(Reuters) – The French Open will allow only 5,000 spectators per day following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said on Thursday.
The FFT had announced this month that the claycourt major would permit a maximum of 11,500 fans per day at the tournament, which will be held at Roland Garros from Sept. 27-Oct. 11 after being moved from its usual late May-June slot due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The health situation in the Ile-de-France region has led the Paris Police Prefecture to limit the number of spectators at Roland Garros to 5,000 per day over the entire 12 hectare site,” the FFT said in a statement.
France has recorded over 438,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 31,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
On Thursday, the country registered a record 10,593 new confirmed coronavirus cases in 24 hours — its highest single-day count since the pandemic began.
The FFT had initially been aiming to host daily crowds of 5,000 at both the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen showcourts while 1,500 fans were due to watch matches at the smaller Simonne-Mathieu court.
A record 520,000 spectators attended last year’s French Open, according to organisers.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, Writing by Hardik Vyas and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ed Osmond)