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Coronavirus restrictions: Sports stadiums to be at full capacity by autumn 2021, hopes Oliver Dowden

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A restricted number of fans have been allowed to attend sorting events in England since 2 December

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said he hopes stadiums in England are at full capacity by next autumn.

A restricted number of fans have been allowed to attend sporting venues after England’s national lockdown ended on 2 December.

A maximum of 4,000 fans are permitted at outdoor events in tier one – the lowest-risk areas.

Professional sport has been previously played behind closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now up to 2,000 people are allowed in tier two areas but none in tier three, while indoor venues in tiers one and two can have a maximum of 1,000 spectators.

When asked by Warrington MP Andy Carter in the House of Commons on Thursday whether the women’s Rugby World Cup would be able to go ahead in England in October and November 2021, Dowden said: “We’re very much looking forward to it as the main event of 2021.

“He’s absolutely right to raise the risks around Covid. I very much hope by that point we’ll be able to have full return of fans to stadiums, but of course we’ll ensure that contingencies are in place.”

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