Government to ‘revise’ and ‘review’ sport pilot events and plans for fans to return to stadiums in October

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the government will ‘revise’ and ‘review’ sport pilot events for spectators to return to stadiums from October 1.

Pilot events in September, with limited capacities with social distancing measures in place, have not been cancelled but stricter guidelines could now see those dates pushed back.

It comes as the government moved to ban gatherings of more than six people in England from Monday in response to a rise in Covid-19 cases to levels last seen during the national lockdown.

While organised team sport will proceed, following the recent increase in infections, plans for the anticipated return of fans to grounds from the start of October will be reviewed.

Mr Johnson said: “At the present time we must also I am afraid revise plans to pilot larger audiences in venues later this month and review our intention to return audiences to stadiums and conference centres from October 1.

“But that doesn’t mean we are going to scrap the programme entirely, we are just going to have to review it and abridge it and the Culture Secretary will say more about that shortly.”

Pilot events scheduled for September, including the Women’s Super League football match between West Ham and Arsenal on Saturday, will be reviewed.

Other events this month include football’s non-league finals day on September 27, race meetings at Warwick and Newmarket on September 21 and 24 respectively, a basketball exhibition match in Newcastle on September 18 and a speedway event in Ipswich on September 26.

Officials from Doncaster racecourse announced that following Wednesday’s trial with crowds at the St Leger Festival, the remainder of the meeting will take place behind closed doors.

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