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Fresh restrictions for Six Days of Ghent as COVID rears up again

A spike of infections is putting a chill on the party for this week's Six Days of Gent track event in Belgium.

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Just when everyone thought COVID-19 was gone, it comes rearing back.

A recent spike in cases across Northern Europe is casting a pall on this week’s Six Days of Ghent running Tuesday to Sunday. Officials confirmed the event — canceled last year due to the pandemic — will be held but with some familiar restrictions back in place.

“People will be banned from bringing catering into the stands or central square,” officials said. “You will be allowed to consume any food or drinks by the catering stands in the catacombs and in an extra (and covered) drinks and food square that will be set up to cope with a large demand. As soon as the sports program finishes (daily, around 1:15 a.m.), the event will also end, including the music and catering.

“Sport dominates the program, the atmosphere and conviviality remain very important, but this year they will be paired with a slightly higher level of discipline and common sense.”

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Face masks will be required inside the historic Kuipke velodrome in Ghent, Belgium, and beer taps and food catering will not be allowed inside the velodrome. Fans will be able to eat and drink in designated “safe areas” inside the catacombs or outside the facility, officials said.

The reimposition of restrictions at the Six Day s of Ghent plays out in a spike of cases in some European nations.

The UCI world road championships were contested in September in Flanders with an estimated one million fans watching the elite men’s road race. Restrictions had been lifted for the week of racing.

The 80th edition of the popular Ghent track event held on the 166m indoor velodrome will see 12 teams facing off, with women’s events scheduled later in the week.