The following is a statement from the R&A regarding arrangements for the 149th Open:
Following the UK Government’s announcement to delay the planned easing of restrictions, we are now actively working with the government and public health authorities, including those in Kent, in the next phase of the Events Research Programme, which will enable a number of events to take place with higher capacities than the current Step 3 guidance.
As a result, 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.
Our end goal is to stage a fantastic Open at Royal St George’s and give our fans and players something to be genuinely excited about this summer. Continuing to ensure the health and safety of all of those attending remains our highest priority.
We will be emailing all existing ticket holders and hospitality guests to confirm the arrangements for The 149th Open this afternoon, including the requirements for Covid status certification.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We are pleased to now be able to proceed with our plans for having a significant attendance at this year’s Championship. These fans will play a huge role in creating a very special atmosphere as the world’s best players compete for the Claret Jug and we look forward to welcoming them to Royal St George’s.
“I would like to acknowledge the support and understanding we have received from the government and public health authorities, fans, players, our patrons and partners, as we have worked through this extremely challenging process. The Open is a very special championship in the world of sport and we are fortunate that so many people care as deeply about it as we do.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “The Open Championship returns to Royal St George’s for the first time in a decade and what better way to welcome its return than with more than 30,000 fans each day watching the best golfers in the world battle it out for the famous Claret Jug.
“We have always said we will do everything possible to return fans to our iconic cultural and sporting events as soon, and as safely, as possible — and thanks to the phenomenal success of our vaccine rollout and uptake of the NHS App we’re able to take another step forward through our flagship Events Research Programme.”
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