Come ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19 and sports venues all across the UK will return to full capacity as the majority of coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
It comes after fans embraced the Government’s pilot scheme and returned in droves to a number of sporting events, including the FA Cup final, the World Snooker Championship and England’s Test series against New Zealand, albeit at reduced capacities.
Crowds also thronged Wimbledon, which was cancelled because of the pandemic last year. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals at SW19 played in front of full houses on Centre Court and Court One last week with guests including Prince William and David Beckham.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our roadmap out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning.
“While the phenomenal vaccine rollout has offered every adult some protection against the virus, and the crucial link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths is weakened, the global pandemic is not over yet.
“Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS.
More than 60,000 people were inside Wembley Stadium for the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy on July 11. The historic match was the third most watched TV event of all time. A whopping 31.1 million people tuned into the nail-biting game on Sunday evening, which saw the Italian team beat England 3-2 after it went to penalties. Ratings peaked during the penalty shootout between the two teams, and an average of 29.85 million watched the whole match across the BBC and ITV.
Sports fans all across the UK have been eagerly waiting to see their favourite teams compete against each other – this has led to a surge in mobile betting on top betting apps.
However, lifting restrictions has also led to severe disruptions in cricket sporting events.
Earlier this month, England were forced to select a new team for the Pakistan ODI series after the whole squad went into isolation due to seven covid cases.
In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board said: “In collaboration with Public Health England, Public Health Wales and Bristol Local Health Authority, those impacted will now observe a period of self-isolation from 4 July following the UK government’s protocol on quarantine.
“The remaining members of the party have been deemed close contacts and will also isolate.
“The ECB have confirmed the Royal London ODIs and the Vitality IT20s against Pakistan will go ahead. Ben Stokes will return to England duties and captain the squad – which will be named in the next few hours.”
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone later this month is also expected to draw the largest crowd in attendance at a sporting event in the UK since the pandemic began, with the track set to welcome around 140,000 fans.