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Women’s Super League ‘could be used to test the safe return of fans’

Women’s Super League, county cricket, and some race meetings are set to be the next round of test events to try and get fans back to live sporting events.

According to The Times, the announcement from the government is due to be confirmed on Friday, which should allow for the limited return of crowds at events from October 1. 

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority says stadiums will be between 17-33% full when fans are able to return, in an attempt to maintain social distancing. 

Spectators will also be expected to wear face masks, and should judge for themselves whether they are well enough to attend a live event. 

Event organisers must ensure there are no queues or gatherings allowed, and have been told to plan for some fans breaking social distancing rules.  

There were originally plans for test events to be run this month, however they were cancelled at the end of July due to concerns over the coronavirus infection rate. 

However, now with the latest figures saying that the virus spread is under control enough for now, plans can go forward. 

The snooker World Seniors Championship may be the next test event, starting on August 19 at The Crucible.  

The Women’s Super League starts on September 6, while the St Leger Festival from September 9-12 and the Cambridgeshire Festival from September 24 could be used as other tests.

Warwickshire are confident that they can house up to 8,000 fans in October on Twenty20 finals day, and say they will need less than a week to be ready. 

The Community Shield match on August 29 will definitely not be part of the plans, although the Premier League has offered up pre-season friendlies. It is hoped that all 92 league clubs will be able to hold a trial event before the start of October.

Extra measures such as health ‘passports’ could be put in place, which could potentially allow more capacity if fans can show their recent negative Covid-19 test results.  

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