Sports fans to return in England for pilot events

Sports fans will be able to return to venues in England in the next few weeks, as lockdown rules are eased.

An approved list of pilot events scheduled for the coming weeks also includes some rugby matches and horse racing at Goodwood.

The relaxing of lockdown measures put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic also means that some 300 snooker fans can attend the World Championship at the Crucible.

The Premier League is set to resume on 12 September. Trials for allowing some fans back in stadiums will be tested in September ahead of a planned full rollout in October.

Spectators will be made to sign up to a new code of behaviour and will not be allowed to attend if they have Covid symptoms or have been exposed to anyone with them.

Crowd management plans will include one-way entry and exit and staggered arrival times. Seating will be socially distanced and hand washing and sanitiser stations set up.

The Government said in a statement:

"The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from 15 August with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October.

"This will commence with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre during 15-16 August, with a full pilot programme to follow."