The Government is confident it can implement measures to ensure spectators can safely return to stadiums amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s sports minister has said.
The government aims to reopen elite sports to fans more widely from 1 October after announcing plans this month to allow spectators at select events to ‘stress test’ new guidelines.
Cricket friendlies were open to a limited number of spectators, while the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible and the Goodwood horse racing festival are also pilot events.
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“Whether it’s sports stadiums or theatres, we’ve seen in other countries there is a way to get full audiences without a vaccine,” Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston told BBC.
“I’m confident that there are measures that can be put in place that can give both those taking part in the sports and spectators confidence that they are going to somewhere safe.”
Senior government adviser James Calder had warned that sporting venues in England were unlikely to get the green light to fill to capacity this year.
“I would be very surprised if we could get full stadia back this year,” he said. “Realistically I think it probably will need a vaccine and also a high take-up rate of that vaccine before we can really see full capacity stadia.”
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