Wimbledon announce four new measures to prevent Covid outbreak after two withdrawals

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Wimbledon have reacted to Matteo Berrettini and Marin Cilic’s withdrawal by bringing in immediate new measures to help prevent the spread of Covid at the All England Club. The 2021 tournament went ahead with a reduced capacity around the ground due to Covid guidelines at the time.

Stadium capacities in Centre Court and Court one were limited to a 50 per cent capacity for the first days of the tournament with ground passes also restricted. Now 12 months on Wimbledon is back to full swing but Covid has still hit the tournament in a big way.

Berrettini joined Cilic in announcing his withdrawal from Wimbledon after testing positive for Covid this week. With both players being seeded and tipped for deep runs at the tournament, it’s now blown the men’s draw wide open.

Berrettini was spotted training with Rafael Nadal last week while Cilic spent time on the court with Novak Djokovic. Neither Nadal or Djokovic supposedly have any concerns over their own health regarding Covid.

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But Wimbledon officials are keen to avoid any more withdrawals and have brought in new measures for the rest of the tournament. Across the ground there will be increased cleaning “in high traffic touch points, enhanced ventilation and provision of more hand sanitiser stations”.

Players will also see a change around the grounds with masks now being made readily available for anyone who wants them. And they will also be required to wear masks for medical consultations if they take place indoors.

The All England Club added it will “continue to keep all our measures under review throughout the event”. Berrettini was one of the pre-tournament favourites having reached last year’s final and winning back-to-back grasscourt titles in the lead up to Wimbledon.

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“I am heartbroken to announce that I need to withdraw from @wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test result,” he wrote on Instagram. “I have had flu symptoms and been isolating the last few days.

“Despite symptoms not being severe, I decided it was important to take another test this morning to protect the health and safety of my fellow competitors and everyone else involved in the tournament.

“I have no words to describe the extreme disappointment I feel. The dream is over for this year, but I will be back stronger.”

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