After a near three-month shutdown, elite competitive sport in England can resume from Monday behind closed doors provided strict conditions are met, the government said on Saturday.
The first major event is expected to be the 2000 Guineas Stakes horse race at Newmarket on June 6, although horse race meetings will be staged, without any spectators, starting on Monday at Newcastle and Tuesday at Kempton Park.
Competitive sport was suspended in Britain in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 38,000 people in the UK to date.
Guidelines published on Saturday by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), outlined a lengthy list of criteria that must be met to allow elite athletes and professional sportsmen to resume competition.
Preparations were being finalised for the Premier League and English Football League to return to action in June. Premier League shareholders this week agreed a return to contact training with a provisional restart date of June 17, provided safety requirements are in place.
A “significant proportion” of the remaining 92 Premier League matches will be shown on free-to-air platforms.
While the Premier League could resume on June 17, other sports are in different positions. Domestic cricket remains suspended until Aug. 1, while the Wimbledon tennis tournament has been cancelled for the first time since World War II. Premiership rugby clubs hope to resume training from June 8.