The Premier League could restart as early as 1st June, according to a new 50-page document published by the government which contains guidance on lifting the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in England.
Though the global pandemic has effectively halted all major sporting events for the time being, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new "roadmap" suggests that the current football season could get back underway next month.
Step two of the UK government's plan to exit lockdown includes "permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact".
However, the lifting of restrictions is conditional upon the public continuing adhere to protocols which have been put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 – as such, current restrictions could remain in place for longer if the reproduction number of the virus is seen to rise.
There is currently no official word on when supports might be able to attend matches again – though step three of the government's plan includes a proposal for reopening venues including cinemas and hairdressers by July, it also includes the following warning:
"Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to reopen safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.
"Nevertheless, the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows. In order to facilitate the fastest possible reopening of these types of higher-risk businesses and public places, the Government will carefully phase and pilot reopenings to test their ability to adopt the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
"The Government will also monitor carefully the effects of reopening other similar establishments elsewhere in the world, as this happens. The Government will establish a series of task forces to work closely with stakeholders in these sectors to develop ways in which they can make these businesses and public places COVID-19 Secure."
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