January 20, 2021

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Lockdown UK: Elite sport and Premier League to continue despite new rules

3 min read

Upcoming Carabao Cup and FA Cup games will go ahead as planned (Picture: Getty Images)

Elite sport in the UK including the Premier League will be permitted to continue behind closed doors despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing new lockdown restrictions on Monday evening.

To combat the growing spread of coronavirus in the country, which has accelerated due to the new variant, the Prime Minister introduced new measures which are expected to last until mid-February.

Sport came to a halt during the first lockdown last year but that will not be the case this time, with the Premier League and other elite sports having put rigorous testing regimes in place and created safe bubbles.

The government are happy with the measures being taken by elite sport (Picture: Getty)

Any football club in Tier 4 has been required to test their players twice a week and the Premier League insists it has total confidence in its protocols despite several recent outbreaks at clubs, namely Manchester City and Fulham, which saw matches postponed.

But the government has been keen for sport to continue and feel it is safe to do so given the measures in place, with short-lived calls for a Premier League ‘circuit-breaker’ now firmly put to bed.

The government listed elite sportspeople and coaches as being allowed to meet in large groups and stay away from home overnight.

Training centres have been permitted to remain open ‘for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities)’.

However, recreational sports for the public will all be forced to close, with venues such as tennis courts, swimming pools and golf courses all shutting during the new lockdown, while team sports like five-a-side are also no longer permitted.

The new lockdown comes into effect from midnight on Tuesday (Picture: Getty Images)

The government’s advice reads: ‘Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports, courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close. Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.’

Professional sport in Scotland will also be allowed to continue after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon issued a stay-at-home instruction from midnight.

The Premier League has a week off due to the third round of the FA Cup this weekend, which will go ahead as planned, while midweek Carabao Cup semi-finals will also be unaffected by the new lockdown restrictions.

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