The French Open have announced that they will allow fans into the stands later this month - but it will be a strictly limited number and there will be clear health protocols set out to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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The tournament was postponed from its usual May spot due to the coronavirus pandemic and main-draw action is now scheduled to begin on September 27.

And in a press conference, the FFT (the French Tennis Federation) revealed that a maximum of 5,000 spectators per day would be allowed to watch matches at both the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen showcourts from then onwards.

Chatrier holds around 15,200 spectators, while Lenglen has a capacity of just over 10,000.

Ashleigh Barty won last year's French Open

Image credit: Getty Images

Only 1,500 fans would be allowed at the smaller Simonne-Mathieu court - meaning it will be around a third full.

No more than four people can sit side-by-side and wearing masks would be mandatory for anyone over the age of 11.

The qualifying rounds, which begin on September 21, will be held behind closed doors.

A record 520,000 spectators attended last year's event, according to organisers.

Rafa Nadal and Ash Barty, who both skipped the US Open in New York due to Covid-19 concerns, are expected to defend their titles at Roland Garros.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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