Stoke City fans could return to the Bet365 Stadium sooner than expected as fans are set to be allowed back into some football stadiums for matches from next month.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed his plans for the festive period as part of a ‘Covid Winter Plan’ from December 3.
Fixtures have been played behind closed doors since the start of the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, it looks like that could change when the latest national restrictions are lifted on December 2.
England is currently in a second lockdown in a bid to curb the latest rise of Covid-19 cases.
The Government plans to return to a three-tier system at the start of next month – and that will apparently affect sporting events too.
Johnson has confirmed outdoor venues that are in Tier 1 areas (of lowest risk) will be allowed to host 4,000 spectators or fill 50% of their capacity (whichever is lower).
For indoor venues, it would be half the amount (2,000 maximum).
Outdoor venues in Tier 2 areas will apparently be able to welcome 2,000 spectators, or 50% of their capacity (whichever is lower). Indoor venues could hold up to 1,000 people.
Unfortunately, under the new rules, no fans would be allowed to attend any sporting venue in Tier 3 areas.
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Although Stoke went into the second national lockdown in Tier two, there is a fear that the town could be placed into Tier 3 when the lockdown is over, meaning fans will have to wait a bit longer.
Speaking at the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said: “In Tier 1 and Tier 2 spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing providing more consistencies with theatres and concerts.”
Meanwhile, outdoor grassroots sport should be allowed to resume in England when the national lockdown ends.