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What sporting events are exempt from strict capacity limits?

What sporting events are exempt from strict capacity limits?
© Reuters
Up to 20 sporting and cultural events are set to be part of the Government's extended programme looking at the safe return of spectators.

Some of English sport's blue riband summer events are to be exempt from strict capacity limits despite the Government's decision to delay the final easing of coronavirus restrictions until July 19.

Here the PA news agency takes a closer look.

What has happened?

The Government has announced the last four Euro 2020 matches to be hosted at Wembley will be played in front of crowds of at least 40,000 and that Centre Court will be at full capacity for the Wimbledon women's and men's singles finals next month, with at least 50 per cent capacity permitted for the earlier stages of the tournament.

But the delay on easing restrictions means capacity limits are still in place aren't they?

The World Snooker Championship was the first sports event to welcome spectators under the ERP in April
The World Snooker Championship was the first sports event to welcome spectators under the ERP in April (Zac Goodwin/PA)

They are, but they are not applicable to any event selected to be part of the Government's Events Research Programme (ERP), which since April has been looking at ways to get spectators safely into venues in financially viable numbers. Wimbledon and the Euros knockout stages are the latest to be added to the extended ERP, but the Government said on Monday it hopes to add up to 20 sporting and cultural events in total.

What other sports events might feature then?

Formula One's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the Open Championship golf tournament at Royal St George's and rugby league's Challenge Cup final at Wembley are all understood to be under consideration to be added to the ERP in the coming days.

How can capacities be increased at these test events?

The NHS app will be used to determine ticket-holders' Covid status in the selected events
The NHS app will be used to determine ticket-holders' Covid status in the selected events (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

As with the Euro 2020 group games, the pilots will trial Covid status certification, whereby a ticket-holder must provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative test to gain entry. Trials of the NHS App will also be run to assess whether it can be used to display a user's natural immunity status.

The review of Covid status certification and the role it may play in our lives is being led by the Cabinet Office and is ongoing, but the results from the ERP will be part of the evidence base.

Why are these trials happening?

The ultimate goal is to use the findings to influence wider policy on attendance at sporting and cultural events, as part of the overall easing of restrictions which has now been put back due to a rise in cases in recent weeks.

What about sports events that are not part of the ERP?

They must stick to the limits set out at step three of the Covid recovery road map, which came into force on May 17 and rely solely on social distancing as mitigation rather than Covid certification or anything else, which is why the limits are so strict.

For outdoor venues with a seated capacity of 16,000 or above, the limit is 10,000 or 25 per cent of capacity, whichever is lowest.

For outdoor venues with less seating than that, the limit is 4,000 or 50 per cent of capacity, whichever is lowest. For indoor venues, the limit is 1,000 or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is lowest.

That will place further pressure on matchday revenue for many sports clubs and governing bodies.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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