Roland Garros courts to greet limited fans


French Open limits fan attendance to 1000 Image: Roland Garros, French Tennis Federation & Christophe Guibbaud

France – which is slowly easing restrictions after a seven-month lockdown as COVID-19 got the better of the European nation – will allow up to 1,000 spectators into each of the three main Roland Garros showcourts while the smaller venues will be able to admit 35 percent of their capacity during the first 10 days of the French Open due to coronavirus protocols in place. This information was given by the Sports Minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, on May 2nd.

This year’s French Open, which was delayed by a week, is set to start on May 30th and will continue till June 13th.

‘Reuters’ quoted Blanquer as stating that the limit will be raised to 65 percent but capped at 5,000 for matches at the 15,000-capacity Philippe Chatrier and 10,000-seater Suzanne Lenglen courts from June 9th when the quarter-finals get underway.

Informed Blanquer, “The gauge is set at 35 percent at that moment (when the tournament starts), with a maximum of 1,000 spectators… per court, of course.”

The French Open, also called Roland-Garros, is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, beginning in late May each year. The venue is named after the French aviator Roland Garros.

Stade Roland Garros is a complex of tennis courts located in Paris that hosts the French Open, the Grand Slam championship also known as Roland Garros.

‘Reuters’ further stated that it marks an improvement on last year’s delayed tournament which took place in September when a maximum of 1,000 spectators were allowed in the grounds of Roland Garros.

Spectators in stadia

Spectators will be allowed back into arenas in France from May 19th, French President Emmanuel Macron said recently, provided the COVID-19 situation again does not take a turn for the worse.

‘The Local fr’ stated that on May 19th, outdoor sporting venues can reopen with capacity capped at 1,000, while cultural venues such as museums, cinemas and theaters can allow a maximum capacity of 800 indoor and 1,000 outdoor. However, everything will be based on the epidemiological situation across France, with areas where the incidence rate is over 400 cases per 100,000 will not be allowed to entertain fans.

France entered a third national lockdown on April 3rd following a sharp rise in infections due to the deadly virus variants. Macron has now detailed a four-phase roadmap to exit lockdown, with sports bodies and clubs set to be affected from the second stage.

‘The Local fr’ further stated that from June 9th, capacities for both sports and cultural venues will be increased to 5,000, but people wanting to attend would need to produce a health pass. Macron stated that while carrying these passes will not be mandatory to enter places of everyday life such as eateries, theaters and cinemas, they could be needed to be produced in places where there are mass gatherings such as stadia.

The final stage on June 30th would see the majority of restrictions lifted, with access to any event bringing together more than 1,000 people outdoors and indoors allowed with a health pass. Maximum capacities would be tailored according to the type of events and where in the country they are held.

France is presently the second most-impacted country in the European Union and has recorded nearly 104,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Macron further informed that specific details behind the lockdown exit plan will be announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex in the week commencing May 10th.

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