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Coronavirus: Surrey vs Middlesex sees fans returning to sport for first time in England | Cricket News

Last Updated: 26/07/20 10:32am

Spectators arrive for the friendly match between Surrey and Middlesex in the first trial of fans in stadiums in England since the coronavirus pandemic

Spectators arrive for the friendly match between Surrey and Middlesex in the first trial of fans in stadiums in England since the coronavirus pandemic

Spectators returning to sporting events has taken a step forward with 1,000 supporters attending Surrey’s friendly against Middlesex on Sunday.

The two-day match at the Kia Oval is the first time fans are able to attend a live sports event in England after the coronavirus pandemic forced mass gatherings to be banned and all sport suspended in March.

Spectators are being socially distanced at the Surrey-Middlesex friendly match

Spectators are being socially distanced at the Surrey-Middlesex friendly match

Spectators wearing face masks use hand sanitiser as they arrive for the game

Spectators wearing face masks use hand sanitiser as they arrive for the game

The match is one of a number of pilot events aimed at reintroducing crowds as the UK government outlined the next steps to ease lockdown restrictions last week.

The upcoming World Snooker Championship in Sheffield and the Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival are set to be among other pilot events.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that audiences can return to stadia from October subject to successful pilot event.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that audiences can return to stadia from October subject to successful pilot event.

Should these be successful, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hopeful there could be a wider re-opening for crowds to return from October onwards.

The government has said “events have been carefully selected to represent a range of sports and indoor and outdoor spectator environments”.

When it was announced cricket would host the first pilot event, the England and Wales Cricket Board said it would work with the government on the safety measures required for the public to return safely.

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Sky Sports cricket commentator Ian Bishop tells Sky Sports News that the return of fans is important for all sport and especially cricket.

Sky Sports cricket commentator Ian Bishop tells Sky Sports News that the return of fans is important for all sport and especially cricket.

Attendance at the pilot events were subject to a number of strict conditions with tickets for Sunday’s match reserved for members of both clubs.

Careful spacing of groups to avoid breaking social distancing guidelines is in place throughout while households separated by two clear seats to the left and right of them, and only each alternate row will be used.

Only a few stands are set to be used for the trial, with the areas nearest the pavilion reserved for both sets of players.




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