Sports Fans return to Wembley as Restrictions Ease Up
On 25 April 2021, Manchester City won its fourth consecutive League Cup at Wembley Stadium in front of an audience of 8,000 people – the largest live football crowd since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manchester City and Tottenham each had 2,000 of their fans cheering them on, while the other 4,000 seats were filled by the National Health Service workers and locals. The previous weekend, the FA Cup semi-final between Leicester and Southampton welcomed 4,000 spectators.
These events are part of the government’s Spring 2021 Roadmap – a four-step plan for easing lockdown restrictions. Currently, Step 2 is in progress, and permitting outdoor pilot events to take place is part of the plan. To host a pilot event, the organisers have to adhere to the following rules:
- The event has to be outside.
- Attendants can’t arrive all at once.
- Attendants aren’t allowed to congregate in a single location.
Those who wish to attend are required to take coronavirus tests before and after visiting the venue of their choosing. Step 2 also includes the reopening of non-essential retail stores, meaning that betting shops are free to take in customers again.
However, seeing as these are subject to additional pandemic control measures, for now, betting sites will likely remain the preferred option for a while yet.
“By trialling a range of measures to reduce transmission, we are able to gather vital evidence to inform our plans for allowing events in the future,” said Matt Hancock, the Secretary for Health and Social Care.
If the numbers of infected citizens don’t dramatically spike in the two weeks after the Manchester City – Tottenham game, the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City on May 15 will get the green light to host 21,000 sports enthusiasts at Wembley.