Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that fans could begin planning the return of fans in the coming months under the ‘road map’ to ease locking restrictions.
The PA news agency looks at how the news will affect major UK sports.
The goal of allowing at least some fans back into the arena a week before the final day of the Premier League on May 23 comes on May 17 – having 10 clubs at home is great news, although it should be hoped that others will host test events the previous weekend. The FA Cup final ends on May 15, and the Championship, League One and League Two seasons end on May 9, but fans can return to the play-off finals later this month. The Karabakh Cup final was moved from February to April in the hope of welcoming fans, but is still coming soon. The June 21 goal of removing all restrictions comes in the middle of the restructured Euro 2020 finals, with England set to face the Czech Republic in Wembley the day before. The final of the tournament will be played on July 11 at the National Stadium.
England begin two Test series against New Zealand on June 2 and now hope to have plenty of fans at both Lord’s and Edgbaston. These conditions will be complete when a white ball series against Sri Lanka begins with T20 International in Cardiff on June 23. The March 29 goal for grassroots sports is good news for the game at the local level. An ECP statement reads: “The ECP welcomes the government’s decision to allow grassroots cricket to return to the UK at the start of the 2021 season. We will continue to work with the Welsh Government on the return of recreational cricket in Wales. ”
Although it is too late for the PRO14 campaign, clubs may welcome fans to the final rounds of the premiership season, which ends on June 12. The British and Irish Lions will host Japan on June 26 in Murrayfield – a hot training ground for the tour of South Africa, the status of which is in doubt. Meanwhile, the RFU has welcomed the return of the game to the grassroots level from the end of March.
The summer of the Rugby League should mark the fact that fans are on hand for most of the campaign, with the seasons starting at various stages between March and May. The stadiums should be packed for the Challenge Cup final at Wembley in July and the highlights of the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in October.
June 21 could not be the best time for Wimbledon to start on June 28, a week after the goal was to have all restrictions removed. This staple meal of the British sports summer was completely canceled last year, but now may be one of its hallmarks to return to default in the coming months. The LDA also welcomed the return of the game to the grassroots, but continued to argue for an earlier date. “Clearly tennis is naturally a socially distant and safe activity, so we would have liked the restrictions on elimination without delay, and we would have made a case for this,” a statement said.
The easing of restrictions will come very soon for British Masters teachers in mid-May, but fans can expect to attend the Open Championships in Royal St. George in July. The main message for most is that of course they may attack themselves, but Monday’s announcement was not what England Golf expected. “England Golf is very disappointed that the government has been provided with scientific evidence describing how the game can be played in a coveted-safe manner, with the result that the date for playing before March 29 has not been returned,” a statement said.