Being tracked and being healthy are going to the norm for rally fans as the sport gets underway after COVID-19.
It is an unavoidable topic. It will change how we watch cars in our cities and forests. We are still seeing threats of more cancellations, so getting the crowd management right is a key aspect.
While New Zealand and Australia are gearing up, European eyes are turning to the Rally di Roma Capitale. The European Rally Championship round will be the first FIA sanctioned event to restart the season.
A key point is the close communication between organisers, the FIA and the relevant governments and health bodies to create a situation where rallying can return.
So, with that said, what are the Italians doing to get back to rallying?
To enter the rally, spectators will be required to sign a ‘certification of good health’ to suggest they do not have any COVID-19 signs.
All spectators will have to choose just one area per stage to visit. This will have to be done ahead of the rally as each spectator will have a barcoded ticket to an individual spectating area.
Spectating locations will be restricted after the Coronavirus pandemic. Red Bull Content Pool
Both the ticket and certification will need to be provided to COVID-19 staff at the rally. Body temperature checks will also be conducted at entry points to working areas and spectating areas.
Crowd volume and movement will be policed, and safety precautions won’t just be for the cars.
For those working at the rally, all must apply for passes, and restrictions will apply to ensure working areas are not too crowded.
To some, this won’t present a burden or a change, to others it might go against their spirit of rally spectating. No wandering along the road to find the best spot, no quick changes of spectator areas.
But it is for the greater good. If the rally goes well, it might provide a path forward for all non-centralised sports and it might help get more rallies back on stage.
The organisers, ACI Sport and Motorsport Italia, have called on fans to take responsibility for their actions as failure to comply may put both this rally, and future rallies, in jeopardy during the Coronavirus crisis.
Though they have not said what will happen if the spectators misbehave …
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