Plans for fans to return to watch live sport events in England from 1 October have been axed by the UK government.
The plans were placed under review earlier this month after a rise in coronavirus cases, with pilot events restricted to 1,000 people.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told BBC Breakfast that plans for a staged return of fans would be “paused”. The pilot programme will also be paused.
We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans. We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.
The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.
The UK’s Covid-19 alert level has moved to 4, meaning transmission is “high or rising exponentially”.
The majority of sports in England have been played behind closed doors since the coronavirus lockdown in March, including Premier League football, England’s Test cricket matches and two Formula 1 races at Silverstone.
At the end of August, 2,500 people watched a friendly between Brighton and Chelsea at the Seagulls’ Amex Stadium, raising hopes that more grounds would be allowed to welcome crowds back.