Wimbledon will welcome full crowds for the grand slam tennis tournament’s semi-finals and final next month with all attendees required to display COVID certification.

The tournament has today (Wednesday) been approved to take place as a pilot event in the third phase of the UK Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), with crowds of at least 50-per-cent capacity from the start on June 28 and rising to 100-per-cent from the semi-finals onwards.

Wimbledon’s Centre Court will therefore welcome a full-capacity 15,000 spectators for the latter stages, while the Government has also confirmed that the four UEFA Euro 2020 knockout games at Wembley Stadium will all welcome at least 40,000 fans at 50-per-cent capacity. Outdoor events other than pilots are limited to 25-per-cent capacity until at least July 19 under UK rules after reopening was delayed earlier this week.

All Wimbledon ticket-holders will be required to follow strict entry requirements and provide consent to participate in the ERP’s science-led programme. They will be required to show proof of COVID status upon entry, either in the form of both vaccinations, and with the second dose 14 days ago; or a negative lateral flow test for those aged 11 and over.

Proof of vaccine can be displayed via the NHS App, NHS website or by downloading and printing off a PDF through the app or website. Proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48hrs of attending the event can be displayed via SMS text, or via the NHS App.

Ticket-holders will be required to wear face coverings while moving around the venue grounds, which will enable them to sit with any guest at any time, both in the court and in food and drink spaces. Organisers said they expect there still to be a form of social distancing around the grounds, particularly in managing any queues.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “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.”

The tournament will begin on Monday, June 28 with 50-per-cent capacity across the venue grounds. Stadium capacities for Centre Court and No.1 Court will open at 50-per-cent capacity, while the smaller show courts will be permitted to open at 75-per-cent capacity.

For the fourth round and quarter-finals, organisers aim to increase Centre and No.1 Courts allocations, along with a number of Grounds passes, and for the semi-finals and finals from July 8, they aim to have 100-per-cent capacity on Centre Court, with a small number of tickets on No.1 Court and Grounds passes.

An initial sale of tickets for the public will go live at 1pm on June 17, and all applicants must be registered with myWIMBLEDON by midnight tonight.

AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said: “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.”

Image: Shep McAllister on Unsplash