PARIS, Jul 2 (Reuters) – Roland Garros will allow up to 60% of its usual audience capacity for the 2020 edition of the French Open amid the COVID-19 crisis, organizers said Thursday.
The president of the French tennis federation, Bernard Giudicelli, said at a press conference that up to four people on the main courts could sit together with an empty seat between groups. On the other courts, one out of every two seats will be empty.
Giudicelli explained that this means that about 20,000 spectators are expected during the first stages of the Grand Slam tournament, which will start on September 27, and around 10,000 people for the finals. Those numbers could change if the French government reviews its social distancing rules, he added.
“We went for the responsible option,” said Giudicelli, who stressed that wearing a mask would be mandatory for people who move around the tournament facilities, something that would be recommended for spectators.
In the event that stricter measures are imposed in France, a raffle will be held to decide which tickets will be canceled. The FFT added that COVD-19 protocols for tennis players and staff are being drafted.
The French Open has been postponed from its usual May date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected nearly 11 million people and left more than half a million dead worldwide.
The US Open will be played without an audience in New York from August 31 to September 13.
(Report by Julien Pretot. Edited in Spanish by Javier Leira)