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Football fans will be able to return to stadiums next month as lockdown measures are further eased

FOOTBALL fans will finally begin returning to stadiums next month — but might not be allowed to sing.

A further easing of lockdown rules announced tonight will also see snooker lovers back in the Crucible this weekend for the World Championship.

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Rugby matches and racing at Goodwood are also on the list of approved “pilot” events in the coming weeks.

But capacity will be capped and all fans will likely be urged not to chant or shout for fear of spreading the virus.

The new Premier League season starts on September 12.

Trials of allowing some fans back in stadiums will be tested later that month ahead of a planned full rollout in October.

Spectators will be made to sign up to a new code of behaviour.

It will make them take full responsibility for themselves and others by not attending if they have Covid symptoms or have been exposed to anyone with them.

And strict crowd management plans will be enforced with one-way entry and exit and staggered arrival times.

Seating will be socially distanced and hand washing and sanitiser stations set up.

But no trials are scheduled for the North West, which remains under stricter control.

Tonight Boris Johnson said: “At every stage I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional.

“Today we are able to announce some further changes which will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed.

“However, as I have always said, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added: “The nation’s hard work to keep the virus under control means we can now make further careful progress.

“We must all continue to Stay Alert but today’s welcome news means these organisations can finally get going safely, and we can enjoy more of the things we love as a nation.”

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