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Shutting the doors: COVID-19 surge forces UK government to SCRAP plan to allow fans back into stadiums from Oct. 1

Shutting the doors: COVID-19 surge forces UK government to SCRAP plan to allow fans back into stadiums from Oct. 1
UK government plans to allow fans back into sporting events have been shelved as the nation battles a "second wave" of coronavirus cases, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Tuesday.

It was expected that fans would be allowed to attend sporting events in England from Oct. 1, with arenas set to be permitted to run at 25-33% capacity. But, following a sustained rise in COVID-19 cases, the UK government has put those plans on hold.

Addressing the House of Commons on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson explained that the government's plans to allow crowds back into sporting events have had to be paused due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic amid a "second wave" of cases in the UK.

"We have to acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events," said Johnson.

"So we will not be able to do this from the first of October.

"I recognize the implications for our sports clubs which are the life and soul of our communities and... the chancellor and culture secretary are working urgently on what we can do now to support them."

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Cabinet minister Michael Gove backed the decision, saying that, "The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but then again it's in the nature of sporting events that there's a lot of mingling."

A pilot scheme, which permitted up to 1,000 spectators to be allowed into arenas for select events, has also been halted as cases continue to rise in the UK.

The UK government recently raised their COVID-19 alert level to Level 4, which means the transmission of the virus is "high, or rising exponentially."

The news will come as a crushing disappointment to fans and to the leagues themselves, with the Premier League's CEO Richard Masters saying it was "absolutely critical" that fans were allowed back into arenas to watch games, and said that if they weren't, it could cost clubs £700 million ($896 million).

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