To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his policy is on outdoor stadia returning to full capacity for spectators as covid-19 restrictions ease; and if he will make a statement.
17 May 2021
The government recognises the importance of spectators to competitive sport and remains committed to working towards their full return to stadiums as soon as it is safe to do so.
We 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. It is now confirmed that Step 3 of the roadmap will go ahead as planned on Monday 17 May which will see fans return to stadia, albeit under capacity caps.
We further welcome the return of spectators at selected events as part of the science-led Events Research Programme (ERP). The ERP is currently running its first phase of April and May pilot events to inform decisions around the safe removal of social distancing at Step 4 of the roadmap. The pilots are running across a range of settings, venues, and activities, so that findings support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.
As stated in the Roadmap, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact later this summer, no earlier than 21 June. This will be subject to the outcomes of the 4 government-led reviews, including the ERP.