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Fans set to return to games in May

Yesterday the Government announced that fans will be allowed to return to grounds in May, albeit with reduced capacities.

Prime minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed back into English stadiums in Step Three of the easing of England’s coronavirus restrictions which is planned for 17th May at the earliest.

The final day of the Premier League season is 23rd May while the EFL play-off finals are taking place in the final weekend of May. The FA Cup final is scheduled for 15th May.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport also said that larger test events will be taking place with other measures in place, such as enhanced and rapid COVID-19 testing, to assess their impact.

Additionally, the FA said that grassroots football could recommence from the 29th March but that did not apply to the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6, Regional NLS Feeder Leagues and the Women’s Football Pyramid from Tier 3 and below, including County Leagues at Tier 7.

Government “steps” to be taken no earlier than 17th May:

  • Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is lower).
  • In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
  • The Government says “it is hoped all legal limits on social contact can be removed” by “no earlier than 21st June”.
  • Read more – Government announces “Roadmap” out of lockdown.

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Every week we’ll be looking in more detail at one of our Sustain The Game! key principles and this week it’s “Protect our clubs” – we believe football clubs are community assets and an important expression of individual and local identity, they deserve legal protection and urgent support to secure their future.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball
  • SD Europe