The coronavirus crisis has caused major disruptions to the sporting calendar in recent months, but there could be light at the end of the tunnel
The government have published a 50-page document for lifting the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in England which could see the Premier League restart on June 1.
A guide for exiting the lockdown was released on Monday afternoon, with social distancing measures to remain in place as various activities are resumed across the country.
Step two of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” clears the way for the current football season get back underway next month, with all remaining fixtures set to be played behind closed doors until public safety can be guaranteed.
The new document has been titled ‘Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Strategy’, and the lifting of restrictions is conditional upon the continued adherence to protocols which have been put in place to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Whether or not supporters will be able to attend matches before the end of the campaign remains unclear, as step three proposes a reopening of venues such as cinemas and hairdressers in July.
However it also includes the following warning: “Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to reopen safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.
“Nevertheless, the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows.
“In order to facilitate the fastest possible reopening of these types of higher-risk businesses and public places, the Government will carefully phase and pilot reopenings to test their ability to adopt the new Covid-19 secure guidelines.
“The Government will also monitor carefully the effects of reopening other similar establishments elsewhere in the world, as this happens.
“The Government will establish a series of task forces to work closely with stakeholders in these sectors to develop ways in which they can make these businesses and public places Covid-19 secure.”
The document continues by stating that fans being granted access to stadiums over the summer “may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections”.
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Some Premier League clubs have already voiced their concerns over ‘Project Restart’, with Aston Villa, Watford and Brighton anxious over the prospect of home advantage being taken out of the equation.
A number of players have also publicly expressed doubts over returning to the pitch, including Manchester City star Sergio Aguero and Chelsea‘s Antonio Rudiger, amid the continued rise of coronavirus cases in England.
Three Brighton players have been placed in self-isolation over the last week after testing positive for the illness, with Spain and Germany having similar issues as they attempt to reopen doors in La Liga and the Bundesliga.