Tour de France: How close can I get to the race?
Reader question: The director of the Tour de France has tested positive for Covid-19 but the race is still on and is going to pass through my area, how close can I get if I go to watch it?
The Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has indeed tested positive for Covid-19, but all the riders were negative, meaning the tour is set to continue, race organisers said on Tuesday (September 8).
Mr Prudhomme’s positive test has impacted France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex, who, due to recent contact with the race director, is taking precautionary measures. Mr Castex has since tested negative for the virus.
Cas contact d'une personne testée positive à la COVID-19, je suivrai le protocole élaboré par le Gouvernement et les autorités de Santé.— Jean Castex (@JeanCASTEX) September 8, 2020
Il s'applique à toutes et tous.
J'exercerai la plénitude de mes fonctions en respectant scrupuleusement les recommandations sanitaires.
To the question of how close can fans get, the answer is within two metres of the riders.
However, fans will not be allowed to take any selfies with the riders or get autographs, and they all must wear face masks.
The zone around the start and end points open to spectators will be limited to 1,750 places within an area of 3,800 square metres. A carpet at the entrance will allow organisers to count the number of people entering. Organisers will also set up a filtering system for people looking to access a view of the mountain passes.
The race organisers have also said that anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 - coughing, fever, shortness of breath, muscle ache etc - must not visit the tour.
Supporters who do go to watch the race have been asked to keep a one-metre distance from other fans, but as can be seen in the below video - which shows the final kilometre of stage 10 of the race - that rule is not necessarily enforced.
Relive the final kilometre of today's stage and Irishman @Sammmy_Be's sprint win!— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) September 8, 2020
Revivez le dernier kilomètre de l'étape d'aujourd'hui avec la victoire de l'irlandais @Sammmy_Be#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/9MmOy1n28n
Tour de France passes half-way mark
Stage 11 of the tour starts today, a 167.5km ride between Châtelaillon-Plage and Poitiers in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
It will mark the mid-way point of the tour, although there is still a chance that the entirety of the tour will not finish as planned in Paris on September 20.
There have been an increasing number of coronavirus cases in France in recent weeks, which has led to some national and international media outlets to speculate that the riders might not make it to the final finishing line.
Mr Prudhomme said before the race started that there were no rules in place for at what point the race would have to stop if Covid-19 spread to the riders or the teams involved in the race.
There are rules, however, for the individual teams.
Teams will be ejected from the race should any two individuals among riders and staff test positive.
The first of two rounds of testing took place on September 7, with the second round due for the next rest day on September 14.