Governments around the world are easing COVID-19 restrictions, but each region is moving at its own pace. As a result, tourists will have to adhere to differing standards. That may not pose a continuous issue for one-time travelers, but the various regulations pose issues for the MotoGP paddock.
Up to this point, MotoGP organizing body Dorna has asked all participants to “wear a mask indoors at all times.” Prior to the European leg of the 2022 season, officials required negative PCR tests for paddock access. For the Spanish Grand Prix, visitors still needed to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result, but Dorna hopes to relax those restrictions in the near future.
All signs point to MotoGP doing away with COVID-19 guidelines altogether, but organizers want to assure teams and participants that the new standards will remain consistent throughout the rest of the European rounds.
“We are still negotiating for Mugello to open up and withdraw all measures. If that works, we won't be asking for a vaccination certificate for Le Mans anymore. But it makes no sense to open the paddock to France and then go back to the previous measures again because of Mugello," one Dorna official told Speedweek. "Our intention would be to withdraw all Covid measures for Le Mans and to maintain this system until the overseas races in October."
As many diehard MotoGP fans know, the championship calendar will transition to Asia at the Japanese Grand Prix on September 25, 2022. From there, the series will move on to Thailand, Australia, and Malaysia before returning to Europe for the final round of the season. Similar to the European rounds, the Asian, Oceanic, and Southeast Asian countries also uphold different COVID-19 requirements.
There’s no telling if Dorna will need to revert to checking vaccine certificates or demanding negative PCR tests for paddock entry, but the series hopes to maintain uniform standards for as many rounds as possible. France has already lifted its COVID-19 regulations for the Le Mans race, but Dorna officials are still awaiting word from Italian authorities concerning the Italian GP on May 27-29, 2022.