The Stade de France in Paris is set to open as a COVID-19 vaccination centre next month.

The 80,000-seat stadium, which serves as the home of France’s national football and rugby union teams, will facilitate the vaccinations of “several thousand people” a week, according to the AFP news agency.

Local government and health authorities are said to be finalising plans to open the stadium as a vaccination centre. An exact opening date for the centre has not yet been given.

The Stade de France is located in the commune of Saint-Denis, where the current rate of COVID-19 infection has risen to 546 per 100,000 inhabitants. The maximum alert threshold set out by local health authorities is 250 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Stade de France, which staged the national rugby team’s 32-30 win over Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday, will join 23 open vaccination centres currently in operation in Saint-Denis. The stadium will host France’s game against Scotland this Friday.

The news comes after it was recently announced that the Orange Vélodrome, home of Ligue 1 football club Olympique de Marseille, would open as a vaccination centre. Marseille Mayor Benoît Payan said last month that the stadium would be made available to speed up the vaccination roll-out in the region.

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