Boris Johnson has announced that football fans will be allowed to make their long-awaited return to stadiums after the second national lockdown.
Speaking to the House of Commons this afternoon, the Prime Minister confirmed his plans for the festive period as part of a ‘Covid Winter Plan’ from December 2. However, Manchester United and Manchester City fans could be forced to wait as areas placed in Tier 3 will not be allowed to welcome any supporters into their grounds.
Manchester was placed in Tier 3 before the national lockdown and Johnson warned that more of the country will face tougher restrictions from next Wednesday, albeit they may only be temporary.
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Manchester United ground out a 1-0 win over West Brom to finally notch a victory at home in the Premier League this season.
It wasn’t pretty but it means two successive wins for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who have to balance league and Champions League commitments over a busy period in the coming weeeks.
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Starting Wednesday, December 2, a stricter three-tiered system will be put in place which will dictate the severity of each area’s restrictions and will have a direct impact on the number of supporters allowed in each ground across the country.
Johnson has confirmed that outdoor venues that are in Tier 1 areas (of lowest risk) will be allowed to host 4,000 spectators or fill 50% of their capacity (whichever is lower).
Outdoor venues in Tier 2 areas will be able to welcome 2,000 spectators or 50% of their capacity back into their stadiums but Tier 3 will continue to play behind closed doors.
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Manchester City resumed their Premier League campaign this weekend with a trip to London to play Tottenham Hotspur but left deflated after a 2-0 loss.
The Blues will be hoping to return to winning ways in the the Champions League on Wednesday as they travel to Greece to play Olympiacos.
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Speaking at the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said: “In Tier 1 and Tier 2 spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing providing more consistencies with theatres and concerts.”
Johnson will also hold a formal press conference to further reiterate these new plans later on Monday at 7pm.