The French Open is postponed from May 24 to May 30, and this is nothing less than a saving grace. Roland-Garros will now be allowed to have 1000 spectators per court in the last five days of the tennis tournament. This comes after the French government is slowly lifting the COVID-19 lockdown measures.
As many as 1000 fans will now be present at the three main Roland Garros show courts. The smaller venues will admit 35% of their capacity during the first 10 days of the French Open, Sports minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said.
The limit is raised to 65% but will be capped at 5,000 for matches in the 15,000-capacity Philippe Chatrier. 10,000-seater Suzanne Lenglen courts from June 9 when the quarter-finals begin, Blanquer told France 3 TV channel.
For the French Tennis Federation (FFT), its April 8 decision to postpone the tournament was a good decision. If the tournament were to end June 6, as initially planned, the number of spectators would have been lesser. On June 9, France will start the “Phase III” of lifting lockdown measures, when gyms will reopen and sports arenas could have 5,000 spectators. This would only happen after they have tested negative for COVID-19 or have been vaccinated.
“The gauge is set at 35% at that moment (when the tournament starts), with a maximum of 1,000 spectators per court, of course,” said Blanquer.
This can be looked at as a major improvement than last year’s delayed tournament. The September tournament of 1,000 spectators were allowed in Roland Garros.
This year’s French Open, delayed by a week, will start on May 30.
Spectators will be allowed back into arenas in France from May 19, President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday, providing that the health situation does not deteriorate.