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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

UK PM Boris Johnson says fans to be allowed in stadiums from October

Spectators will be allowed back into some sports events in England from next week as coronavirus prevention measures are tested ahead of a planned wider reopening of stadiums in October.

By: AP | July 17, 2020 6:02:14 pm

Spectators will be allowed back into some sports events in England from next week as coronavirus prevention measures are tested ahead of a planned wider reopening of stadiums in October.

Domestic cricket on July 26-27 is set to be the first sport that fans are allowed to watch in person since March. Some spectators will also be allowed into the world snooker championship in Sheffield from July 31 and the Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival on Aug. 1 is also part of a government scheme piloting the return of fans.

“From October we intend to bring back audiences in stadia … in a COVID-secure way subject to the successful outcome of pilots,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in Downing Street on Friday.

Stadium capacities will still be restricted and staggered entry times, social distancing measures and one-way systems will be required. Barriers or screens will have to be installed where social distancing cannot be maintained when buying food and merchandise or betting. Fans will be told not to attend if they could have been exposed to COVID-19.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston cautioned that it will ?remain some time? before stadiums can be full again. The Premier League will finish the season without fans at games, and there will be no spectators at the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium for this weekend’s FA Cup semifinals.

“For months millions of us have felt the void of being unable to go to the match to support our team or attend a top-class sporting event,” Huddleston said.

“So I am pleased that we are now able to move forward with a plan to help venues safely reopen their doors to fans.

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