Spectators won’t return in England until May 17th at the earliest

It leaves open possibility of fans returning to events like Euro 2020 and Wimbledon

A limited number of fans may return for the final round of Premier League games in the 2020-21 season. File photograph: Getty Images

A limited number of fans may return for the final round of Premier League games in the 2020-21 season. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Spectators will not be able to return to sporting venues in England until May 17th at the earliest, the UK government has said.

The news formed part of their prime minister Boris Johnson’s ‘road map’ for the easing of lockdown restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus, which was announced in the UK’s house of commons on Monday afternoon.

With the exception of any approved trial events, the news rules out the possibility of fans attending any further regular-season matches in the EFL, and all but the final round of Premier League games in the 2020-21 season.

But it does leave open the possibility of spectators returning to events over the summer, such as Euro 2020, Wimbledon, cricket internationals and county matches, depending on whether the conditions for easing restrictions have been met by May 17th.

Indoor events will be capped at 50 per cent capacity or 1,000, whichever is lower, and for outdoor events this will be 50 per cent capacity or 4,000, whichever is lower.

The road map includes special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25 per cent of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.

Pilots will also run to examine how such events can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations such as testing.

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