Only 5,000 spectators per day will be allowed to attend the French Open following a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) has said.
Last week, the FFT had announced a plan to allow a maximum of 11,500 fans per day at the tournament, which will be held at Roland Garros from 27 September – 11 October 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.
“The FFT will therefore assume the responsibility of organising the tournament with a new layout.
“It is important for the sporting, social and economic life of the country that a major event like Roland Garros can be put on while respecting health imperatives.”
France has recorded over 438,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 31,000 deaths, according to official records.
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.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Thursday the changing restrictions meant only Chatrier would now house fans.
A record 520,000 spectators attended last year’s French Open, according to organisers.