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Football: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 186273, tabled on 23 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the decision to allow fans inside the Crucible to watch the World Snooker Championship, if he will allow spectators back to grassroots football games in outdoor stadiums.

Answered on

28 April 2021

The government recognises the importance of spectators to competitive sport, and to football in particular, as our national game, from the grassroots to the Premier League.

We welcome the return of spectators at selected sporting events as part of the science-led Events Research Programme (ERP). The ERP is running a series of pilots in April and May to inform decisions around the safe removal of social distancing at Step 4 of the Roadmap. The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venues, and activities, including football games, so that findings will support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.

The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ setting out the roadmap out of the lockdown restrictions for England, and which explains how restrictions will be eased over time.

Step 2 of the Government's roadmap sets out that spectators are not permitted to attend sporting events taking place on private land, other than for safeguarding purposes for or providing care or assistance to a person with disabilities participating in an organised sporting event or activity. They should maintain social distance and not mix with other households. This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space, e.g. a park, in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households.

Sporting events that are intended to attract spectators (including ticketed events), or events that are likely to attract a significant number of spectators (e.g. a major marathon) should not take place in a public space, or on private land, until Step 3.

Named day
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