Premier League To Continue Despite Lockdown - UK government
Premier League football and other forms of elite professional sport in England will be allowed to continue despite new national lockdown restrictions announced by the British government on Monday.
Nearly 56 million people in England will return to a full coronavirus lockdown, possibly until mid-February, to try to cut spiralling infection rates, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a televised address.
The measures, which include the closure of primary and secondary schools, will come into effect on Wednesday, he said after Scotland announced similar measures to come into force from midnight on Tuesday.
But a list of exemptions published by the UK government allowed "elite sportspeople (and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18) - or those on an official elite sports pathway - to compete and train".
One key point in determining whether a sporting competition can go ahead will be if it has, as the Premier League does, a testing regime and the provision of bio-secure bubbles in place.
But a lockdown similar to the one introduced in England in March last year as a result of a rising number of Covid-19 cases means outdoor gyms, golf courses and tennis courts will close, with amateur outdoor team sports prohibited.
Johnson's announcement followed a statement earlier on Monday by Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland that will see professional sport continuing in Scotland despite a raft of new restrictions amid worries over rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.
Scottish football and rugby clubs, however, will be allowed to train and play as normal.
They are all on a Scottish government exemption list that states "those involved in professional sports, for training, coaching or competing in an event" are among the groups those allowed to leave their homes.
A Scottish Football Association statement issued on Monday said: "Following the First Minister's announcement regarding increased restrictions this afternoon, we will liaise with @ScotGov on the impact upon grassroots football. We will a provide further update in due course."
Scotland's new lockdown will last for at least the rest of January. (Reuters)