The Gibraltar Open set to kick off very soon would have only 100 people in attendance. This is to serve as a precaution to the spread of the Coronavirus that has rocked European nations recently.
There has been a confirmed case of Coronavirus in the host country, but the patient has now been cleared. Still, the Gibraltar government are insistent that only a 100 people would be allowed into the arena.
Individuals who will be arriving from or have in the recent past visited an at-risk country have a legal duty to report to the authorities on arrival at the country.
The event staged to hold at the Europa Sports Complex is set to kick off on Wednesday as the amateur players are poised to play through to Thursday. The professionals then join on Friday as they all jostle for the ultimate prize.
As it has been with recent tournaments, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson are once again favourites. Other top stars looking to make their mark in the Gibraltar Open include Mark Williams, John Higgins and Mark Selby.
Asides the coveted trophy, the winner, could smile to the bank with a cheque of £50,000. Besides that, Trump and Robertson will each be eyeing the £150,000 bonus. This bonus would normally go to the highest-earning player through the BetVictor European Series.
Speaking about the control of the audience, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn suggested that the decision was very much justified. He iterated that several sports and businesses were closely monitoring the spread of the virus and following the consequent advice of the government.
He insists that the health of every staff and player was important. Hence, they would be taking any precautions required. He admitted that the decision was reached after a meeting with the Minister of Sports. He said during the meeting, it was concluded that the event would go on as planned, but the admittable audience would be reduced to 100.
He concluded by saying: “In the coming weeks we will continue to observe the situation in regard to all of our events, listen to government advice, and make appropriate decisions taking all factors into account.”
Written by: Roland Arum