Hopes of Rally Croatia becoming the first World Rally Championship round since last September’s Rally Estonia to welcome fans have been dashed, with the event organizer outlawing spectators from all stages.
A spectator stage in the heart of Zagreb, with a finish line inside the service park, had already been canceled, but the rally organizer had held out hope that fans would still be able to attend stages in the countryside regions outside the capital city.
But on Monday the call to ban spectators from all stages finally came, as the Croatian government imposed a limit on more than 25 people gathering in one area.
“Due to the current pandemic and in line with the Decision of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia on necessary epidemiological measures, tickets for spectators are not for sale,” read a statement from the rally.
“It is imperative to abide by the COVID-19 regulations issued by the Government and the Institute of Public Health, including but not limited to maintaining a proper social distance of at least 1.5 m outdoors, wearing a medical-grade face mask and the ban of gatherings of more than 25 people at one location.”
The new restrictions have come amid a ‘third wave’ of COVID-19 which is sweeping through much of continental Europe, with new cases at their highest rate in Croatia since December last year.
The Croatian government reported 410 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, with 2961 active cases in the Zagreb region.