British Open to welcome over 30,000 spectators daily

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The 2019 British Open champion Shane Lowry will defend his title at St George's with 32,000 spectators allowed to attend each day of the major which was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic

The British Open will have 32,000 spectators per day at St George's, organisers the R&A said on Saturday as the British Government have granted it a test event status.

The R&A had been uncertain how many they could allow in as the major reaches a climax on July 18, a day before the Government's hoped for total unlocking from coronavirus restrictions happens.

The Open did not take place last year due to the pandemic so 2019 winner Ireland's Shane Lowry will be the defending champion at the Kent golf links course.

It has now been confirmed the Open will be included in the Government's 'Events Research Programme', which will enable a number of events to take place with higher capacities than present guidance permits.

"We can now confirm that we will be able to welcome up to 32,000 fans on each championship day of the 149th Open at Royal St George's and that this will include those existing ticketholders and hospitality guests who have already purchased tickets," read a R&A statement.

The Open follows other big British sporting events such as Wimbledon and Royal Ascot in benefitting from the Government's test programme.

Other events which the Government have not granted such status to have to make do with vastly reduced attendances.

English club rugby's grand finale the Premiership final at Twickenham is a case in point.

Premiership Rugby had planned to have 20,000 fans at the final on June 26 but that was dashed after the government refused to grant the event "test pilot" status.

Only 10,000 will be permitted to attend.

Premiership Rugby are working with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to refund all ticket holders, but will still invite 500 emergency workers to the match.

Priority will be given to fans of the teams that reach the final.

Bristol host Harlequins and Sale are away at champions Exeter in Saturday's semi-finals.

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