Ayse's 'Occasional Blog'
Saturday 4th July 2020
The Pieces are Starting to Fit
There's still a lot of discussion on Tenths and social media about the likely crowd to be permitted at Le Mans. Figures between 50,000 and 90,000 have been bandied about together with a lot of thoughts about how a crowd of that size can be 'distributed' safely around the circuit. I'm not privy of course to the details of the number of tickets the ACO have sold and how many have been returned or deferred until next year, but hopefully the ACO will provide more details (as promised) in the days and weeks to come. All will depend of course on what the ACO are able to agree with local and national government. I imagine the residents of Le Mans will be a bit concerned about the position they will face in September.
Yesterday I had an email from Brittany Ferries telling me that they are ready to welcome me aboard! A lot of information about social distancing, wearing of masks in public areas, staggered boarding and disembarkation and so on. It also made it clear that travellers needed to have a reserved seat or a cabin on all crossings, so that had me scurrying to my booking to add a cabin on the way there and on the way back again. I'm not taking any chances. It's an interesting thought - I'm not intending to change my outbound crossing so I will still be in France nice and early, but that ferry is normally (at least) half empty. No real social distancing problem there. But the return ferry late on the Monday afternoon is always completely full. In fact, we've often sat in the car waiting to board thinking they would never get everybody on, but they always do. But unless things improve hugely over the next two months or so, that crossing could never be allowed to take place on a full ship. Again interestingly, I had no problem booking a cabin for James, Lauren and myself for the return journey, which came as a bit of a surprise as I expected them to be sold out, which may be another illustration of the numbers who have decided to give Le Mans a miss this year. I'll await developments about how they intend to limit the numbers on the crossings in due course...
The Brittany Ferries blurb also instructs travellers to check local restrictions and it would seem that the Sarthe department has what is described as a 'low occurrence' of the virus, placing it in the 'Green' category. In the Le Mans prefecture, masks are still required to be worn in all public places as well as the obvious physical distancing. The guidance also says that the 5000 limit on spectators will remain in force until 1st September, however "...a further review of the national epidemiological situation will be carried out in mid-July to decide whether a relaxation is possible for the second part of August". That sounds more optimistic.
More updates in due course.