The UK government has given the green light to a selection of international sporting events to get underway this summer.
Professional domestic sporting events have been back on the calendar since June, restrictions now being relaxed further in a bid to boost the economy.
The British Grand Prix next month can now officially go ahead, while British teams can also compete in the Champions League and Europa League.
It’s expected that more sports will follow suit as the country continues to awaken from its COVID-19-induced shutdown.
“The British summer of sport is back on”
UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden had the following to say about select international sporting events being able to return.
“I’m very pleased that we’ve agreed exemptions from border health measures for a limited number of athletes and events staff, which means the British summer of sport is back on.
“I am grateful to the sports governing bodies who have worked closely with us to put in place stringent protocols to ensure these events can go ahead safely.
“It will mean that fans of the British Grand Prix, international cricket and Champions League football can look forward to yet more sporting action on home soil – a further boost to our national recovery.”
In addition to formula one, football and cricket, the World Snooker Championships and PGA British Masters have also been approved to commence.
This year’s Champions League will be played in Lisbon from the quarter-final stage onwards. However, both Chelsea and Man. City need to complete their last 16 ties. UEFA says that “unplayed round of 16 second legs will be held either at the club’s home ground or at a venue assigned by UEFA.”
Chelsea and Manchester City are the two British clubs left in the competition. Manchester United, Wolves and Rangers, meanwhile, are still in the Europa League.
Other sports to follow soon
Alongside those that have already been allowed to re-commence, Dowden states that there more international sporting events will follow suit. These include darts and horse racing.
Only ‘exempted’ individuals will be allowed to attend events for the time being. These include athletes and their support teams, as well as members of the media. Event officials will also be permitted, as will medical staff.
To lower the risk of spreading the virus, those allowed to participate will live in “bubbled” environments.
Earlier this week, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed that betting on events rose by 60% in May – compared to April. This was primarily due to the gradual return of sports to the fixture calendar.