Coronavirus: Sports fans wait to hear impact of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 restriction update

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Coronavirus: Sports fans wait to hear impact of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 restriction update


Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s expected announcement delaying the final step in easing restrictions on coronaviruses is expected to have a big ripple effect for sports fans.

On Monday, the Prime Minister is expected to suspend for four weeks plans to lift controls – scheduled for June 21 – amid an increase in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 first identified in India.

This will have a direct impact on Wembley’s hosting of the Euro 2020 semi-finals and finals, Wimbledon and other major events like the British Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Open Championship. of golf.

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The announcement could have a direct impact on the rest of Euro 2020 matches at Wembley

Gareth Southgate’s team opened their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Croatia, watched by 22,500 supporters who obtained proof of a full Covid-19 vaccination or lateral flow test negative made within 48 hours of the game.

The Football Association (FA) and UEFA had hoped to increase Wembley’s capacity by 25 percent for England group matches and two round of 16 matches – which are part of the government’s events research agenda. , which examines various methods to reduce or minimize social distancing at games hosted at the national stadium – to a potential of 45,000 for the semi-finals and finals.

However, that now seems unlikely with restrictions expected to be maintained until after the tournament, which ends on July 11.

Wimbledon organizers were awaiting the government’s decision on whether or not to take the fourth step of the coronavirus roadmap to clarify how participation in sporting events will be managed.

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It seems likely that Wimbledon will be forced to operate at reduced capacity

However, it now seems certain that the championships, which take place over a fortnight from June 28, will also have to operate at reduced capacity.

Other events like the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the Open at Royal St George’s, both of which take place before the next proposed decision date, will also be affected.

It was only late last month that R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers expressed optimism that the Open, which did not take place last summer due to the pandemic, would be played out. in front of a crowd of 75% capacity, but he was also preparing for only 25% attendance.

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