Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

17.40 5 Jul 2021


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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that sporting events and stadiums in England will be able to operate at full capacity from 19 July.

The announcement, made by Johnson, alongside Chief Medical Officer in the UK Professor Chris Whitty, outlined the latest proposals at a press conference on Monday.

Social distancing rules will stop being mandatory across England in just two weeks.

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The news will be welcomed by Premier League fans who are now set to return to stadiums for the 2021/22 season, which begins with Arsenal's trip to newly-promoted Brentford on Friday 13 August.

Speaking at Monday's press conference Johnson said:

"We'll move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus.

"From step four we will remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors. We will allow all businesses to reopen, including nightclubs, we will lift the limit on named visitors to care homes and the numbers of people attending concerts, theatre, and sports events."

Fans did return in very small numbers to stadiums in England in early December last year but a spike in cases and deaths led to that being abandoned after less than a month.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has previously stated his hope that stadiums would be at full capacity for the start of the 2021-22 season in mid-August, while at EFL level the restoration of matchday revenue will have a hugely positive impact on club finances, which have been devastated by the pandemic.


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