English stadia could allow 10,000 fans in May under lockdown easing
Soccer fans applaud as the teams enter the pitch for the Europa League group B soccer match between Arsenal and Rapid Wien at Emirates stadium in London, England, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. (AP )

Crowds of up to 10,000 could be allowed back into British soccer stadiums from the middle of May after the government outlined its four-step plan to ease the lockdown on Monday.

The third stage of the plan would, from May 17, would conditionally allow 10,000 fans back into the biggest grounds.

Stadiums in some parts of the country did briefly open their doors to a very limited number of fans in December, but a new wave of COVID-19 infections across the country prompted the government to re-introduce a strict lockdown.

With infections falling together with Britain’s extensive vaccine programme, there is now the possibility of stadiums hosting fans before the end of the season.

English stadia could allow 10,000 fans in May under lockdown easing
Tottenham Hotspur’s Nacer Chadli scores a goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Arsenal at the Emirates stadium in London [REUTERS]]

“The turnstiles of our sports stadia will once again rotate,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

The lockdown easing measures will only be implemented if four conditions are met: That the vaccine programme continues to go to plan, data proves there is a reduction in the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital, there is no surge in infection rates and that new variants do not heighten the risks of allowing the re-opening of society.



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