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1,500 spectators allowed at French Open per day

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-08 10:02
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Fans shield from the rain with umbrellas during the quarter final match against Argentina's Diego Schwartzman and Spain's Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, Paris, France, June 6, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - All players participating in this year's French Open will be housed in two assigned hotels to reduce the risk of COVID-19, and a limit of 1,500 fans per day will be allowed to enter Roland Garros, as organizers unveiled health protocols on Monday.

The clay-court Grand Slam, which was originally due to be held in May, will be staged from September 27 to October 11.

Tournament director Guy Forget said that Roland Garros will be divided into three zones based on the three main courts, with 5,000 people each for the Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen courts. The zone surrounding the third biggest court Simonne Mathieu will be limited to 1,500 spectators a day.

Players will be tested "upon their arrival and will receive their accreditation as soon as the first negative test is returned," Forget said.

"A second test will be carried out within 72 hours and then another every five days as long as they remain in the tournament," he added.

"All the players have to stay in the two hotels booked by organizers without exception."

Organizers have also decided to allocate more prize money to the early losers to show support to players who have had a particularly difficult financial year amid the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This year, any player that loses in the first round will be awarded 30 percent more than last year, bringing their winnings to 60,000 euros," read a tournament statement. "A significant effort has also been made in terms of the qualifying rounds, with a 27 percent increase in prize money compared with 2019. Any players who lose in the first round of the qualifying competition will take home a cheque for 10,000 euros."

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