2020 French Open to Allow Fans in Stands Amid Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic
Fans will be allowed at the 2020 French Open despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases in France, event organizers said on Monday.
Organizers released a statement regarding each guideline that must be followed during the event, which will be the first major tennis tournament to allow fans since the pandemic began.
After being postponed from its original date in May because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Roland Garros stadium will allow spectators to fill up about 50 percent of its capacity when the tournament begins on Sept. 21.
Jean-François Vilotte, director-general of the French Tennis Federation, said that he is determined to put on a safe and responsible event at the end of the month.
"The aim of this health and safety protocol is to act responsibly by protecting everyone who, for whatever reason, is present inside the stadium during the 2020 edition of the tournament, while organizing this outstanding international tennis event," Vilotte said.
According to the Associated Press, the federation originally wanted to welcome fans at 50 to 60 percent of capacity, but the stadium will instead be divided into three zones based on the three main courts.
5,000 people each will be allowed to congregate at the Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen courts, while the zone surrounding the third-biggest court will host a maximum of 1,500 spectators a day. The arena spans just under 30 acres total.
The outlet adds that wearing a mask on the premises will be mandatory, and all accredited people at the tournament must pass a health test to be admitted into the venue.
Tournament director Guy Forget said that all players will be tested upon their arrival and authorized to play if they return a negative test and take a follow-up test 72 hours later, per the AP. Players will then be tested every five days as long as they remain in the draw, and will have to stay in the two hotels booked by organizers.
This story originally appeared on People.