25,000 to 30,000 spectators will be able to attend the Australian Open daily, organizers said on Saturday, a very high figure as the COVID-19 pandemic still requires many sporting events to remain behind closed doors.
Australia’s tough travel restrictions in recent months have kept the island in control of the outbreak, making it one of the few places in the world where fans can go in large numbers. at sporting events.
This represents some 390,000 spectators in the space of two weeks, or half of the public received last year, said the Minister of Sport of the State of Victoria, Martin Pakula.
The matches of the first eight days can be seen by 30,000 people. Then the gauge will drop to 25,000 from the quarterfinals.
Mr. Pakula said he hoped at the end of the tournament “an incredible atmosphere, not so different from that seen on all the opens in recent years”. “It won’t be like the last few years, but it will be the most important international event with an audience that the world has seen in many months,” he noted.
Victoria has not recorded a new local case of COVID-19 for 24 days and all players who arrived in Australia to participate in the tournament have gone through a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Eight positive cases were detected among the more than 1,000 people (players, coaches or officials) who arrived on board 17 charter flights to participate in the Open.
The tournament is scheduled to start on February 8. “We hope we have shown the way and the example to the rest of the world on the possibility of doing this,” noted tournament leader Craig Tiley, while acknowledging that it had been a huge logistical challenge.