Sports fans may only have to wait two more months before they can return to watching games in the flesh.
According to a new plan presented by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, up to 10,000 fans — or 25 per cent of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower — will be allowed to attend large, seated, open-air stadiums by May 17.
However, smaller stadiums will be allowed to welcome up to 4,000 people, or 50 per cent of their capacity, depending which number is lower.
The four-part plan, which is dependent on several tests and data, aims to life the Covid-19 lockdown. The UK’s vaccination programme paved the way for the preliminary plan.
“The turnstiles of our sports stadia will once again rotate,” Johnson said on Monday, while addressing the nation.
In addition to re-opening sports stadiums, there will be a loosening of restrictions on gyms, tennis courts, golf courts and swimming pools by April.
The Football Association has already responded to the news.
“The FA is absolutely delighted fans will be allowed back soon,” read a statement. “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.”
If the plan goes according to plan, that means fans might be able to attend the Women’s FA Cup final, the 2021 Wimbledon Championships (June 28-July 11) and the Carabao Cup Final (April 25). The Uefa Euro 2020 final is also set to take place in London on July 11.
As for cricket, the England v Sri Lanka ODIs, England v Pakistan ODIs and England v Pakistan T20s will take place through June and July.
The British Grand Prix is set to take place from July 16-18. The British Open will take place from July 11-18.
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