Up to 10,000 fans could be back in stadiums by mid-May as part of the government’s plans to move England out of lockdown.
England Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a four-part plan to lift the coronavirus lockdown on Monday.
Outdoor sports including soccer, golf, and tennis will be allowed to resume in England from March 29.
The plan to ease lockdown requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates, and new coronavirus variants needs to be met in order to do so.
The government said that it will run a series of “pilot events” in April and the English Football League said it would be “engaging with the government” over the potential for a small number of fans to attend the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on April 25.
They also stated that if the pilots are successful, “up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower” will be allowed in stadiums for sporting events, but not before May 17.
Venues such as gyms, tennis courts and golf courses have been closed across England since the lockdown was announced on January 4.
Now, leisure centers, gyms, and swimming pools can open from April 12.
The Football Association released a statement:
“The FA is absolutely delighted fans will be allowed back soon. The game is simply not the same without them and we look forward to the return of full stadia as soon as it is safe and possible.”
Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said, “The Prime Minister’s roadmap for the return of sport and physical activity is very welcome and a clear recognition of how important it is to the nation’s physical and mental health.”
“We know people are desperate to get back playing the sport they love and doing the activities they have so badly missed, and now it is at last in sight.”
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