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?

9 September 2020
Fans attending the tour will not be allowed to take any selfies with the riders or get autographs, and they all must wear face masks.
By Connexion journalist

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. 

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. 

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. 

Read more about cycling: 

Masks and no selfies: Tour de France’s coronavirus plan

Tour de truth: bicycles with pedals were invented in France

Tour de France 2021 will depart from Brest, not Copenhagen

subscribe newsletter image
Stay informed, have your say, join the community
Boost your inbox with our editor’s pick of news and information about France for residents and second homeowners
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Updated! Brexit and Britons In France
Featured Help Guide
What Brexit means for British residents, second homeowners and visitors in France - now and after December 31, 2020.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now