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Further postponement expected for Tour de France

Prime Minister announces no sporting events until September at the earliest

Joe Robinson
28 Apr 2020

The Tour de France looks set for further postponement after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed there would be no sporting events before September.

In a national address on Tuesday, Philippe said all mass sporting events in France of 5,000 people or more would be banned until September at the earliest due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He also added that professional team sports would not return this season, including football and rugby union.

The UCI and race organiser ASO announced earlier this month that the Tour de France would take place from 29th August to 20th September, pushed back from its original 27th June start date.

However, while this latest announcement from Philippe did not directly address the Tour, it makes the likeliness of the Tour taking place on these new dates incredibly slim.

'I would like to make clear, no large sports gathering or any gathering of 5,000 people or more, needing the permission of the local police and long prior arrangements, will be allowed before September,' Philippe said in the address.

As of Tuesday, the Covid-19 virus has caused 23,000 deaths in France. It also has the fourth-highest confirmed number of infections behind the USA, Spain and Italy.

However, with cases of the virus and deaths dropping, governments are looking to return some normality to life.

Notably, Philippe suggested that if cases continue to fall, restrictions on exercise outside of the home could be partially lifted from 7th May. While bans would still remain on team sports and indoor exercise, cyclists may be allowed to ride again.