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.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a four-part plan to lift the coronavirus lockdown.
The plan to ease lockdown requires four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met.
“The turnstiles of our sports stadia will once again rotate,” said Johnson.
Yesterday I set out our four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a more normal way of life.
On Monday 8th March, schools and colleges across England will reopen, and teaching in classrooms can start again.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 23, 2021
In an address to the nation later on Monday, the Prime Minister stressed the roll-out of the UK’s vaccination programme had allowed the government to draw up this pathway, but that final decisions would be made “on data”.
Leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools can open from 12 April.
Venues such as gyms, tennis courts and golf courses have been closed across England since lockdown was announced on 4 January.
The government says it will run a series of ‘pilot’ events in April and the English Football League (EFL) 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 25 April.
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 17 May.
That could mean the FA Cup final at Wembley on 15 May is played behind closed doors, as it was in August, although fans may be able to attend the conclusion of the Premier League, which is set to finish on 23 May.
The delayed Euro 2020 competition begins on 11 June with Wembley set to host seven matches, including the final on 11 July.
Wimbledon, which was cancelled in 2020 for the first time since the Second World War, is scheduled for 28 June to 11 July with Formula 1’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 18 July.