“The British sporting recovery has begun” the UK government proclaimed as it approved the return of domestic competitive action behind closed doors from June 1.
Major professional competitions have been shut down since March because of the coronavirus.
But with much of the country still in effective lockdown, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden, told a Downing Street news conference on Saturday: “For more than two months after sport stopped and after weeks of round-the-clock discussions with medical experts and professional sports bodies, I’m delighted to announce today that the government has published guidance which allows competitive sport to resume behind closed doors from Monday (June 1) at the earliest.”
Horse racing is set to be the first major sport back in action at Newcastle on Monday, with the first Classic meeting of the season, featuring the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, on June 6.
“The British sporting recovery has begun,” said Dowden.
Saturday’s guidance, drawn up with clinicians and governing bodies, forms the third stage of British sport’s return from lockdown.
Stage two, which allowed for close-contact and competitive training for elite athletes, was published last Monday.
It will now be up to individual sports to carry out their own risk assessments, with Dowden saying they “know their sport best”.
As well as ensuring no spectators are present, sports bodies must ensure everyone entering a venue is screened for the coronavirus and anyone suspected of having COVID-19 must be placed in isolation.
Movement channels will be established, while social