‘No choice’ but to cancel: Tour de France would be a disaster, expert warns

According to Devi Sridhar, French officials have ‘no choice’ but to cancel the Tour de France given the significant risk to public health it represents.

“The wise thing to do is cancel for this year,” Sridhar said.

“It’s a painful decision but they have no choice. This is a long-term problem, a chronic problem. This virus is here to stay and will come back. Even if France gets a handle on it by August, then, of course, the issue is people coming in from different countries.

“There’s definitely a risk that the Tour de France moving around and unwittingly spreading the virus could kick-start a new lockdown.”

“Thousands of people from all over the world, gathered together, moving around, from town to town, this is where a virus could thrive – it could be a recipe for disaster.”

Logistically, Sridhar says that holding the event would present many problems. He says that a two- or three-week quarantine would need to be imposed on all team members entering the country before they are granted permission to enter French society.

But he emphasized that, because a high level of infections are transmitted by asymptomatic sufferers, it would be nearly impossible to keep a lid on the virus.

There are also concerns that some riders, including current champion Egan Bernal of Colombia, may have difficulty in being granted entry to the country dependent on any travel bans than may or may not be in place at the time.