A wave of renewed government restrictions is occurring across Europe as countries ramp up their coronavirus response, which has affected tennis tournaments being played in the next few weeks. Rising cases have led to increased limits on public gatherings and events.
The Czech Republic announced a stop to sporting competition a week ago, but has allowed some exemptions for professional events. The WTA event in Ostrava, scheduled for next week, has announced that it has secured an exemption and will proceed.
EXEMPTION APPROVED!— J&T Banka Ostrava Open 2020 (@JTBankaOpen) October 14, 2020
We received an official exemption which allows us to make the tournament as planned despite the extraordinary COVID restrictions. ???? pic.twitter.com/VFDRhDU2le
The event had not sold tickets to spectators, and organizers have said they will adhere to WTA protocols on the running of the event.
The ATP event in Cologne has also decided not to have spectators this week following a local government decision to reduce gathering limits from 1,000 to 250 people.
"From an organizational perspective, it wasn't possible to choose 250 customers from a group of 800 people," said tournament director Barbara Rittner.
There is a second ATP event at the same location next week. Rittner said organizers would "monitor" local restrictions and have spectators for the second event if allowed. The doubles competition is considered a team event under local standards, and no spectators will be allowed.
There is also doubt around arrangements for the ATP's Paris Rolex Masters in two weeks, with the city operating under a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew starting on Saturday. The event typically has night sessions and organizers had planned to have 1,000 spectators each day, but the new curfew is expected to last between four to six weeks.
The French Ministry of Sport has said sporting events can proceed, but no spectators are allowed. No further announcements have been issued by the French Tennis Federation.