ROME (Reuters) - Up to 1,000 spectators will be allowed to watch the final two days of the Italian Open tennis tournament and two Serie A matches this weekend and a Formula One race at Imola in November, officials said on Friday.
Professional sports events in Italy have been played without fans since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although some supporters have been allowed into pre-season soccer friendlies.
Sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora told reporters that fans would be allowed to see the closing stages of the Italian Open in Rome on Sunday and Monday.
"At last, starting from the semi-finals and finals of the (Italian Open), a thousand spectators will be able to attend all the sports competitions that will be held in the open air and which scrupulously respect the rules on spacing, masks and seat reservations," he said.
He added that it was "a first, but significant step towards returning, hopefully soon, to normality in sport."
The semi-finals of the men's and women's tournaments will be on Sunday with the respective finals on Monday.
Later, the government of the Emilia Romagna region said that upto 1,000 fans could also watch certain sports events in its jurisdiction.
These include the Parma-Napoli and Sassuolo-Cagliari Serie A matches on Sunday and the Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at Imola on Nov.1.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis)