COVID-19: UK government sets to pause Plans to Return fans to Stadiums

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The government of the United Kingdom said the plan to allow sports fans to start returning to game venues from October 1 would be paused over the consistent increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The plan was put under review earlier this month and the number of pilot fans reduced to 1, 000. In the latest development, cabinet office minister Michael Gove said it is not likely that the program to open sports centers for fans would go on as planned.

Recall that Sporting events across the United Kingdom have been under lockdown against the fans since mid-March 2020. The practice was an attempt to checkmate the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Like other sports in England, when football returned in the country in June, the games were played behind closed doors. Football Fans only have the opportunity to follow their favorite football club through different kinds of media both mainstream and online.

It was getting exciting that fans would be allowed into stadiums especially now that the Premier League 2020-2021 season just kicked off. The league body has been pushing for this to happen but that might not happen as soon as expected.

“We were looking at a staged program of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans,” cabinet office minister Michael Gove told BBC this morning, September 22.

“We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that program, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.”

In the same vein, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson is expected to release new measures related to sporting events in the country today, September 22.

Such measures could be the continuous restrictions placed on game venues across the country and possible lockdown in some areas of the country as the COVID-19 alert level is now 4 which means that the level of transmission is “rising exponentially”.

More so, the spread of the virus has not spared Premier League clubs despite all the COVID-19 protocols put in place to protect the players of the league. The most hit club in recent times has been Manchester City. Within September alone, three of their star players – Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, and Aymeric Laporte had tested positive for the virus.