England’s football team will hope to play in front of a full house at Wembley this summer after the Government set out its road map to ease lockdown restrictions.
All restrictions on fans entering stadia could be lifted by June 21 – a day before Gareth Southgate’s team are due to play at Wembley in the rearranged Euro 2020 finals.
The semi-finals and the final of tournament are also due to be played at the national stadium on July 6, 7 and 11, while Wimbledon gets under way on June 28.
Sports venues will be able to open once the nation reaches step three of the recovery plan, no earlier than May 17 – a week before the Premier League season concludes but two days after the FA Cup final.
Larger outdoor seated venues could then be given “special provision” to allow in up to 10,000 people.
For smaller outdoor venues, or those without seating, this would be capped at 4,000 people or 50 per cent of capacity, whichever is lower. For indoor venues the cap will be 1,000 people or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is lower.
The remainder of the football season in England, with the exception of any pilot events, will remain behind closed doors but the EFL indicated its hope that both the Carabao Cup final on April 25 and the final round of matches on May 8 and 9 could form part of the pilot programme.
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In a statement, the EFL said it hoped “as many fans as possible” could attend the divisional play-off finals at the end of May.
Other sports were also hopeful of welcoming crowds. With England due to play two Tests against New Zealand in early June before white-ball limited overs games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the ECB said: “We are also very pleased to see the return of spectators to grounds from mid-May