Fans' Return Paused
Tuesday, 22nd Sep 2020 09:20
Cabinet office minister Michael Gove has confirmed that plans for fans to return to football and other sporting events from October 1st have been “paused”.
The Government announced in July that it was aiming for supporters to begin a staged return to stadia from the start of October with a number of test events having taken place over the last few weeks.
However, the plan was put under review earlier this month following the rise in coronavirus cases and with the Covid-19 alert level having been moved from three to four yesterday, indicating that transmission of the virus is high or rising exponentially, Gove says it has now been put on hold.
"We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning - it wasn't going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans," he told BBC Breakfast.
"We're looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, 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."
He added: ”People look back now at the beginning of the pandemic at some of the major sporting events then and ask the question why they were allowed to go ahead.
“What we must do is look at sporting events now with caution but we also recognise that sport is a vital part of this nation and we're looking at everything we can do to support our athletes, our great clubs, through what will be a challenging time."
The move will come as a big blow to clubs desperate to get fans back into their grounds and for the gate income they bring.
Town had hoped to hold a test event at Portman Road either when Rochdale visit on Saturday or Gillingham visit in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday 6th October.
Photo: Action Images
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