Too early to decide if Tour de France can go ahead: French Sports Ministry

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With major sporting events postponed / canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, a huge sword hangs over the Tour de France scheduled for June-July this year.

The Tour de France could take place in June and July with no spectators in order (Reuters)

HIGHLIGHT

  • The Tour de France remains an important sporting event yet to be postponed / canceled
  • The Euro 2020 football championship and the Tokyo Olympics have already been postponed
  • European governments seek to alleviate potential shortage due to coronavirus pandemic

It is too early to decide whether the Tour de France can continue amid the coronavirus pandemic, a spokeswoman for the French Sports Ministry told Reuters on Thursday.

Following the postponement of the Euro 2020 football championship and the Tokyo Olympics, the Tour de France, which will take place in June and July, is one of the last major world sporting events that has yet to be canceled.

"The Tour is a sports monument. It is too early to decide. There is a time for everything. For now, we have a more urgent battle to fight. Let's focus on this mountain in front of us and then consider what comes next," The French Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu wrote on Twitter.

Late Wednesday, local radio station France Bleu quoted her as saying that France might consider hosting the Tour without spectators to minimize the risk of infection.

Fresh fruits and vegetables will be increasingly scarce in Europe, suppliers warn, as the coronavirus pandemic hampers the global movement of products and people needed to harvest crops.

Governments are looking for ways to alleviate any shortages, including "green lanes" to allow fresh produce to move quickly across EU borders, recruiting a "shadow army" of harvesters and loosening travel rules to migrant workers.

While European supermarkets say they still source most of the products, supply pressures are mounting at the source, including in Africa, a key supplier of fresh produce, and within Europe.

Stores that are already dealing with customer hoarding may have a hard time keeping shelves stocked.

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