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Boris Johnson reveals that cro...
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Boris Johnson reveals that crowds could return to sporting events by October 1st

Conor Breslin
Conor Breslin

15:55 17 Jul 2020

The UK government has revealed that spectators could return to sporting events across England by October 1st.

Any attendance at sports grounds have been banned since March 13th as part of social distancing measures brought in to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the British government set out the next phase on the road to recovery from COVID-19, he said the government are hopeful that crowds could return to some events from October onwards.

"We will pilot larger gatherings in venues such as sports stadia with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn," Johnson said.

"All of these measures, for August 1st, should be done in a COVID secure way.

"From October we intend to bring back audiences in stadia and allow conferences and other business events to recommence, again these changes must be done in a COVID secure way subject to the successful outcome of pilots."

The announcement has recently drawn debate amongst the public, given that a large number of people continue to contract coronavirus. Equally it will be welcomed by sporting authorities for whom an absence of live crowds has led to some financial burdens.

The Premier League, which resumed in June after a three month absence, has made clear its desire to act as test events for the return of spectators.

Discussions continue regarding a start date for next season, with September 12 the most likely, with the Prime Minister hoping crowds will soon follow as the government plan test events in the coming weeks.

The upcoming World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, the Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival and two men's county cricket friendly matches are set to be among the pilot events in England.

The government said the "events have been carefully selected to represent a range of sports and indoor and outdoor spectator environments."

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