Wimbledon officials warned fans without tickets not to travel to the tennis tournament’s first day on Monday as many complained of unprecedented queues.
Organisers advised people not to travel to join the queue just before noon as enhanced security checks – linked to recent disruptive protests from groups such as Just Stop Oil – led to delays in entering the grounds. Just Stop Oil caused play to be stopped at the second Ashes test at Lord’s, the Gallagher Premiership rugby final at Twickenham and the World Snooker Championship between April and July.
@Wimbledon What number from the queue has actually gotten in? People need to know if it’s worth standing in a field for another few hours. Been here since 8am, and no movement whatsoever. @ViewFromTheQ pic.twitter.com/XtzOSBO7Ez
— Ruairí Ó C (@ruraw_cork) July 3, 2023
All England Club (AELTC) chief executive Sally Bolton told reporters: “Of course we’ve taken account of what we’ve seen elsewhere, so security has been uplifted in various places around the grounds.”
Bolton told journalists there is “100 per cent bag search” and “selective body search” at all gates – the latter of which will be conducted “on the basis of intelligence”. The venue is also working with behavioural detection officers from the Metropolitan Police.
— Sensei Phil (@SenseiPhil2) July 3, 2023
An All England Club spokesperson said: “There has been high demand from members of the public to join the Queue on Day 1 at Wimbledon.
“Understandably, our security team on the gates are conducting an enhanced bag check operation. While there has been a steady stream of guests entering the grounds since gates opened at 10am, entry via the queue has been at a slower rate than in previous years as a result of these checks.”