Cycling’s road world championships next month were cancelled on Wednesday after a Swiss government ruling on mass gatherings during the pandemic was extended until October.

Organisers of the September 20-27 championships centered on Aigle, home to the International Cycling Union, said they could not continue within a federal limit of 1,000 people for major events. The decision followed the Swiss federal council extending the limit into a sixth month to October 1 amid rising numbers of coronavirus infections in the Alpine nation.

Federal lawmaker Alain Berset said the situation was “delicate and uncertain,” on the day 274 new infections were reported compared to around 15-20 cases daily in June.

The cycling road worlds already faced difficult scheduling with the men’s time trial event on September 20 clashing with the final stage of the pandemic-delayed Tour de France.

Quarantine requirements

Organisers of the world championships also noted problems with riders and team officials from around 45 countries that currently face quarantine after entering Switzerland.

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The latest Swiss federal guidance gave some hope to football and ice hockey leagues, which have warned that clubs need bigger crowds at games and more revenue to help them survive.

Professional sports teams will need permission from public authorities in their home canton (State) to host events with more than 1,000 people present. “The cantonal authorities may refuse to grant a permit if the local epidemiological situation or their contact tracing capacities do not allow it,” the Swiss federal council said.

The Swiss football league season is due to start on September 11.