in front of full crowds.

The coronavirus vaccination programme is going well in the UK, with more than 23million people already receiving the first dose.

At current speeds, the entire adult population could be vaccinated by the end of May, and that has prompted plans from the government to list all public restrictions by the middle of June, around ten days before the Championships begin.

The concern for Wimbledon, though, is how to protect the players, most of whom will be arriving from countries who are rolling out the vaccine more slowly.

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