RLWC2021 have announced that they will be making 20,021 tickets available for key workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On a day where the organisers were planning to finalise their ticket details, the pandemic has meant they have had to revise their schedule.
And as a thank you, the tickets will be given to those in health and social care, as well as other key sectors.
Meanwhile, they have also announced the schedule between now and the start of the tournament in Newcastle.
To mark 500 days until the start of the tournament, the team bases will be announced, in addition to a brand-new identity being made public.
Then a ballot will be announced in September, to give the rugby league family and locals from the host cities a chance to purchase tickets before they go on general sale.
The results of the ballot will be announced in December, before the General Sale starts in early 2021.
Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of RLWC2021, said: “Other sports, clubs, leagues and events have been acutely impacted by COVID-19 and our planning needs to be aligned and proportionate with the global crisis and respectful of more immediate needs.
“We have done various aspects of scenario planning and we believe the current plan is the most suitable at this point, however we know we are required to be flexible and adapt as and when appropriate.
“The team has made the unanimous decision to provide 20,021 free tickets to keyworkers in the UK as our way of saying thank you.
“The work, effort, dedication and sheer determination needs to be recognised and hopefully we can provide these local heroes and their families with something to look forward to next year.”