The R&A wants 'up to 32,000' fans for The Open Championship

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Despite ongoing travel restrictions in the United Kingdom, the R&A announced on Saturday a plan to have “up to 32,000” fans a day at next month’s Open Championship.

The R&A cancelled last year’s Open Championship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and officials have been working with local and federal leaders to ensure that this year’s championship would include fans.

“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,” said Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive.

The Open will be the first major championship since the pandemic began last spring to be played with near-capacity attendance. Both the Masters and PGA Championship were played this year with a limited fan footprint, and USGA officials estimate about 10,000 fans a day at this week’s U.S. Open, which is about half of what would normally be at Torrey Pines during the national championship.

International fans travelling from certain countries, like the United States, will still be required to quarantine when they enter the United Kingdom. Players, caddies and other essential personnel will be exempt from the quarantine.

The Open returns to Royal St. George’s for the first time since 2011 when Darren Clarke won the claret jug.