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Government says spectators could return by October

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) has published draft guidance to help sports grounds plan for social distancing when the Government permits the readmission of fans.

The guidance is complementary to the draft Stage 5 guidance published by the Government today. It is in draft format to enable operators to consider the contents and provide any comments, before it is finalised next month.

The guidance will be tested at special events, as announced by the Prime Minister today. These are planned to cover cricket, horse racing and snooker. These events will be evaluated with the assistance of Movement Strategies, an expert consultancy on people movement and crowd dynamics.

Martyn Henderson chief executive of the SGSA said: “This is an important step on the road to spectators being allowed into sports grounds. This document provides sports grounds with the knowledge and guidance they need to plan for the return of fans with confidence.

“Our purpose is, and always will be, ensuring fans can watch live sport safely. The return to full stadia will not happen overnight. However, our new guidance provides sports grounds with the tools to enable some spectators to return safely.”

The guidance does not allow for the immediate return of spectators but gives clubs an opportunity to plan for a future return.

The SGSA welcomes comments on the draft guidance which will be considered before the final guidance is published later in the summer.

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