Fans are expected to return to sporting events from Monday, May 17 as Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented his roadmap to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Fans have been barred from visiting sports venues across England since the tier system was abolished in December.
However, the Prime Minister has now revealed plans in the House of Commons to gradually ease restrictions across the country simultaneously rather than on a regional basis.
From May 17th sporting events in indoor arenas with a capacity of 1000 people will be allowed, outdoors a capacity of 4000 people will be allowed, or half full, whichever is lower.
Larger football stadiums will be able to seat up to 10,000 people or be a quarter full, whichever is lower.
The proposals rule out the possibility of fans attending other regular season matches in the EFL, but that would mean that the final weekend of the Premier League season, which is due to be played on Sunday, May 23, could potentially be performed in front of a limited number of fans.
With Manchester City at the top of the league, 10 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, fans could see Pep Guardiola’s side lift the Premier League trophy against Everton at the Etihad.
Although the FA Cup final is played on Saturday May 15 – two days before initial plans to allow fans to return, it could be used as a test event.
Which clubs will be at Wembley?
Tottenham will face Manchester City in the 2021 Carabao Cup final on April 25
Eight teams remained in the FA Cup. The quarter-finals will see Leicester v Manchester United, Chelsea v Sheffield United, Bournemouth v Southampton and Everton v Manchester City.
Sky Sports News reported last week that the FA and EFL are working with the government to bring fans to Wembley for the two flagship FA and Carabao Cup finals.
We hope to have a third of Wembley full of spectators by the time the finals are played, in late April and mid-May, provided it is safe to do so.
The EFL has already moved the Carabao Cup final from February 28 to April 25 to give it the best chance of having supporters at Wembley.
The two finals were identified as key milestones for the wider game, and – most importantly – ahead of this summer’s Euros.
And with Wembley set to host seven matches at this summer’s delayed Euro 2020, including England’s three group matches, a last 16 clash, the semi-finals and the final, Monday’s announcement is considered a positive step for the fans.
Non-elite sport in England will resume in March
The Prime Minister also revealed that non-elite sport – including grassroots football – can resume in England from March 29.
Johnson also confirmed that English schools will reopen to all students on March 8, with children’s sports and extracurricular activities also allowed to resume.
On the same date, outdoor recreation with another person will also be allowed, meaning that people will be allowed to sit together in a park with a coffee, drink or picnic.
However, adults will have to wait another three weeks to resume organized sports, with grassroots football set to resume with the reopening of tennis courts, golf courses and other outdoor sports facilities.