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English sports venues set for full reopening from July 19

Sports venues in England have been cleared to open at full capacity from July 19 after the UK Government announced that COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted.

There will be no legal requirement on the use of COVID-19 status certification as a condition of entry for visitors to “any domestic setting”, the Government confirmed yesterday (Monday).

The lifting of restrictions will see England enter Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. The Government had previously hoped that restrictions would be lifted from June 21 but this was pushed back by four weeks due to rising cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Yesterday’s announcement will mean that the football season can begin next month with full stadiums in the Premier League and English Football League (EFL). The Premier League has welcomed the news and said it will continue to work with stakeholders and the relevant authorities to ensure the return to full capacity is carried out as safely as possible.

The lifting of restrictions from July 19 is subject to a final review of the data next week. The decision to lift the restrictions has been taken with every adult in the UK having been offered at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

The Government’s Events Research Programme to assess the wider return of fans in England is currently ongoing and includes Wembley’s UEFA Euro 2020 matches, the Wimbledon tennis championships and Formula 1’s British Grand Prix from July 16-18.

Wembley will welcome more than 60,000 fans for the Euro 2020 semi-finals today and tomorrow, as well as the final on Sunday. Wimbledon’s Centre Court and No.1 Court will be full from the quarter-finals today, while the British Grand Prix is set to be restriction-free with around 140,000 fans in attendance.

The lifting of restrictions will also pave the way for England’s Test cricket series against India to go ahead at full capacity. The series is due to begin on August 4.

Image: Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash