The UK government has given the green light for fans to return to The Crucible for all sessions of the World Snooker Championship final this weekend.
The government has announced that the programme of pilot events, which were paused at the end of July, can resume as of Saturday August 15.
The entire World Championship was set to feature a limited capacity crowd, but that decision was reversed during the first day of the tournament on July 31.
However, a timely boost for the sport’s show-piece fixture will see a crowd of around 300 fans welcomed into Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre on Saturday and Sunday.
The government statement read: “The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from 15 August with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October.
“This will commence with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre during 15-16 August, with a full pilot programme to follow.”
The World Championship final will see either Mark Selby or Ronnie O’Sullivan take on either Kyren Wilson or Anthony McGill, with the winner pocketing the £500,000 top prize.
Existing ticket holders have been contacted by the venue, though it is understood that limited tickets remain available for Saturday’s sessions and will go on sale on Friday morning.
Prior to the tournament, O’Sullivan had voiced his concerns over allowing fans into the venue, suggesting players were being treated like “lab rats”.
During the tournament, ‘The Rocket’ has likened the atmosphere to “a morgue” but has admitted the lack of fans and ease of access in and out of the venue has helped improve his focus on the table.