ALL major sports events across England move back behind closed doors amid change to Government tier system which puts Liverpool into Tier 3 – and only the Isles of Scilly stays in two lowest tiers
- Everywhere except Isles of Scilly moved into tier four or tier three under the Government’s latest Covid-19 restrictions to combat new strain of the virus
- It means all sporting events will once again be played out behind closed doors
- Tier two regions had been allowed up to 2,000 spectators at sports fixtures
- This had seen Liverpool and Everton home games with small crowds allowed
- But all football and fixtures in other leagues will return behind closed doors
Sports fans will be barred across England after the Government placed almost all of the country under Tier 3 or 4 coronavirus restrictions.
Fans are only able to attend games in regions which are in Tiers 1 or 2 — which now applies only to the Isles of Scilly.
Until the restrictions were tightened, 10 clubs in the Premier League and EFL — including Liverpool and Everton — had been able to admit supporters. Everton’s home game against West Ham on Thursday night is the first to be affected.
Sports events across the country will return to behind closed doors events with the latest Covid-19 crackdown placing everywhere except the Isles of Scilly into tier three or four
Two thousands supporters had been allowed into recent Liverpool home matches but that will now end with the city back into tier three
Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of adults are now banned from team sports after the Government put another 23 areas of England into Tier 4.
Under the toughest level of Covid-19 restrictions, only under-18s and disabled people are allowed to take part in organised outdoor grassroots sport, with gyms and other indoor facilities also forced to shut. Tier 4 now accounts for 78.3 per cent of the population.
Huw Edwards, chief executive of industry body UK Active, said: ‘It is a cliff-edge moment. The Government needs to come up with a plan to support the physical and mental wellbeing of the country.
The latest restrictions will see all of England, with the exception of the Isles of Scilly, placed into either tier three or tier four
‘We cannot again keep the sector closed without bespoke financial support.’
Sporting events in tier two are allowed up to 2,000 spectators while those in tier one are permitted up to 4,000.
When the last set of tier restrictions were brought in on Boxing Day, only seven EFL clubs – Carlisle United, Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City, Bournemouth, Shrewsbury Town, Harrogate Town and Tranmere Rovers – were in tier two and therefore allowed 2,000 fans.
But this proved short-lived, with the Government placing millions into tighter tiers on Wednesday.
The areas moved up from tier two into tier three include Liverpool, Rutland, North Yorkshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.
Tuesday’s Premier League game between Man United and Wolves at a deserted old Trafford
It comes as outbreaks of the more virulent new strain of Covid-19 within football clubs begins to wreak havoc with the fixture schedules.
Wednesday evening’s Premier League fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham was called off less than four hours before kick-off following positive tests at the Craven Cottage club.
It came after Monday night’s match between Everton and Manchester City was postponed.
But the Premier League has pledged to continue the season despite calls for a two-week ‘circuit breaker’ pause to combat rising numbers of cases within clubs.
18 positive tests were returned among players and club staff in the latest set of results for between December 21 and 27.
There has already been major disruption further down the football leagues with seven of the 12 scheduled games in League One on Tuesday night postponed.
The Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City was postponed on Monday
Three-quarters of England will be under Tier Four restrictions from midnight tonight with all remaining areas being escalated to Tier Three.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are already in the midst of their own clampdowns amid fears over the more infectious ‘mutant’ strain that is running riot.
Mr Hancock told MPs: ‘Almost all of the country are going to be in Tiers 3 and 4… I am afraid it is absolutely necessary because of the numbers we have seen.’