Boris Johnson hands England Euro 2020 boost with decisions over fans in attendance

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Boris Johnson has delivered a boost for Euro fans at Wembley.

The Prime Minister has extended the easing of lockdown restrictions by an extra four weeks until July 19.

But Johnson confirmed various sports test events – including the Euros – will still go ahead and Wimbledon, England’s cricket Test match with India, golf’s Open Championship, the British Grand Prix and Challenge Cup final could all get bigger crowds.

That is a huge boost for England as their potential last 16 tie at Wembley could have a crowd of over 40,000.

Both semi finals, the final and the first last 16 tie at Wembley will remain capped at 22,500 but fans will be happy that no further restrictions have been put in place.

There were around 22,500 fans present at Wembley for England's Euros opener against Croatia on Sunday
(Image: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Johnson said: “We will continue to pilot events such as Euro 2020 and some theatrical performances.

“We will monitor the position every day and after two weeks we've concluded the risk has diminished then we reserve the possibility of moving to step four and a full reopening sooner.”

England’s first game against Croatia already went ahead with fans while the FA Cup final and Carabao Cup final were both deemed a big success after being included in Government tests events.

Elsewhere, the All England Championships at Wimbledon, which start on June 28, and Formula One’s British Grand Prix over the weekend of July 16-18 are two of the other major sporting events understood to be under consideration for test event status.

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For those events which are not part of the ERP, the rules will remain as they have since May 17, and stay in place until July 19 at the earliest.

For outdoor venues with a seated capacity of 16,000 or above, the limit is 10,000 or 25 per cent of capacity, whichever is lowest.

For outdoor venues with less seating than that, the limit is 4,000 or 50 per cent of capacity, whichever is lowest. For indoor venues, the limit is 1,000 or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is lowest.

That will place further pressure on matchday revenue for many sports clubs and governing bodies, an income stream which has been virtually non-existent during the coronavirus pandemic and something the Government has recognised in its winter and summer sport survival packages.

While the step three restrictions rely purely on social distancing, test events are set to continue to look at other mitigations.

The Euro 2020 group games, for instance, require ticket holders to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test result.

A number of sporting bodies have supported the idea of some form of Covid certification for entry to events, with Premier League executive director Bill Bush describing it in the past as an “acceptable burden” and saying that the alternative would be tiny crowds and a ban on away fans.

Its chief executive Richard Masters hopes the 2021-22 Premier League season will kick off in front of full capacity venues in mid-August.

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