Catalans fear impact of new restrictions to slow coronavirus spread

Catalans fear new restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus in France will have a huge impact on their ability to complete the Super League season.

The new measures, which include a 9pm curfew and a reduction of maximum socially-distanced crowds from 5,000 to 1,000, were announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex as the country announced a record 41,622 new Covid-19 cases.

The curfew will come into force at midnight on Friday and will affect 46million people in the country.

Unlike the English-based Super League clubs, the Catalans have been able to allow fans in for their home games since early September and 5,000 crowds have witnessed each of their last three matches at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

However, the Dragons’ home game against Hull on Thursday evening was cancelled after the club reported seven positive Covid-19 tests and Monday’s scheduled match against Warrington in Perpignan is in grave doubt after the club was placed into a five-day lockdown.

A statement from the Catalans said: “The club take note of the new measures announced yesterday by the French government which affect the organisation of the remaining home games.

“The announcement of a 9 pm curfew and the new limitation of the crowd to 1,000 people (will) have a huge impact on the end of the 2020 season.

“The club is currently working on the different options and would like to thank all the sponsors, season ticket holders and fans for their support.”

The prime minister’s announcement came less than a week after the same curfew was applied to the Paris region and eight other cities, including Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse.

The restrictions will be extended to 38 more administrative departments and will remain in place for six weeks.

The Dragons are currently fourth in Super League but have played only 12 matches and need to reach 15 to qualify for the semi-final play-offs.

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