There will be no queue at this year's Wimbledon ©Getty Images

The famous long queue of tennis fans waiting to access Wimbledon tickets has been cancelled for 2021 as organisers plan to stage this year’s event with a limited number of spectators.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said it planned to leave a decision on capacity as late as possible in order to "welcome the maximum number of guests".

But having held talks with public health authorities, the AELTC said staging the Grand Slam with a reduced number of fans was the "most likely outcome" at this stage.

The AELTC Main Board and Committee of Management met to consider plans for this year’s Wimbledon, scheduled to take place from June 28 to July 11, following the publication of the United Kingdom Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Under the Government’s four-stage plan, all restrictions could be lifted by June 21 depending on the success of the vaccination rollout and a low COVID-19 infection rate.

The plans have raised hopes of Wimbledon being held at full capacity but the AELTC said it was putting in place a series of coronavirus countermeasures and changing its ticketing strategy.

The AELTC confirmed Wimbledon’s iconic queue and ticket resale within the grounds would not be in operation due to the "likelihood of continue social distancing requirements".

Instead, tickets are set to be made available in June. 

Anyone who was successful in the public ballot in 2020 will be given the opportunity to purchase tickets for the same day and court at the 2022 event.

Organisers are planning to stage this year's event with a reduced number of spectators ©Getty Images
Organisers are planning to stage this year's event with a reduced number of spectators ©Getty Images

The AELTC also said players, support staff and officials would be required to stay in official hotels and cancelled the staging of the invitation doubles events.

"These remain challenging and uncertain times, and our thoughts continue to be with all those affected by the pandemic," said Ian Hewitt, chairman of the AELTC.

"Although the promise of a return to a more normal existence is on the horizon, we are not there yet.

"As such, we have taken some key decisions in order to provide us with some certainty in our planning, and yet also to retain flexibility where we need it the most.

"We remain committed to delivering on our aspiration of staging the best championships possible.

"In line with the UK Government’s roadmap, we are cautiously optimistic that the championships will play an exciting role as the country begins to embrace a return towards normality.

"We remain humbled and heartened by the passion for Wimbledon shown by our fans around the world, and we so look forward to seeing the world’s best tennis players setting foot on our courts once again."

Wimbledon was the only one of the four tennis Grand Slams to be cancelled entirely because of COVID-19 in 2020.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Simona Halep of Romania are the reigning men’s and women’s singles champions.

The UK has the fifth-highest death toll in the world as a result of COVID-19, with more than 126,000 fatalities recorded.