Original article from Kent Live
The Open, the world's oldest golf tournament, is set to welcome 32,000 spectators per day to Royal St George's golf club in Sandwich.
The tournament, which is returning to the calendar this year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, ends on July 18.
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.
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The historic tournament will take place on Kent's east coast, with organisers announcing initial plans for more than 30,000 people a day to attend the tournament will be able to go ahead.
It comes as Download Festival, a rock, metal and alternative music event, takes place this weekend.
The large-scale even is also part of the government's trial on how big capacity gatherings can be managed this summer.
The 149th Open, taking place between July 15 and 18, will naturally be a different, calmer affair. However it will be another intriguing experiment of how open-air events cope with coronavirus transmission.
It is the first Open tournament to be held in Sandwich in a decade, with the last in 2011 won by Northern Irish golfer Darren Clarke.
Among those competing will be familiar names such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rory McIlroy.
The 32,000 fans each day will be selected from existing ticketholders and hospitality guests who have already bought tickets.
A statement on The Open's website reads: "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."
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 added: "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."