Vaccination against COVID-19 will be mandatory for athletes competing in France
France passed a new law on Monday that will require all athletes competing in the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The law requires the vaccination of all athletes and spectators who use public buildings, so its full impact on professional one-day road, mountain or cyclo-cross racing is unknown. It is likely to have a greater impact on multi-day races, including the Tour de France.
The law effectively transforms the Pass Santé requirement in France, which allowed individuals to access public spaces with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, into a Pass Vaccin. A negative COVID test alone will no longer suffice.
The French government has indicated that no exceptions will be made for athletes based outside of France. The requirement, according to the French Ministry of Health, “applies to everyone, volunteers and elite athletes, including those coming from abroad, until further notice”.
The new law follows the high-profile deportation of tennis player Novak Djokovic from Australia for breaking that country’s COVID rules. French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu previously indicated that events like the French Open could benefit from a special dispensation, but that no longer appears to be the case.
With the Tour de France and Tour de France Women with Zwift still several months away, as well as a few week-long stage races building up to the Grand Tour, there is still time before we know the full impact of this law. . have on cycling. The law should be applied from January 24.
This story is ongoing.