Italy relaxes Covid rules to allow up to 1,000 fans at sporting events

AFP/The Local
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Italy relaxes Covid rules to allow up to 1,000 fans at sporting events
Spectators have not been allowed so far at the tennis Masters 1000 in Rome, but that's set to change from Sunday. Photo: AFP

Up to 1,000 spectators will be allowed at open-air sporting events in Italy, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Friday, on the eve of the return of Serie A football.


The change will come on Sunday, meaning Saturday's opening Serie A games (Fiorentina v Torino Verona v Roma) will be behind closed doors but nine-time
reigning Serie A champions Juventus could kick off their season against Sampdoria on Sunday in Turin with fans in attendance.
Spadafora only mentioned tennis, with the WTA and ATP Italian Open running in Rome until Monday.
"From the semi-finals and finals, 1,000 spectators can be present at all sports competitions which take place outdoors and which scrupulously respect
sanitary rules," the minister  said.


Organisers who want to partially reopen stadiums will have to respect "rules laid down for spacing, masks, seat reservations," the minister said.
He said the decision was "a first step, but a significant step towards a return to normality in sport, which we hope for soon."
The government in Rome had been under enormous pressure from sporting events organisers furious at the government keeping its ban on spectators in place when it announced an updated emergency decree on September 7th.
The organisers of the Rome Masters said it was a "huge injustice" to have to play behind closed doors while the French Open would be able to welcome spectators.
Football clubs had also been demanding an end to the financially crippling closure and a gradual reopening of stadiums after more than six months.


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