Coronavirus: Plans for fans to return to sporting events in October called off

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Plans for fans to return to stadiums to watch live sport in England from 1 October will not go ahead, says cabinet office minister Michael Gove.

The plans were placed under review earlier this month after a rise in coronavirus cases, with pilot events restricted to 1,000 people.

The UK’s Covid-19 alert level has moved to 4, meaning transmission is “high or rising exponentially”.

New measures will be set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Gove confirmed plans for a staged return of fans would be “paused”.

“We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans,” he said.

“We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.”

More to follow.

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