Spectators will not be able to return to sporting venues in England until 17 May at the earliest, the British Government has said.

The news formed part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 'road map' for the easing of lockdown restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus, which was announced in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon.

With the exception of any approved trial events, the news rules out the possibility of fans attending any further regular-season matches in the EFL, and all but the final round of Premier League games in the 2020-21 season.

But it does leave open the possibility of spectators returning to events over the summer, such as Euro 2020, Wimbledon and cricket internationals, provided the conditions for easing restrictions have been met by 17 May.

Indoor events will be capped at 50% capacity or 1,000, whichever is lower, and for outdoor events this will be 50% capacity or 4,000, whichever is lower.


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The road map includes special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.

Pilots will also run to examine how such events can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations such as testing.

Cabinet sub-committee discussions are taking place today in Ireland ahead of the announcement of a Living with Covid-19 roadmap on Tuesday. 

It is expected a plan for spectators to return to outdoor venues will be included, but it is unlikely to happen before the May date in Britain.