LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 5 – Premier League football and other elite sports with testing regimes and bubbles in place will continue despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a new national lockdown.
England has fallen in line with Scotland, who earlier on Monday said their football and rugby clubs can carry on training and playing as normal after introducing new restrictions for the general public north of the border.
Elite sportspeople and their coaches if necessary will still be able to compete and train.
However, a March-style full lockdown due to concerns of rising Covid-19 cases means outdoor gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must all close.
Outdoor team sports and golf will be prohibited in England, although the latter will be allowed to continue in small groups in Scotland.
Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is also able to continue.
Addressing the nation on Monday evening, Johnson announced new measures which reintroduced limits placed on the general population, although there was an exemption list.
Included on that were elite sports with the established Covid protocols and “elite sportspeople (and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18) – or those on an official elite sports pathway”.
While the Premier League and EFL can continue, football below that – steps three to six of the National League system and tiers three to seven of the women’s football pyramid right down to grassroots – must stop.
The Vitality Women’s FA Cup will also be halted as it is classed as non-elite at this stage of the competition.
“Dialogue will continue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, leagues, competitions and County Football Associations and we will provide further updates for the 2020-21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Vase and non-elite football when relevant,” a Football Association statement read.
“We would like to thank the football community once again for its hard work, resilience and understanding during such an incredibly challenging period for both the game and wider society.”