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What the latest UK government announcement means for sport

Fans Return To Sporting Events File Photo
File photo dated 29-08-2020 of Brighton and Hove Albion fans adhering to social distancing.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a lifting of lockdown restrictions from December 2 which will see some fans allowed to return to elite sporting events and the resumption of grassroots sport.

Here, the PA news agency looks at what the announcement means for sport.

What did the Prime Minister say?

Among the measures announced in his winter plan, Boris Johnson said: “Spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing, providing more consistency with indoor performances in theatres and concert halls.”

How many fans will be allowed into football or rugby stadiums, for example?

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, a maximum of 4,000 fans – or 50 per cent of capacity – will initially be allowed in outdoor stadiums and venues in lower transmission areas, or tier one, and a maximum of 2,000 will be admitted in tier two regions. But elite sport in tier three locations will continue behind closed doors.

What about indoor sport?

Indoor sporting events in tiers one and two locations will be able to host a maximum of 1,000 fans, or 50 per cent of stadium capacity, which ever is lower. Snooker and darts could be among the early beneficiaries.

Can I play sport again?

Outdoor sports, such as golf and tennis, can resume from December 2, and gyms and leisure centres will be able to reopen across all tiers. Organised grassroots sport is also allowed to resume. Social distancing will remain in place, and there will be some restrictions on highest-risk activity in tier three areas. In tier one areas indoor sports can take place within the rule of six. This will mean six people from different households could play volleyball, for example, or four people from different households could play doubles tennis or badminton.

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