London (AFP) – Elite sport in England could start behind closed doors from June 1, according to government guidelines published on Monday, boosting Premier League clubs’ hopes of completing their season.
The government’s road map for exiting the coronavirus lockdown sets out the conditions under which various activities could be safely carried out.
Step two of the process, which cannot begin any earlier than June 1, includes «permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact».
Events will only be allowed to take place if sufficient progress is made in limiting the spread of the virus between now and then.
It appears supporters in the UK face a long wait to attend matches, with the guidelines recognising a return to sport in front of a crowd «may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections».
Sports events involving international travel, such as football’s European competitions, cricket tours and Formula One, could be affected by the government’s planned introduction of an enforced 14-day quarantine period for arrivals to the UK, except for those from countries «on a short list of exemptions».
Premier League clubs are meeting on Monday to continue their discussions on «Project Restart». The English top-flight had been planning for a return to action no earlier than the week beginning June 8.