The opening round of the 2020-21 ABB Formula E world championship has been expanded into a double-header event as part of changes to the calendar.

Santiago was already slated to hold Formula E’s curtain-raiser on January 16, but a second race in Chile has now been added on January 17, making the first round a double-header.

Meanwhile, E-Prixs in Mexico City and Sanya - originally scheduled to be the second and fourth races of the season - have been postponed amid increasing lockdowns and enhanced travel restrictions being imposed globally due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement released by Formula E on Wednesday confirmed the changes, all of which are subject to approval of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, with the Saudi Arabia double-header on February 26 and 27 marking rounds three and four of season seven.

Formula E said it expects to confirm the next set of races in “early 2021”.

“We are focused on racing in as many of our international host cities as possible, sticking as closely to our planned and previously announced calendar as we can,” Formula E said in its announcement.

“In all decision-making we prioritise the health and safety of our staff and the entire Formula E community of teams, manufacturers, partners, drivers and fans, as well as the citizens and residents of the cities in which we race.”

Formula E also confirmed that the opening double-header in the Chilean capital will be held behind closed doors, while the championship's intention is to run the two Saudi Arabia rounds with spectators.