Hopes for a crowd of 10,000 people each day at Royal Ascot have faded, amid a statement from the organisers.
Tickets for the prestigious five-day fixture, which takes place from June 15-19, will be limited to a crowd of 4,000 on current arrangements.
The announcement came just a day after racegoers finally returned to the track, with Windsor taking centre stage on Monday.
A bumper attendance had been forecast for the top summer meetings, however expectations have been reined in at Royal Ascot.
Sir Francis Brooke, the Queen’s representative at the course, informed members via a letter on Tuesday.
"In accordance with Step 3 of the Government’s Roadmap, the total maximum capacity for racegoers on all racecourses is 4,000 per day," a statement on Ascot's website read.
"We remain in dialogue with Government on the possibility of a larger crowd but, with just a month to go until Royal Ascot, we will begin the process to allocate to our current permitted capacity.
"Should we be able to increase capacity for this year’s Royal Meeting we will be contacting existing ticket holders."
Earlier this month, Ascot's director of racing Nick Smith told the Racing Post that work was going on behind the scenes to try and welcome larger numbers of racegoers.
At last summer's fixture the grandstands stood empty as it went ahead behind closed doors.
"We'd like it to be more (than 4,000) and we're trying to make approaches with 10,000 in mind if we can get there, working with the BHA and RCA to see whether that can happen," he said on May 2.
"We're really playing a waiting game and until we know what our capacities are, we can't do the simple logistical things that we want to get on with, like telling customers we have tickets for sale or don't have tickets for sale."
With the Indian variant of Covid-19 causing national concern, event organisers are keeping a close eye on developments.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued an urgent plea for millions more people to be vaccinated, with the final easing of restrictions on June 21 in doubt.